Thursday, April 15, 2004

The military and the concentration of wealth

Title: Our soldiers in Iraq aren't heroes
Source: Andy Rooney
Date: April 12, 2004

Andy Rooney offers this perspective on the concentration of wealth:
    Our soldiers in Iraq are people, young men and women, and they behave like people - sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes brave, sometimes fearful. It's disingenuous of the rest of us to encourage them to fight this war by idolizing them.

    We pin medals on their chests to keep them going. We speak of them as if they volunteered to risk their lives to save ours, but there isn't much voluntary about what most of them have done. A relatively small number are professional soldiers. During the last few years, when millions of jobs disappeared, many young people, desperate for some income, enlisted in the Army.
The article Military Disparity: A Sign Of The Times? asks this question:
    Is America's war on terror a war being fought by all Americans?

    This is the underlying question raised in an ongoing survey of our military casualties in Iraq. According to a National Public Radio report over the weekend, more than twice as many U.S. war casualties in Iraq come from mostly rural areas as opposed to more urban counties. Casualties are also more likely to come from low-income areas and from areas with low levels of college education.
    But in some cases, it also signals an economic need on the part of the soldiers. This reflects an intriguing disparity not only in our military but in an economically polarized society, as well. Thus, the study is actually an examination of a symptom, not a disease.

    Make no mistake, we all should be grateful for the troops who serve this country and are willing to fight for all of us. But in turn, we must work to create more opportunities for all people in all areas of our nation. A military career should be seen as one option in this land of prosperity, not the only option left for those want more for their lives.
Because of the increasing concentration of wealth, America is beginning to look more like a third world nation, rather than the land of prosperity, to an increasing percentage of her people.


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