That was true in 2001. It’s been true since, with no let-up except in cavernous illusions whenever it’s time to pony up more billions and more troops, and whenever the elected have to pander to veterans with those words of respect so insultingly at odds with the reality of the country’s contempt for its troops. True, returning soldiers aren’t being spat on at airports. They’re being applauded. They’re being invited to schools and honored in church. But that’s more vile than the spitting, because it amounts to a celebration of indifference: Thank you for fighting and dying over there, wherever that may be. Now don’t bother us with details. Facebook status updates beckon.
The economy’s been outsourced. Why not the war? “So I want all of you to know when you come home your country is going to be there for you,” Obama told those prop soldiers in Seoul. “That is the commitment I make to you as Commander-in-Chief. That is the sacred trust between the United States of America and all who defend its ideals.” There’s an even more sacred trust: those soldiers’ lives, whose loss demeans the very ideals Obama claims to be defending.