Can Americans really be “war weary” if, statistically, almost none of them contribute anything to the war or to the Americans who fight the war?
Example: an accountant has gone to work, gone on vacation, and not changed their life in any way as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have continued to earn their paycheck, they’ve married and had kids, and they don’t know anyone intimately who has deployed to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan (a co-worker’s sister’s kid doesn’t count). Essentially, they’ve lived their life as if there isn’t a war because the war has never impacted their life.
I’ve been thinking about this since I arrived back in the States. It seems like an awful lot of people (politicians included), who have never contributed even a dollar of their earnings to the war effort, claim that they’re “weary” of war, and, therefore, we shouldn’t get more involved in Iraq. These same people get war information from the 5 o’clock news, which they turn-off when it’s “too depressing”.
Most Americans can just turn-off the war, much like they can turn off “depressing” television news. They don’t have to think about it. They don’t have to take part. They don’t lay awake at night worrying about the safety of their loved one. They don’t encourage their own kids to enter military service. They don’t donate.
So, do these same people have any right to think that they’re war weary? Do they have any right to complain that we might be entering another war, given that they don’t sacrifice anything toward the war effort?
I don’t think so.
* I understand the argument that war funding diverts money from other government programs, like public school funding. I agree, it does, and that impacts the daily life of many. However, people who make those arguments generally are not lying awake at night praying that their husband, wife, son, or daughter will survive deployment. Also, the funding issue is unrelated to war itself because funding could be diverted toward other causes, like, say, paying down the national debt.