"For us let it be enough to know ourselves to be in the place where God wants us, and carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small, and with unforeseeable results."
-- Abbé Monchanin

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Who cares?

The reason this war has produced fewer protests than the Viet Nam war is that most people are not conscious of its direct impact on their lives. Only those with family members in Iraq/Afganistan (or those there themselves) tend to notice any effect other than the TV news coverage. Maybe this is a good argument for a draft. I would suggest the late Art Buchwald's proposal that the wealth of those over 50 years of age should be drafted so that not only the young face the draft. As Buchwald said, then we'll see the suits marching in the streets protesting the war.


Michael Westmoreland-White said...

This is often repeated, but not true. First of all, there have been many protests. This war BEGAN with protests--Vietnam did not elicit any significant protest until 1964--and we had been involved in a small way since '58 and in a bigger way since the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in '62.
Second of all, Nixon abolished the draft in an attempt to quelch the protests. But the biggest protests happened in '74 and '75 after the draft was already gone.
Would I like to see larger, more dramatic, even tougher, public action against the war? Of course. But war opposition was not mainly a case of self-interest, either then or now.
Now, what is really depressing is that by '68 over 70% of the U.S. had turned against the war--exactly the same percentage which is now against the Iraq occupation--and the war raged on for 7 more years! Will this one last that long? I pray it won't be so.

Tauratinzwe said...

I will agree that there were protests even as the war began. The Vietnam war was "snuck" in more subtly than Iraq. That could be why pre-war protest was less.

I still think that one of the major reasons more mass protest has not taken place is that, for the majority of Americans,life goes on as if nothing were happening. Only those directly tied to the war, through involvement in Iraq or family members in Iraq, find it disruptive. Unfortunately, many are finding their economic situation improved as war contracts are handed out. This applies to many small companies as well as the giant war machines. By the time the draft was abolished in the Viet Nam war, the economic costs were already apparent to more people.

The cost of war must be equally distributed. Then it will quickly become less popular.

I'm afraid that unless we find some statesmen to take seats in congress and not just politicians intent on victory for their party, this war will continue. The current crop of Democrats and Republicans don't have what it takes.

Let us pray for change.