A decade of foreign intervention rages on as the president of the nation for which our troops are dying tells us that he’d side with his neighbor against us. But then, whoever assumed that war-making had any sense in the first place? “If fighting starts between Pakistan and the US, we are beside Pakistan,” Mr Karzai said is an interview with private Pakistani television station GEO that aired Saturday. “If Pakistan is attacked and the people of Pakistan need Afghanistan’s help, Afghanistan will be there with you.”
How does a 20-something U.S. soldier stationed in some god-forsaken outpost in the mountains of Afghanistan react to this? How do his parents, siblings, girlfriend, wife? Surely we have passed the Vietnam moment of truth, haven’t we? Where are the protesters at the Pentagon and White House chanting, Vietnam War style, “One, two, three, four! We don’t want your f**king war!”
Where? Nowhere, because of that clever maneuver that dropped the draft and made the Armed Forces a voluntary affair. An all-volunteer army means that only a small set of citizens are affected by military decisions and therefore, the Pentagon can run amok with foreign adventures and few citizens will complain. The plan worked well for both Afghanistan and Iraq. Remember the yellow ribbons, flags and magnetic ‘support the troops’ signs on cars? Hard to remember, isn’t it?
So President Obama designated the end of the Bush War on Iraq at the end of the year. Did you catch some GOP grumbling about that decision? As if it was a good idea from the beginning! Sickos! Will these same warmongers gripe when we remove our troops from Afghanistan? Of course, if they had some skin in the game- a son, a nephew- maybe they wouldn’t want endless wars.
Maybe we ought to make books like the one above mandatory reading in high school American History classes. Interestingly, among the questions raised by Mr. Peters in this book is this: “What’s the true price of striking serious history courses from our schools?” Indeed so. Price asks this question as well: “Who does deeper damage to the United States, our violent enemies or an arrogant ruling elite?”
Does the average American citizen even think about questions like these? Peters wonders, “Have we lost our sense of warfare’s reality?”