Brought to you by the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission
It is difficult to accurately count the dollars spent for the Mideast War. It’s in the trillions.
Trillions. Most of us don’t even know how many zeroes are in trillions.
A couple years ago, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government estimated the war has cost us $6 trillion and is rising.
For what? I mean besides lining the vaults of war profiteers.
This war is no longer important enough for the front page of newspapers. A war? Not important enough to make the news?
Let me get this straight: We spend trillions on a war that no one cares about? We send our young troops to places most of us couldn’t find on a map; we change strategies about as often as we change the oil in our cars; we pretend we are patriotic when we see troops at the airport and say to them, “Thank you for your service.”
I don’t think so. We are not patriotic when we send our youth halfway around the world and place them in mortal danger. What purpose is served by sacrificing the lives and futures of American youth?
We are patriotic when we hold our government responsible. We are patriotic when we demand to know where and why our troops are fighting.
I often repeat, if you can’t win a war in five years, maybe you picked the wrong war.
One of the reasons for this extended, unsuccessful, misguided war is ignorance.
Remember the three monkeys? One had his hands over his mouth, another over his ears, another covering his eyes.
Gimme a break. Monkeys ain’t that stupid.
We don’t know the countries in the Middle East and couldn’t name them if we had a map in front of us. We ignore the history and culture of the Middle East.
Another reason – and this may be the more important reason: the volunteer Army.
George Bush’s sly creation of the volunteer Army created a huge chasm that separates citizens from soldiers.
Separating citizens from its armed forces is dangerous.
My opinion of the volunteer Army is simple: It’s a failure. If we’re going to war, we’re all going.
Ignorance was one of the major reasons the Vietnam War was disastrous. We didn’t know where we were going. We had no strategy. We assumed we could kick ass. We pretended the South Vietnam government was somewhat honest.
The cost of that war is still with us. More than 55,000 troopers spilled their blood, never to take another breath. Troopers wounded – by Agent Orange, enemy bullets and ambushes, PTSD – suffer yet today.
John H. Tidyman, editor
198th Light Infantry Brigade
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