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Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

When Living in Dummerston is Ironic

My local paper printed this letter earlier this week:
Military remains a group of volunteers

Editor of the Reformer:

I am writing in response to many of the disturbing letters I have read in the Reformer Letter Box recently. It seems that many people are using President Bush as a scapegoat for the problems that our country is having. Although he is the leader of our great country, he is just one man, and can hardly be blamed for the problems of millions. He is blamed for the deaths of our men and women in the military that are now serving in the Middle East. Although I am aware of this, I suspect that many readers of this newspaper don't know that those brave men and women have joined the military on their own free will.

There is not a draft, so everyone that is over there has signed up by choice. If I remember correctly, part of the rights we have in this country are free choices. These rights aren't just for one side. They are for the people that are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and the ones that have bumper stickers opposing it, alike.

C.S.

Aug. 15

The writer is a 15-year-old student at [the local] High School.
This young man raises many good points. President Bush is indeed a single organism. He even opposes cloning. So that's a non-starter. Who could be foolish enough to point a finger at one man for such a thorny problem as Iraq? Did Bush even have an opinion on whether we should launch a war of choice on a paper tiger, under false pretenses, for murky, constantly changing reasons? I can't remember.

Further, the United States does not impress hapless young men wandering down by the docks into military service. People like that are probably strolling the wharf for gay sex anyway, which is expressly forbidden in our armed forces. Most people don't realize that, either. For years I assumed, based on that Village People song and those uniforms, that the Navy was just a big government-sponsored twinkie sex club.

"Free choices" are indeed part of the rights we have in this country, and I'm glad young C.S. pointed this out. Our constitution and its amendments are not all about dark-skinned people voting and protecting ass-to-mouth porn. The fact is, hundreds of thousands of brave men and women freely joined the armed services expressly to be killed, blinded or crippled in order to install an Islamic theocracy and terrorist training ground in Iraq. We should be thankful for their suicidal nilhism. Some may question their right to die, saying it's in the name of the twisted, failed imperial fantasies of a cabal of cowards, but I say to those people, have you ever cheated on your taxes? Do you drink to excess? Have you ever found yourself wandering down by the docks late at night? Who are you to judge? In any event, as today's consevatives know, everything's relative. Relative to Hilter, the Bush Administration is heroic. Compared to the fall of Rome, models of clean government; compared to the interrogation techniques of Vlad Dracul, a big bunch of sissies. We need to pick strong standards, benchmarks if you will, and stick to them. Hell, I'm only saying what Casey Sheehan would say to his mother if he were alive.

I particularly enjoyed C.S.'s rhetorical flourish at the end, with the dig about the bumper stickers. It only works because no war supporters would be craven enough to "support" the war with nothing more than a facile bumper sticker. But I guess that's what makes it funny.

In three years, C.S. may freely choose to join his fellow Americans bleeding out in the sand over in Iraq. (I'm sure we'll still be there, barring desperately bad polling numbers for Republicans heading into '06 and/or '08.) Or he may have other priorities. Maybe go to college, join the Young Republicans, hold some affirmative action bake sales. Maybe stay home, sponge off of his parents for a few years. Protect the homeland through more letters to the editor. Whatever. It's his free choice. And defending that is certainly worth somebody dying for, if not C.S. specifically. A steady stream of dying soldiers is what makes America great. Who gives a shit why?

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