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July 25, 2005

No Sacrifice?

The New York Times's Thom Shanker has decided that our soldiers have decided that you're not doing enough:

There is no serious talk of a draft to share the burden of fighting across the broad citizenry, and neither Republicans nor Democrats are pressing for a tax increase to force Americans to cover the $5 billion a month in costs from Iraq, Afghanistan and new counterterrorism missions.

There are not even concerted efforts like the savings-bond drives or gasoline rationing that helped to unite the country behind its fighting forces in wars past.

"Nobody in America is asked to sacrifice, except us," said one officer just back from a yearlong tour in Iraq, voicing a frustration now drawing the attention of academic specialists in military sociology.

Remarkably, I also haven't seen schoolboys, silhouette reference cards in hand, scanning the skies for enemy bombers. Nor have I been silently asked at the light rail "Is This Trip Necessary?" to make way for departing troop trains. I was recently able to replace my tires at very reasonable prices.

Why? Because while the military is on a war footing, we simply neither need nor want the kind of mobilization we had for WWII. There is no need for the government to comandeer the national economy. In fact, we're better off if we don't do that, Bernard Baruch notwithstanding.

Shanker laments the lack of a tax increase to pay for the war. Except that the deficit has been shrinking for a little while now, thanks to the fact that Uncle Sam doesn't have to intercept wheat shipments and send them to the front.

What Shanker doesn't examine is the source of this bitterness, whose extent, I might add, we really have no idea of. Is it possible that a soldier might feel just a little put-upon by Senators who compare their work to gulags, Representatives who call them as bad as Saddam? If the Army is watching CNN on its off-hours, I can see why they might be inclined to ask why these whining civvies aren't being asked to help out.

Except that they have, and they do. I've heard the President speak of the need to support the troops in a tangible way. I've heard him give web addresses. I probably haven't heard it enough. I cetainly haven't heard it from Senator "Turban" Durbin's office.

So, Senators, Congressmen, Governors, start with Soldier's Angels, Operation Uplink,
Books For Soldiers. Every time you give a speech, mention these guys.

Posted by joshuasharf at July 25, 2005 10:40 PM | TrackBack

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