Monday, April 25, 2016
Our Cultural Connection
Kudos to one of the most insightful, cogent and sensitive looks at the American cultural connection or non-connection to our modern-day eternal Middle East War. I laud Andrew Bacevich's April 24th Boston Globe Op Ed article entitled "War out of sight, sacrifice out of mind." Why am I not surprised this article, linked below, was so good? I am not surprised because it was written by one of my favorite academic historians, Boston University Professor Andrew Bacevich. He is also a retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army, retiring with the rank of Colonel. This man is a plethora of insight into America's changing cultural face of war and expresses it so well. Moreover, he has lost a son in the Iraq War as well.
In sum, there surely is a difference between our fathers' fighting World War II or World War I, for that matter, and our post Vietnam PTSD and protest fostering a new age of a volunteer military for all post Vietnam succeeding wars. Our warriors now are engaged in combat because they want to, volunteer for it, it does not hurt that this nation offers monetary incentive to do so and puts the cost of it on a credit card. This obviates the hysterics of national protest once seen during the Vietnam years that split this nation in two, the malady from which we never did entirely heal.
Protests, as Professor Bacevich astutely understands, is limited to present day civil rights and economic struggles but has waxed non existent when it comes to the anti-war movements so prevalent during the Vietnam years. Now we can fight perpetual eternal wars because the majority of our nation is far removed geographically and psychologically from the combat front.
That would change, of course, if the draft were again reality but then, of course, many who would be subject to the draft would rail vociferously against war as so many did during Vietnam decades ago. How more divided can a nation grow from civil rights protest to eternal permanent war protest without splitting the nation in two permanently as well!