U.S. military women and men stationed in Iraq are, for all practical purposes, prisoners of war. They have become pawns in the neocon game. They've been sold a bill of goods and are being asked to lay their lives on the line, defending the indefensible. They've been fed huge chunks of malarkey about noble purpose and greater good. God bless 'em, every one. How I wish those things were true.
Our military personnel have become no less than human sacrifice at the altar of Bush's dangerous ambition. Interesting, given the religious right's insistence on inerrancy of scripture, which is unambiguous about idolatry. I think the following question should be posed to potential military recruits: "Do you love George W. Bush and Dick Cheney enough to die for them?"
There've been some interesting comments added to my earlier post about the essential task of saving our military from the Bush administration. In one of the earliest, Susan referenced The Big Question: "Where were the good Germans in Hitler's Germany?" Wiser heads than mine have grappled with that gut-wrenching question. Susan cites Milton Mayer's book They Thought They Were Free, his seminal work on the topic. And I suspect she may have more to say about all of this at some point.
My issue is not so much with the "good" Germans who morphed gradually (and sometimes not so gradually to save their hides) into Nazis, but with the large number who were neither fish nor fowl. I believe that fairly describes the bulk of Americans. Those of us who work up a micro-second rage when we read about what's happening to our troops (have you checked out the Walter Reed story here and here?). When the tube tells us another Iraq vet has committed suicide. When we notice at certain times of year that the temperature in Baghdad is high enough to fry an egg on one's Humvee. And then there are the stats. The dead, the dying, the walking dead.
Here's the thing. We seem to have a peculiar notion in this country that if we're not actively in the pro-war camp, if we didn't vote for this Bush or wouldn't vote for the next (father and brother are pressuring Jeb to run in 2008), we have fulfilled our obligation to God and country. Sadly, it is only in retrospect that a nation sees its complicity-by-inaction. And that's where we are, right now, today.
I think what some bloggers, a few fearless journalists and a handful of outspoken souls in Congress are attempting to do is escalate the learning curve. Trying to move into a pro-active stance in a reactive society.
One Clothesline commenter suggests that no change can occur "out there" until it occurs "in here." He cites the Gandhi quote: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." I believe that. I think it has to do with values and passion and taking a visible stand. There is no longer a place in George's world for ambivalence and inaction. It is no longer sufficient to wait for someone else to take care of this mess for us.
So, you want a surge? What if millions of automated garage doors suddenly opened wide, disgorging Americans on foot, in SUVs, on bicycles, on skateboards, out into the streets? What if people marched and protested until we take back this country? Every day.
What if we demonstrated by word and deed that we have the Democratic Congress' back? (My Congressional "representative," John Kline, has shown us time and again that he is thoroughly intimidated by dissent.) And in so doing, what if we launched the largest human rescue operation in history, i.e., saving our soldiers (SOS)?
Here's another. I received an email from someone strongly and seriously suggesting withholding income tax payments. He's already doing that.
WARNING (and promise): There will be more here in this vein. Soon.
I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in. ~ George McGovern