After WW 2 America lost its soul. It regained it a bit during the Vietnam conflict, cunningly labeled a " War ". Truman started that scam with the term " Police Action " in Korea, using young American's blood and guts as an endgame of foreign policy. During the so called " Korean War ", there were not many street protests as with Vietnam. After all, the early 50's were the height of McCarthyism, when our media, our schools and our leaders narcotized us with the " Domino Theory " of the spreading evil of Communism. They compared it to a plague which could float through the ethers as easily as the flu. Americans were hypnotized by fear, just as the Germans were under Hitler's mesmerizing rhetorical warnings of a " Bolshevik Jewish conspiracy". Yet, during Vietnam, something strange occurred. Originally, it was the longhairs and so called radicals who took to the streets in protest. Then, it was college students, some as straight as their parents, who joined in. Finally, by 1970, after the Kent State shootings, when young National Guard troops shot at ... well, young college kids, and four lay dead, things accelerated. My old man, a Goldwater and Nixon Republican, stood up during our Thanksgiving dinner, faced his relatives, and stated: " Before I let them come and send my boys to Vietnam, I'm gonna personally drive them to Canada!"
Yes, there was a military draft in 1970, and that did force guys like my father to make choices, and quickly. People were dying over there! Well, today, there is this Iraq thing, and people are dying over there! Back home in Washington, people are lying to us over here! The piling of corruption and half truths and deviousness could reach the heavens, for goodness sakes. Our tax dollars are being funneled into an abyss, whereupon a select handful, in Eisenhower's language the Military Industrial Complex ( and high ticket presidential donors) are making money like .... well.... bandits! Meanwhile, our leaders allow a) torture at will, b) spying on anyone they choose, c) gasoline prices to skyrocket, d) wages to drop, e) jobs outsourced, f) borders opened for cheaper labor, and on and on. Yet, throughout the towns and cities of this great nation, silence. Silence! To those who see through this facade, lots and lots of venting and frustration behind closed doors to loved ones, friends and colleagues; nothing more. That's it. Finito. Here and there, every so often, groups will mobilize and hold what I call " Media event protests ". And Cheney and his lapdog Bush sit back and chuckle a bit. They know its window dressing. They know it will accomplish little or nothing. They know what real concerted protest did to Johnson and to Nixon during Vietnam, when tens of thousands would and march and shout " ....how many kids did you kill today?" on a regular basis. The media in those days had more cajones . They covered the daily toll of blood and gore from Vietnam in great detail. We watched, each evening on the news, our young kids wounded and dying in those rice paddies. It truly did make a difference. It truly did rally John and Joan Q Public to finally do something about it. You know what? That war, that Vietnam thing, was a moneymaker just as this one is. The fat cats and corporate honchos were making billions off of it. Without the outcry of millions of Americans, the politicians in Congress would have continued to turn a blind eye, and allowed it to continue for years. Years!
Hundreds of billions of our hard earned tax dollars are being spent on something that this current crew has no intention of stopping. Why should they? The public, in general, is silent. This writer stood on the street corner of his town for 22 months straight, each and every Tuesday afternoon during rush hour. With the exception of 15 or 20 kindred souls, in an area of over 100,000 population , no one would stop, park and join us for even 10 minutes! When the recession hits in a year or so, and it becomes a depression, then those Soccer Moms and Nascar Dads and retirees will finally get it. It may be too late by then. Too late.
" He who waits for others to fight his battles usually becomes a prisoner of war."
philip a farruggio is a writer, small businessman, p/t radio talk show host, and activist. he can be reached at email@example.com