Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to war we go! Pound the drums loudly, stand with your country proudly!
Wait, wait, wait – hold it right there. Cut the music, slow the rush, and let’s all ponder what Obama, Gates, McChrystal & company are getting us into … and whether we really want to go there. After all, just because the White House and the Pentagon are waving the flag and insisting that a major escalation of America’s military mission in Afghanistan is a “necessity” doesn’t mean it is … or that We The People must accept it.
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Remember the wisdom of Mark Twain about war whooping generals and politicians: “Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.”
How many more hundreds of dead American solders (and thousands more who’ll be mangled and shattered) does the government’s “new” Afghan policy deserve? How many more tens of billions of dollars should we let them siphon from our public treasury to fuel their war policy? We’ve been lied to for nearly a decade about “success” in Iraq and Afghanistan – why do the hawks deserve our trust that this time will be different?
I had hoped Obama might be a more forceful leader who would reject the same old interventionist mindset of those who profit from permanent war. But his newly announced Afghan policy shows he is not that leader.
So we must look elsewhere, starting with ourselves. The first job of a citizen is to keep your mouth open. Obama is wrong on this – deadly wrong – and those who see how wrong he is have both a moral and patriotic duty to reach out to others to inform, organize and mobilize our grassroots objections.
This is no time to be deferential to executive authority. It’s our country, not theirs. Stand up. Speak out. We are America – and ultimately, we have the power and responsibility.