The above cartoon is from Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles’ sketchbook today.
Folks should photocopy this cartoon and pass it around audiences when politicians give speeches prattling about their devotions to those “who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation”…..
It reminds me of a passage from Irwin Shaw’s The Young Lions:
‘”745,” said Krenek. “Basic rifleman. That is some specialty. An interchangeable part. We are all interchangeable parts.”
Michael could see Speer’s soft, pleasant young mouth twisting a little in nervousness and distaste. Speer obviously did not like the concept of himself as an interchangeable part. It did not fit in with the picture of himself which had been built up by the rosy years among the governesses and the Harvard classrooms.’
And now a new generation gets to discover that they, too, are interchangeable parts.
Most of them will not care. They’re there because their buddy is there. They’re there because it’s fun and exciting and they’re young and immortal. Some of them are there because they’re mercenaries who’ve sold themselves for three hots and a cot. But some of ’em are sick in the head and *like* the idea of killing others with impunity. The last group are the truly scary ones – the rest at least have some shot at forgiveness.
I’m sure you’ll be right–at first. But I wonder how long that will last, and what our imperial overlords will do when they start caring. Maybe sic the sickos on them?
“The Young Lions” quote is superb.
I could never understand someone selling out “three hots and a cot” – even picking peaches in Ol’ Virginny paid better than that.
When you’re young and unemployed and somebody promises you fun and excitement, telling you you’ll be paid for it, the dotmil can sound pretty good, especially to a kid with no real world experience. Once he’s in, that’s what boot camp is for, to integrate him into the machine. There’re reasons why so many of the homeless who cannot reintegrate into the mainstream are vets…and frequently combat vets.