Learn from their deaths

The rows
Iowa Veterans Cemetery (photo by DME)

Every year at this time we dishonor the fallen by failing to learn anything from their deaths. Oh sure, we hold speeches and parades, we puff our chests out, we get a ‘warm fuzzy’ about those who died for us, then we turn around and do it again.

We hold big show funerals for whatever the current war is. We see clips on the TV and photos in the paper of Joe from Altoona, or Bill from Indianola, or Doug from Algona. We think we honor them, but do we? Assuming it is as they say, “war is hell”, why do we keep putting our men and women through it for no reason?

This isn’t some game. This is real blood, real bodies being blown to kingdom come. The bodies and minds being permanently scarred that do make it out alive, are real. The Congress that lets the President wag the nation, does not treasure those lives. They are to make the decision to go to war. They are to be accountable.

It is not supposed to be 1 very fallible man making these decisions. It is supposed to be 435 men (the House is to declare war). But instead of 435 men of character selected wisely by the people, we have 435 men whose only concern is getting reelected. Who take their marching orders from defense industry lobbyists. Who are pretty much on a lifetime appointment (for all the danger there is of getting ousted).

There are a myriad of reasons why the train has left the tracks, but 2 really stick out. We forgot how to win a war, and not everyone is sharing the cost.

War shouldn’t be for “nation building” or “global positioning”. It should be about attacking and killing a nation that has unjustly attacked you. We beat Japan and Germany in less than 4 years, and we’ve been diddling in the sand off and on for the last 40?? If we knew how to fight a war, there isn’t 1 of these sand castles we shouldn’t have rolled up and put away a long time ago. Get in and get out.

Problem #2 is not everyone is sharing in the costs. We need a draft. If there is a legitimate reason to fight a war, then fight it, with everyone. Unjust wars have war protestors. Vietnam anyone? All the skirmishes  in the desert the past 40 years? Squat. We don’t have 1 % of the population in this. That would be a 3 million man army.  We don’t have even that. WWII had roughly 10 % involved in the war effort. If we had that today we would have 30 million people involved. THAT, would win the war.

We’re not serious. It has become a game. Congressmen don’t pay the price for their idiocy and neither do the voters. If the voters were going to war and dying, the Congressmen would pay. As it is, war is only hell for about 1 million people. 1/3 of 1 %. That’s not enough people paying the price in a nation of 300 million people. Change isn’t going to happen at .33 %. It will at 10 %.

Jim Roach

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About Iowa Life

Experiencing life in Iowa.
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