Today I am bewildered as I flip through the cable news programs highlighting the latest personal details of Britany Spears and Kevin Federline's lives, as if their demons are of the same moral magnitude as this nation's current denial of the state of war within which we find ourselves mired.
I do not recognize the country of my birth.
Yesterday under the leadership of Representative Henry Waxman, this nation was informed of the latest mismanagement, lack of leadership, and incompetent execution of the War in Iraq in the form of rank war profiteering.
I wonder if I stand alone in my outrage. Are we not a nation at war? I realize we have not been asked to sacrifice anything for the current war. I realize that Mr. Bush is paying for the war using the taxpayer's credit card.....
How appropriate that this revelation---of Blackwater's involvement in Iraq---comes with the public television debut of Ken Burns' The War.
In World War II, this nation paid for the war by taxes. This country sacrificed by the rationing of gasoline, metals, and rubber, as well as other material goods essential to its war effort. This country saw service in its armed forces across all socio-economic classes. There were Harvard men serving in World War Two. Are there any now?
What is missing in this war as compared to World War Two, and all the other wars this nation has valiantly engaged in, is a sense of national honor and civic virtue. What is missing is shared sacrifice and a consciousness of the fact that every day this country IS AT WAR...Instead we are treated to the latest dose of Brit-K-Fed babble.
There is not just a generation gap in this country--there is a gaping hole. There is a vacuum of virtue and leadership---represented by the Baby Boom generation that is shocking.
That this Government has taken us to war, and has allowed the sort of despicable, disgraceful, yes, immoral, war profiteering that we see at Blackwater, among many other mercenary outfits, is morally unjustifiable and repugnant. It is pure greed. Yet we are pleased that the 38-year-old CEO of Blackwater acted admirably under intense congressional questioning. Where is the moral outrage?
I, for one, want to know how it is that these private mercenaries make in one day at taxpayer expense what our brave troops are lucky to make in two weeks pay. I want to know why a commander-in-chief of the world's only superpower could launch a war, so unkowing of the consequences, that he was incapable of determining how many troops it would take to accomplish the mission. I want to know why my taxpayer dollars are going to support rank war profiteering by private corporations by which individual Americans are enriching themselves.
And how many benchmarks have we achieved?
This country can ill-afford the sort of shameful exhibitions of unrestrained violence demonstrated by Blackwater employees--untrained and unpledged to our nation's highest ideals---represented by the actions of war profiteers in Iraq.
Any private individual pulling an armed weapon on a security detail of the US Vice President WOULD BE SHOT DEAD.
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Where is the outrage?
We have sadly lost our way...if the face we show to the world is that of private corporations turning a buck (in lieu of our nation's brave soldiers) in a war of our choosing, we stand for nothing. In a war where the president has not once made any meaningful public display of grief, where he has not asked one American to sacrifice, where we have destroyed a nation for hollow rhetoric....then we stand for nothing.
And in so standing we dishonor the thousands who died on 9/11 and we dishonor the thousands---now over three thousand---brave soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq.
It is shocking and disgraceful. It is immoral. and our apparent denial---by focusing on Brit and K-Fed---is a disgraceful symptom of that denial.
POSTSCRIPT: As I write this in deep sorrow, the State of NJ's brave National Guard Troops brace for deployment to Iraq.
Constance Lavender is an HIV-Positive pseudonymous freelance e-journalist from a little isle off the coast of Jersey; New Jersey, that is...
In the Best spirit of Silence Dogood and Benj. Franklin, Ms. Lavender believes that a free (more...