"Like previous wars we have waged to protect our freedom,
the war on terror requires great sacrifice from Americans."
George W. Bush
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sacrifice when my President and my nation asks me. So far, I haven’t been asked In fact, no one has been asked except the military and even that requirement has fallen disproportionately on the Reserves.
What you and I have been asked to give includes:
- Giving (and receiving, if we’re wealthy enough) a trillion dollar tax break in place of the tax increases that usually attend a declaration of war
- Giving no-bid war contracts to Vice-President Cheney’s old alma mater, Haliburton, under which they are repeatedly found to have their hands in the till
- Giving a blind-eye to unconscionable mistreatments of war prisoners in a scandal the likes of which this country has never had to choke down
- Giving unquestioning approvals to an almost endless string of false premises, lies, cover-ups and blunderings by the President, Vice-President and Secretary of Defense
- Giving the appearance of approval to the military chain-of-command as it accepts illegal direction from its civilian leadership
- Giving false hope and insufficient support to the citizenry of two nations we selected to punish for the presumed crimes of their leaders (whom we supported militarily and politically in recent times)
Last week George Bush said, "The veterans of World War II defended America when ruthless foes threatened our freedom and our very way of life. And after winning a great victory, they helped former enemies rebuild and form free and peaceful societies that would become strong allies of America. The World War II generation endured great suffering and sacrifice because they understood that defeating tyranny in Europe and Asia was essential to the security and freedom of America.” And he’s absolutely correct in that statement.
That was of course a war of nations, a conflict with lines clearly drawn, a war we came to late and unwillingly after the naval attack on naval facilities in Pearl Harbor. Navy against Navy, not world-power against terrorists.
- Sent its women into war plants
- Planted ‘victory gardens’
- Saved scrap metals and even the grease from cooking
- Bought ‘War Bonds’ in unprecedented numbers
- Rationed meat, sugar, cooking oil and gasoline
- Stopped domestic production of automobiles and most consumer goods in favor of airplanes, tanks, ships and guns
- Honored its soldiers when they came home and rewarded them with the ‘G.I. Bill of Rights’
- Stayed in Europe and Japan while the Marshall Plan was administered
In stark contrast to those commitments, this administration embarrasses itself by the reference. Our killed young men come home in secret, without so much as a camera to meet them. SUVs are the big sellers in automobiles, corporate greed and scandal are at all-time highs, consumer spending is unequalled, the press has been put to bed with milk and cookies. Our politicians can’t wait to run from the consequences of their blunders. There will be no Marshall Plan because there is no leader of anywhere near the moral stature of George Marshall. It’s a mockery to compare this lack of sacrifice with what the most senior of our senior citizens willingly gave. I wonder how Bush’s father feels about that?
But I’m ready to sacrifice when my President and my nation asks me. I have the seed-packets. The radishes go over there, next to the sweet-corn.