As I know the lady is a Democrat and that she voted for Obama, I'm going to hope her opinions were the products of just not knowing any better, not thinking any of it through, rather than something deeper, much darker, wholly ugly and sinister. After all, she has no knowledge what she's asking of the men and women this country sends, and re-sends, and re-sends into the heart of the fight-or-flight psychological swamp. Having a brother . . .. Having a father . . .. Having a husband (or wife) . . .. Or son. Or daughter. Vicarious doesn't count. Vicarious doesn't cut it. Ya can't get the all-the-way to the mind warping, gut wrenching that is life survived every day, every week, every month without actually having been there.
My own bona fides: Ten days following high school graduation I enlisted in the US Army; June 22, 1964; RA 16 805 398. On May 6, 1965 I was in the same patrol with PFC Hendricks. PFC Hendricks was walking point. (For the fortunate ignorant souls, that's the first person in the patrol.) PFC Hendricks was exploded to the point a gallon Glad Bag would have been sufficient to send his parts home; room to spare for a meatloaf sandwich. I didn't see the explosion . Neither did Hendricks. But it took me some years to stop hearing it, and I don't want to ever hear it again. I was honorably separated from service on June 21, 1967, as a Sgt-E5, and was discharged three years later. Commitment fulfilled.
This doesn't diminish an iota the service of those who went, or the terror they experienced while in the front lines, or the creeping horrors that roamed their minds, plaguing their nights with nightmares, while awaiting deployment to one. But the Korean War was the last protracted military combat campaign with a front. Removed from it and, for all intents and purposes, one was also removed from literal danger. Every US action since has been different. That little girl carrying a basket; could be a grenade inside. That young woman with the wan smile, the one in heavy garb; could be her waist is ringed with explosives. Paranoia is being fearful when there exists no legitimate reason to be caught in the grip of it. Vietnam began the era of unremitting, day in, night out, legitimate fear: They are out to get you.
BF Skinner, the psychologist after whom the Skinner box was named, demonstrated conclusively that the quickest way to drive a test subject over the edge, often to permanent damage, is through random, negative reinforcement; random until it isn't any longer necessary to deliver the electric shock, the threat of one becomes adequate. Give the subject no way to effectively terminate the shock or the threat, and in relatively short order you have a subject with a mind of Jell-O.
It's not just a little wrong, to ask or expect a soldier to march again into the belly of the beast that is nothing less than one Skinner box after another. It's the most damnable obscenity one can conjure. Yet scheming to the obscene is precisely what those on the Right, and now the president of the United States, are contemplating. It's obscene for more than merely readily apparent reasons.
The point here is that, if the proposed action is so critical, so essential to the country that it requires one American's life and limb to be put at risk, it's critical enough that everyone bears somewhat an equal risk and burden. No one's life is more important than anyone else's. No one's! No one's limbs are less dear than another's. No one's! No one's dreams and hopes and fears are more precious or real than anyone else's. No one's! You're too afraid, too much a coward? I met PFC Hendricks before we went on patrol. He had but one week to go before he was scheduled to hop on that big bird that would escort him safely across the pond. Hendricks was filled with the most profound fears. The fact, however, is when a country goes to war people die, and people lose all manner of limbs in the most ghastly ways; arms, legs, noses, eyes . . .. Back in the day there was a bumper sticker that said, "Gas, grass, or ass . . . no one rides free." This is fundamental civics and one's moral, civic responsibility to one's relatives, to one's friends, and to one's country.
Now Mr. Obama has himself a serious decision to make. McCrystal has asked for 40,000 additional troops. Because of the wholly disreputable and incompetent mess created by the Bush administration, this country just does not have 40,000 folks to send . . . for any mission, for any reason. What we've got are those we've already put through the meat grinder, several times. Sending them again works an outrage that no decent human being in the United States should tolerate . . . except on a temporary basis; that temporary basis to be alleviated through an institution of the draft and a temporary reform of the tax code; a draft that doesn't discriminate for any of the above so-called classifications. Or, it's just not that important after all.