Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another Inconvenient Truth

Senator John Kerry speaking at Pasadena City College:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

I was never a big Kerry fan, he just didn't seem to have any fight in him and the Grand Old Pudwhackers walked all over his face. He's winning me over now.

No, I do not think he put his foot in his mouth. As tactless as it may have sounded to some, he was telling us the truth. It's a shitty, dirty, ugly truth but one we had better face if we want any chance of not doing an endless cycle of wash, rinse, and repeat.

There are some children of the wealthy and well-connected serving in the military. A few, definitely not many and most of them in non-combat positions. The young people who are dying are not the children of people who could afford to buy them into Ivy League colleges. They also are not the people who made the top grades and got scholarships. They may be among the many who have not even had time to begin to figure out exactly what they do want to do with their lives.

The young people who are dying are the "regular kids" from "regular" families. They may not have been the class geniuses or they may have not always made the "best" choices to ensure they became "successful". They didn't think to do all the "right things", or didn't know how, to ensure they would be accepted to the "right" schools and also be able to actually pay for it if they were.

Their parents mostly live in decent neighborhoods but not places you'd be likely to find any CEO's living on the block. You'd probably find a lot of firemen, policemen, teachers, plumbers, clerical workers and any other thing you can think of but probably not anyone who belongs to the Country Club. You'd likely find a few who work at the Country Club. You'd find a lot of immigrants who came here wanting better lives for their children and who worked their asses off trying to make that happen. You'd also find a lot of people with a strong belief in "giving back" and public service.

I'm sorry for people who are too dogmatically patriotic to be able to understand this. I'm more sorry for the rest of us who have to live in a world where these people get to have so much say in our lives. The same people who get us into these situations in the first place. Muchos gracias dumbfucks.

I don't want Kerry to apologize. I will be furious if he does, he told the goddamned truth and that should never be grounds for an apology.


Bird Dog said...

I think you underestimate our combat soldiers. I have met many of them, through a friend's son, and they are an impressive group.
They are far from society's losers: they are proud professionals and see themselves that way.
The volunteer army is different. These guys are in it as a career - or as a calling.

Not Your Mama said...

I do not think they are losers at all.

My own son served in the army and my daughter is currently serving in the Air Force.

What I'm saying is that *most* of todays enlisted are there as a way to afford a college education. That doesn't make them losers, it makes them people from middle and/or lower middle income brackets.

We have an administration happy to use them as cannon fodder to further it's own agendas and we have created a social and economic structure that is providing fewer and fewer options for the overwhelming majority of US citizens.

Our military personnel are for the most part proud professionals, it's just an unfortunate fact that opting to enlist is increasingly becoming the only way for a lot of people to achieve this.

If anyone underestimates the abilities of our soldiers I think it's this administration which views them as expendable human resources and acceptable "collateral damage".

leftdog said...

You rock mama!