War: The Other Individual Mandate?
I’ve been writing here for over eight years, and every time I get into a comfortable little zone where I think I’ve heard every piece of nonsense the war loons can throw at us they manage to surprise with both their unending thirst for blood and treasure and the sheer audacity with which they pursue same.
Today’s atrocity to good taste comes to you, as so many have, by way of the RAND Corporation. The argument is summed up neatly in the first sentence of the article.
“If you have military-age children who have not served in this decade’s wars, then you owe a debt — meaning money — to those who did.”
The number of implications in that sentence are staggering, but there are at least a few I’d like to focus on.
1. The US government’s wars of choice impose obligations on every single American to sacrifice their children or their money to pay for it.
2. Not having a draft is “inherently unfair,” according to RAND’s Beth Esch
3 (and I think this is the best part). It’s the parents who “owe” even though they can’t force their adult children into the military.
That’s a helluva thing, isn’t it? Of course its a lot more cynical than the sentence makes it sound. The unspoken reason they’re targeting parents and not the non-troops is obvious: those wars have ruined the economy to such an extent that 20-somethings who went to college instead of joining the military are almost uniformly struggling to find jobs. The parents might be struggling in this economy too, but they had plenty of time to sock away some cash before all these wars broke out, and now someone’s decided to guilt them into turning over that cash as reparations for not having sent their son off to die in some pointless foreign adventure.
The fact of the matter is every American, whether one of their kids got suckered into the military or not, has paid mightily for these wars, and I’m not just talking about the unfathomable amounts of taxpayer money spent (or yet to be spent) on them.
Our economy is in shambles, our manufacturing sector is boiling down to little more than subsidized arms makers who spend their profits lobbying for more arms deals. Personal freedoms inside the country are eroding at an alarming rate under the guise of military prudence, while our president claims the inherent right to assassinate any of us at a moment’s notice. Domestic travel is a hassle, getting on an airplane means submitting to official molestation. Overseas travel is getting more and more dangerous: if you’re American there are some places you just can’t go anymore.
We’ve all paid too damned much by a fair site for these wars already. The unmitigated gall that it takes to demand even more now is staggering, but what the war party lacks in brains they surely make up for in gall.