07/25/2005: Excellent questions; I hope they're not expecting any answers from Dumbya...
From this weekend's New York Times: All Quiet on the Home Front, and Some Soldiers Are Asking Why
WASHINGTON, July 23 - The Bush administration's rallying call that America is a nation at war is increasingly ringing hollow to men and women in uniform, who argue in frustration that America is not a nation at war, but a nation with only its military at war.But no wonder. "Patriotism" these days consists of either enriching someone in Taiwan by purchasing a "Support the Troops" magnet, or sniveling behind a keyboard in support of a bAdministration that lied to the Congress and the American public to justify sending those troops there, and who, even now, would rather leap to the support of a Turd down the hallway from the Oval Office, even when that Turd has compromised vital secrets and injured the security of the United States.
From bases in Iraq and across the United States to the Pentagon and the military's war colleges, officers and enlisted personnel quietly raise a question for political leaders: if America is truly on a war footing, why is so little sacrifice asked of the nation at large?
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.
Members of the military who discussed their sense of frustration did so only when promised anonymity, as comments viewed as critical of the civilian leadership could end their careers. The sentiments were expressed in more than two dozen interviews and casual conversations with enlisted personnel, noncommissioned officers, midlevel officers, and general or flag officers in Iraq and in the United States.
Charles Moskos, a professor emeritus at Northwestern University specializing in military sociology, said: "My terminology for it is 'patriotism lite,' and that's what we're experiencing now in both political parties. The political leaders are afraid to ask the public for any real sacrifice, which doesn't speak too highly of the citizenry."
While officers and enlisted personnel say they enjoy symbolic signs of support, and the high ratings the military now enjoys in public opinion polls, "that's just not enough," said a one-star officer who served in Iraq. "There has to be more," he added, saying that the absence of a call for broader national sacrifice in a time of war has become a near constant topic of discussion among officers and enlisted personnel.
"For most Americans," said an officer with a year's experience in Iraq, "their role in the war on terror is limited to the slight inconvenience of arriving at the airport a few hours early." [emphasis supplied --LRC]
If that's "patriotism", I don't want to be a patriot.
Len on 07.25.05 @ 12:20 PM CST