Editor’s Note: This column originally ran on Nov. 10, 2009 and is even more relevant today
“Over There” … “Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition” … “Say A Prayer For The Boys Over There” … these and scads of other songs permeated the airwaves, juke boxes, radios and anywhere that sound could be received during dark days of wartime for generations. But not now!
“War” is now the word used by those who favor it and those who don’t.
Where is the demand from government to make movies hyping our men and women in uniform, fighting and dying every day? Where are the composers writing patriotic songs? Where are the pumpers to get us all to help pay for a nation at war with savings bonds that might add up to the $187 billion in World War II dollars Americans happily came up with then?
The answer: nowhere!
I have raised the questions before about how come we could have promoted a profligate economy at home that ran aground while running up a wartime tab that seems to have no end? If oil is so precious, we have to pressure auto makers to produce cars that consumer less fuel or run on some other stuff, how come we have no programs to ration the black gold here so our troops don’t run short overseas?
One reason may well be that this administration, as did its predecessor, keeps working at promoting its economic progress which we now know has run down quite a bit, with growth much slower than had been predicted, read bragged about. With all that, the pressure is to keep the battle going with no end in sight or any even modest description of what it looks like when we have won.
Perhaps Americans are both confused and discouraged. Certainly we are inexcusably apathetic in demanding leadership from both political parties who seem similarly confused, but, shucks, they get paid to lead, and it’s our money they’re gobbling up.
When you add all of this up, you understand why there are no new patriotic songs to motivate armies and civilians alike, why we cannot figure out what victory looks like and why it is ok to keep traveling, using oil and not worrying about material shortages needed for war. The reason: those who run the joint seem not to worry about it either.
Yet this is the same apathetic American public now being targeted to determine who should take over and carry the burden they will most assuredly inherit.
As we move toward the end of another year of “Afghanistan Forever” with millions of Americans in the dumper, here are questions that demand answers … or at the very least … demand to be asked:
1. Why are we in Afghanistan and what is our mission?
2. Who is the enemy really and how can something called “insurgents” hold off the most powerfully armed forces in the world for so long?
3. If it costs us billions to stay in the Afghanistan game, who is financing, training, arming and commanding the Taliban, and how are they doing it?
4. Why does the government fail to tell the American people how this all happens?
5. If we are at war, why is there no draft?
6. How have the Russians suffered for being driven out?
7. Why are these questions not being to our government by media? Whatever happened to the music?
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Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications, including huntingtonnews.net.