Flags and Heroes
by John Garza
1. As has been noted, the military recruiters are not exactly
overwhelmed with volunteers. Does this mean that the terrorists
are correct about us being soft, not having the will to give
up our cushy daily life?
It has been much easier, much more "feelgood" to buy millions
of little flags and to throw these concerts for ourselves
than to fight. When I did my four years in the military I
had no concept of enlisting for the purpose of heroism. My
4 years were not "heroic." They were what they were.
On three different days out of my Viet Nam year, my ship
was shot at, the ship sustained damage, and we had at least
one wounded. The rest of the tour I chipped paint and painted
my ship, did my little job maintaining it, while it delivered
its cargo to an Army base. Sgt. York and Audie Murphy and
their class of heroes probably didn't enlist for the purpose
of becoming known as "heroes."
That's another thing we can do besides putting these concerts
and other such forms of over-wrought emotions in perspective:
we should stop talking so much about heroes for now, until
after we get through doing what we need to get done.
There's plenty of time, if we're successful,
to sort out the heroes after the dust has settled. If we're
not successful, it won't matter how heroic anybody was.
2. It looks like the Shrub people really are inept. But we
Democrats cannot take any pleasure in that if our country
loses this engagement. Above all, our country must not lose.
Republicans and we Democrats need one another in more profound
ways than we realize: the Republicans are always lacking in
meaningful vision, and Democrats, mish-mash that we are, tend
Are we Democrats so desperate (defeated?) that we are willing
to cave on anything, and Shrub is losing anyway? Money
and civil liberties down the toilet? Why don't the
Democrats stand firm on our societal vision?
As for the Republicans - why doesn't Shrub actually do the
truly patriotic thing and cut a deal with the Democrats? Not
pasting-on the ANWR and the fake schemes for tax cuts onto
needed legislation - just focusing on WINNING this particular
What about if Shrub would even announce that there might
have been some anomaly in the past election, but that in order
to put things right, to gain real legitimacy, and to renew
our true democracy, he will focus only on this term and on
winning this particular engagement, and will not run
for re-election? How's THAT for real patriotism? That would
really win him whole-hearted support.
He wouldn't have to cave completely, he could say that this
didn't mean the Republicans were going to give up the next
election, that they were going to fight it as hard as possible,
just that it is more important to maintain the sanctity of
our electoral process than to have a short-sighted and hollow
3) With the heading for the hills (McCain's words) of the
Supreme Court on the tail of Congress and everybody whimpering,
it looks like the terrorists have already won. What has brought
us to this is our careless making of policy based on fake
issues, angels dancing on the heads of pins, as opposed to
authentic interaction with one another.
We are more willing to throw trillions away on bombs and
feelgoods than to have an honest discussion.