August 8, 2010

THE OLD LADY AND THE WAR

Ann Jones wrote a brilliant, scathing (and you know that brilliance always comes with a scathing review of the truth) article that shows us a little more on why US wars are so damn expensive. Be warned. It is a long article, and every word is worth it.
If war were undisguisedly as nasty and brutish as it truly is, it might also tend to be short.  Soldiers freed from illusions might mutiny, as many did in Vietnam, or desert and go home.  But this modern, cushier kind of pseudo-war is different.

Many young soldiers told me that they actually live better in the Army, even when deployed, than they did in civilian life, where they couldn’t make ends meet, especially when they were trying to pay for college or raise a family by working one or two low-wage jobs.

They won’t mutiny.  They’re doing better than many of their friends back home. (And they’re dutiful, which makes for acts of personal heroism, even in a foolhardy cause.)  They are likely to reenlist, though many told me they’d prefer to quit the Army and go to work for much higher pay with the for-profit private contractors that now “service” American war.  
There are BBQs and air conditioning units, there are amenities and gyms, hell, one of the jokes when I was growing up was that US Army's first building they got up in Vietnam was a Coca-Cola bottling plant.

Read it. Be surprised. Be angry.

And then start to make your voice heard.