Bob Herbert raises a good point about the relationship between exploitation and phony patriotism in his column this week.
The idea that fewer than 1 percent of Americans are being called on to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and that we’re sending them into combat again and again and again — for three tours, four tours, five tours, six tours — is obscene. All decent people should object.
The air is filled with obsessive self-satisfied rhetoric about supporting the troops, giving them everything they need and not letting them down. But that rhetoric is as hollow as a jazzman’s drum because the overwhelming majority of Americans have no desire at all to share in the sacrifices that the service members and their families are making.
In this new era of American militarism, the class nature of our military has been shown in stark relief. Poor and working-class Americans get thrown into combat in wars of questionable origin, while the everyone else is told to go shopping and puts a yellow magnet on his car.