The More Things Change ... Again
I was very young -- in so many ways -- during Viet Nam. But, young as I was, I made that war an emblematic issue in my family. I say, "I made ..." because I know I used the war as a wedge in establishing my nascent individuality ...
... Anyway. I was young when that war caused such similar intra-family, intra-national conflict to the one in which we're currently engaged.
Now I'm not young. And the pattern reasserts.
We have a president who does not care to meet his responsibility as a leader of a democratic nation -- that is, he does not wish to acknowledge the people's will re this war. He and his mentor, the vice president, will do as they wish with the most valuable resource of this country, its human resource, its young men and women.
Even as the old white men (and the occasional old white woman) of the establishment come to their belated epiphanies about the essential wrongness of this war, it will stretch on.
The deaths of our own will continue, along with the horrible maiming of so many coming home without arms, legs, and with terrible head injury.
Those of us without the privilege and the risk of loved ones over there will watch the pictures of those not coming back and mutter, "... so wrong, so very wrong..." but will not be galvanized enough to do anything.
There will be protests, of the young and semi-anarchic at first. Then, the mother(s) of a dead soldier. Eventually the hollywood contingent will jump on and there will be thousands on the mall in D.C.
But still, our soldiers will be sent over to "help" a populace distinctive for their ingratitude and duplicity. Who hate us for the chaos we introduced into their horribly totalitarian "but at least the lights worked" existence.
(In Viet Nam, we didn't have that working against us. I'm not sure the Vietnamese held the absence of electricity against us. Everything else, the destruction of villages and an agrarian economy, yes. Electricity, not so much.)
And this will go on for years, our own actions scarring our national sense of self. Until what could and should have happened years earlier will finally happen.
And the last helicopter will take off from the roof of the embassy.