It pained me to see Senator Obama miss a big opportunity at Wesleyan. A few days before Memorial Day he delivered the commencement speech filling in for Senator Kennedy. Senator Obama mentioned serving our country and used the word service many times. He spoke of joining the Peace Corps. He talked about the good it does one’s soul to be part of “something bigger than one’s self.” However, Senator Obama never said — even once — that one good option for service — and for being part of something bigger than ourselves — includes volunteering to serve in our military. Why? (emphasis mine)
Shit like this is a prime example of why rather than accept and work within the nuts & bolts of the US political system I hurl bricks at it from outside. Obama makes the typical politician error of portraying any sense of civic mindedness as inherently meaning government involvement & allegiance, and instead of pointing that out, this moron — a writer on Huffington Post, a supposed “left-wing/progressive” site as popularly described — barks about leaving the military out of the equation. The US Military, seriously.
Oh, it gets worse folks…
If Obama becomes commander-in-chief he’ll need our military to fight in Afghanistan, which he’s said he’ll order the military to do, and/or to withdraw from Iraq. It won’t be “Bush’s war” then. Whose military will it be?
Did my son make the wrong choice when he volunteered for the Marine Corps in 1999? I was ambivalent about the idea of my son volunteering, and that was before Bush and 9/11 let alone Iraq. I learned that it was the best thing that ever happened to him or to me for the very reasons Obama mentioned at Wesleyan — our family learned that we were part of something bigger than ourselves, and my son learned to see the Marine standing nexxt to him as more important than him. […]
All too often Progressives act and speak as if military service is service to George Bush. My son volunteered when Clinton was president. My son wasn’t Bush’s Marine, he was your Marine. He regarded his time in the military as service to America, not for the Republicans, far less for one president.
Military service as for “America”, and not for the elite that happens to run it. Please, this is a load of idealist After-School Special ahistorical pseudo-patriotic claptrap propaganda, and it amazes me how one can believe it yet still be considered “left” on ANY measure. Even if you don’t point out the track record of military action for “interests” as opposed to any realistic sense of defense, it falls apart when you consider how these wars start. If it were seriously about the public government school We The People bullshit, then instead of the misinformation campaigns ran by the administration with the mainstream media in lockstep, threats to skeptics of being painted as unAmerican, and the dog & pony show of a congressional vote, every engagement seen as being beyond a certain scale would be honestly and exhaustively aired out, both pro & con, to the general public, which would then vote like it were a constitutional amendment. Never mind the details of how such a thing would work, the difficulty of the ideal actually proves just how deeply bullshit the oft-romanticized actual process is.
Real talk: no, serving in the military is not a good idea for being part of something bigger than yourself. Yes, your son did make the wrong choice, in that it was based upon falling for a lie. Rather than go your direction and wave the flag some more, Obama was closer to the right idea back when he said the American lives lost in Iraq were wasted — to which he then promptly apologized instead of saying “yeah you’re damn right I said that”. Your approach to such important matters amounts to a pig challenging a wolf to a fight & letting the wolf set the rules, which is why I don’t bother. If it takes holding to such narrow parameters for public discourse to have any shot at all, then fuck it.
The type of people who seriously have this much fear about him don’t know how lucky they have it. Could be worse: “B-psycho 2016”?