Asking Too Much of Too Few

By Robert C. Keating, Editor

Many Americans who remember Vietnam are amazed to see America making the same mistakes again, but without hundreds of thousands of protestors in the streets. The lack of a military draft has made it easier for the government to make war without arousing the ire of those who'd otherwise have to fight it. "By giving young Americans the choice of whether or not to fight, we've also given them the choice of whether or not to care," said Carlos Alvarez, a student organizer for A.N.S.W.E.R.¹

The problem of course is that the same military personnel are returning over and over to fight. In Vietnam, most soldiers served only one tour. In Iraq, many already have served two or three.² Reservists are being especially hard hit, many serving multiple tours while leaving children and even grandchildren back home.

As the war winds on and its goal becomes less clear and less reachable, American troops are increasingly estranged from what they view as an apathetic or hostile country. Combat stress is rising as morale sinks. Five reports of American military atrocities are currently under investigation; troops are past the breaking point. Reporting on CBS Evening News May 27, 2006, Kimberly Dozier said there is a hardline military view in Iraq to "kill them all, and let God sort them out."

Support the troops. Bring them home.
¹L.A. Alternative, May 19-25, 2006
² Kimberly Johnson and Rick Hampson, USA Today, June 15, 2006

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