Why are so many of these people such children in these matters? Rod Dreyer read "All Quiet On The Western Front" a couple of weeks ago and was so moved that he actually felt compelled to write a column about it. (I did too. In the eight grade --- only I called it a book report.) I guess I thought everyone knew that war was a crazy, fucked up enterprise filled with great drama and boredom and courage and loss of humanity and that most of the simplistic mythic clap trap that society uses to compel young men into doing it was pretty much propaganda. Sure, it still has to be done sometimes and it takes great physical courage and commitment to throw yourself into the meat grinder, but that doesn't change the fact that it is, on many levels, a total debasement of your humanity. Like most things in life, it's complicated.Apparently, an anomyous soldier wrote a column in the New Republic describing some of the workaday cruelty and boredom towards other soldiers and Iraqis that he's experienced in Iraq. For doing so, he's been crucified by the right wing for selling out 'the troops.' Or something.
Well anyway, what Digby said above is how I feel. I just sort of assume that people know instinctively that sending lots of people off to go kill other people is going to be a complicated mess, and we should undertake such messes only very rarely, and then only under extremely special circumstances. The crowd whose every answer to any problem is to bomb the shit out of them are frightening psychopaths. I guess my problem is that not everyone knows this to be the truth. Lots of people idolize the military without ever having a living understanding of what war actually does to people.
When I was speaking back at home with one of a very right wing conservative talk show hosts and after, thank God, after we were off the air, I said something that I assumed he would agree with and I just said ‘you know, I’m really worried about these guys and gals, but mainly guys, that have gone, that they’ve been redeployed now three and four times’ — he came back to me and said ‘you know what, they should have thought about that before they enlisted, before they signed up.’ He said ‘it’s their fault.’Another example of this kind of sheer criminality of thought processes is the fact that the far-insane Heritage Foundation ran a study of what actually bombing Iran would do to our economy (forget the actual effects of bombing the Iranians. No one cares what happens to them.) They concluded it would be bad for lots of reasons. But since, as Kevin Drum writes, they are committed ideologically to bombing the shit out of anyone they don't like, they re-ran the study and changed a few of the criteria. Voila! Bombing Iran would be great for America!
The mind reels that these people are not only taken seriously, but given access to key decision makers in the country, and actually provided the opportunity to peddle these 'ideas' as 'advice.' And what is more frightening is that not only are they not laughed out of the room or put in a rubber room, but that often, this advice is followed.