It really is a blunder that my generation (20-somethings),
and those to come after it, will have to atone for decades to come. Blood.
Death. Occupation. The remnants of imperial greed. Policies run amuck. Perhaps
an empire can only function when it is dysfunctional. A kind of serial killer
on life support. In this case, taxes. Indeed chaos is the natural pattern of
villainous deeds, and America has blood-stained hands.
The United States is not really even an empire anyway, as
Slavoj Zizek recently put it in the New
York Times, "That is, while pretending to be
an empire, it continues to act like a nation-state, ruthlessly pursuing its
interests." Even so, the "Land of the Free" still does as it
pleases, despite international opposition and common sense.
I think the ol� adage that proclaims we should obey our
elders is just a bunch of hogwash. What if our elders, those whom we should
respect, tell us to kill? To murder? To vanquish entire cultures and religions?
To tear men from their loved ones and detain them in offshore prisons where
they will never be charged with an actual crime? Are we still supposed to obey
the authority that tells us to do this for the health of the country? To accept
it as the reality of war? I say no. Yet, ads on television and in our public
schools prey on our youth to sign up for the U.S. armed forces as way to see
the world, pay for education and succeed in life.
I don�t blame the kids who think
the military is the answer to their mounting woes. They�ve been lied to,
inundated with patriotic babble about country and God, while their commanders
order them off into battle from the safety of Washington boardrooms. Voting
won�t stop the nonsense either. As President Bush calls for more troops in Iraq,
the Democrats still can�t fancy a thought of their own on the subject. They
seem to realize we need the troops out, but haven�t the slightest idea how to
go about doing it. Redeployment, as Rep. Jack Murtha has called for, still
won�t bring our troops home.
It seems the only way the war will
come to an end will be when soldiers start resisting by the droves. It�s
already happening with little fanfare all across the country. Many are finding
refuge in Canada and elsewhere. These brave soldiers must be congratulated for
taking such a path. They are the answer the antiwar movement has been looking
for. Let�s hope they lead by example. If their peers don�t follow, we are in
for a much longer, deadlier war.
Making sense of it all isn�t easy,
especially for those who have seen the mess first hand. I�m happy to say I
haven�t. Nor do I ever want to, no matter how much better the government pays
than this writing gig. Deep down Bush must know that more troops there will
only lead to more deaths, more collateral damage. More anguish for families
everywhere. It has to stop. And the best way to end the war isn�t to march
around in the streets on our designated day of dissent. Rather, the best way to
help stop the madness is to get military recruiters off our school campuses.
Plain and simple. No longer should the marketers of death be allowed to sell
war to students.
I know this little polemic isn�t going to end this mess
Bush and his allies have created. When my generation and the soldiers in Iraq
turn on this war by refusing to return, only then will it come to a screeching
Frank is the author of Left
Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush and