I had a little dust-up at work the other day with a co-worker over the Iraq war. A defender of the war, and die-hard Republican, my co-worker directed a lecture, actually a scold, about the need for sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy. Or something. The lecture was a sophomoric and petulant attempt to shame me into supporting the invasion/occupation/escalation of the PNAC agenda. It was also mixed with a small bit of spittle.
I agree with the need for sacrifice for Dick and Dubya's most excellent adventure, but it should not be so compartmentalized. The pain and blood and death sacrifice being borne almost entirely by our all-volunteer army, their families and friends. And in typical Republican fashion, the payment for this war is punted well out of reach, falling as a sacrifice to our grandchildren. This Administration has a war, an occupation, expanded the federal government by forty percent and cut taxes to its billionaire corporate donor base.
So where is this sacrifice? If indeed, as the rightards vehemently point out that America being invaded by 20 box-knife wielding fanatics is an existential threat to end life as we know it, then perhaps each and every American should share in this sacrifice.
Re-institute the draft. No wussy-assed loopholes like "five deferment Dick Cheney" or anal cyst OxyMorons. Two years of Mess-O-Potamia for all. The Democrats just initiated the PayGo system, which means, like, pay as you go. Apply this to Iraqistan. No new funds issued until the last tab is paid in full. One would definitely have to eliminate the billionaire tax breaks. Perhaps everyone else's taxes would have to double--or triple.
I'm down with that. Perhaps if the sacrifice, in real time, of suffering and funding for the disaster known as Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) visited the hearts and bank balances of each American, the 30 percent domestic support it enjoys would evaporate, and people would take to the streets, banging a pot or a pan, demanding an end to this fruitless disaster.
But mostly it remains Somebody Else's Problem. As Drifty so elegantly pointed out, people are perfectly happy to just sit at home and watch "Poo-Flinger Island" and "Smell My Wife."
As far as the occupation escalation, can someone please explain to me how arming and training people involved in a civil war is supposed to quell the violence. With more guns and better training?