Tuned out

Well, I’ve pretty much buried my head in the sand for the last week. I’ve only caught bits of the President’s pronouncements, like the money request to Congress today, by accident. And, though I am listening out for war news, I am so glad that I don’t have to watch it 12 hours a day for work. Unfortunately that makes it all too easy for me to avoid it altogether. That is one of the things that makes our modern wars even scarier to me. That we as Americans can just ignore what’s going on and watch our cable tv, our hoops, or just keep on living our normal lives. I wonder how the lack of impact this has on American life relates to our willingness to engage in warfare. Are we more willing to let our government start the fight since it doesn’t mean we’ll have to go hungry, worry about bombing raids or go to hospitals that are ill-equipped to help us?

Being out of the war loop I was stunned by the story of the American sergeant accused of a grenade attack on his superiors. Apparently this happened in Vietnam as well and was called “fragging.” He’s an African American Muslim so that of course is being raised as a possible issue. I think it’s just another part of this strange and horrific journey that we’re on. It reminds me also that although I was an adult during GWI, I really didn’t think about it that much. So this feels like my first “real” war – and even this feels very remote. I wonder what would happen to the national psyche if we got real, unfiltered information about all the atrocities in this “conflict.”

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