Friday, January 08, 2010

Choice or No Choice

Dhar Jamail has an article at Truthout about a stop-lossed GI incarcerated for writing and singing out his anger at being held in the Army beyond his contract date for a second deployment. The comment string is good, too. This one especially caught my eye.
With all of the abuse, stop loss, Gulf War Syndrome, declining Veteran care, etc etc, I can't see how our so called "volunteer" forces can continue to recruit.... How much more evidence does anyone need that this is a bad thing to "volunteer" for?

That anyone would willingly volunteer to participate in America's ongoing wars at this point in those wars' history amazes me. Eight or six years ago I can understand people's willingness to serve. But after years of lies, of sacrifice by American forces and the deaths of well over 100,000 Iraqis and Afghanis--all of which has made this nation no safer and certainly less economically secure--Americans should be voting with their feet NOT to serve in a military that is being sacrificed for no good reason.

But that's a hard choice for many people. The ugly logic of war is that once we begin the sacrifice, we must continue to make that sacrifice so that the original sacrifice will not be in vain. That makes it hard to change course, even when a clearly better choice is available and feasible. In a bad economy, the military offers money. Combine that with a what is often a genuine willingness to serve and volunteering probably makes sense.

That's the tragic part. Most people don't want war but somehow serving war is the easy choice.

And the wars continue.



Blogger BadTux said...

With unemployment at 50% in some of the communities where our military are being recruited from, it's clear that a significant proportion are "volunteering" only in that they can either "volunteer", or starve. It's a back-door draft, basically. If you graduate from some Southern high school with only rudimentary academic skills, no hope of a job, and a home life that consists of ma and her latest squeeze throwing things and shooting at each other or shooting up each other with meth, what else are you going to do?

- Badtux the Been-there Penguin

9:14 AM  

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