by Max Brantley
The departure of troops from Iraq is all over the news and commentary this morning. Maureen Dowd reminds what a bad idea Bush's war in Iraq was. Not to mention that the future remains very tentative.
Those who fought in that war? Yes, let's think of them. The tributes to those who serve in military have grown almost religious in nature. Politics now demand that sainthood be conferred on all things military, including the dishonest fairy tales spun when people like Pat Tillman die. At least, that is, we are encouraged to confer sainthood on active military. But as with the after-birth forgetfulness of the fetus venerators, the warrior cheerleaders sometimes have short memories when the soldiers return to civilian life. Checked their unemployment rate lately? Not good.
At least none dare call unemployed war veterans worthless layabouts who simply WON'T work. I hope they don't, anyway. That's reserved for the dirty hippies of the Occupy movement. But you can't be sure. We live in a world where a leading Republican candidate supports child labor. It is also a world where people who walk away from bad, improvidently issued mortgages are considered lowlifes but corporations that walk away from big debts in bankruptcy proceedings or debt renegotiations are considered canny operators. Please check the essay I just linked by James Surowiecki in The New Yorker on the warped PR spin the greedy banks have sold America on the real estate collapse. It might encourage you to join an Occupy march.