Thursday, September 29, 2005

Is America becoming increasingly hostile to the military?

(Warning: This piece was inspired by back to back music videos on MTV’s After Hours. Specifically Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and Audioslave’s “Doesn’t Remind Me.” As intelligent individuals you can figure out why they were an inspiration for the following viewpoint.)

Today there are over 120,000 American troops deployed in Iraq. When the first bomb was dropped over Baghdad many Americans felt uneasy about the invasion. Americans as a whole do not like war. Contrary to world opinion, the US would prefer to stay out of conflicts, especially costly protracted conflicts. We would much rather consume, invest, and watch Monday night football. But with no other nation in the world willing to strictly enforce resolutions, stop nuclear proliferation, monitor the high seas, protect global commerce, and the general well-being of the globe, it appears that the US must continue this role.

It is understandable to debate the reasons for the US invasion of Iraq. The US constitution allows it. This keeps our leaders in check. As Americans we are entitled to this freedom through the Constitution, one of the greatest documents ever written by man. But without men and women willing to risk their blood, sweat, and tears these rights could be gone in the blink of an eye. Without brave US soldiers, the world would be a much different place. And I am confident that this place would be much worse than the one we live in today.

Today Americans, especially “Generation X,” take many of these freedoms for granted. We were born into it. We didn’t work for them; they were inherited. I’ve never had to shed blood for this country, up until this point I have chosen not to. Instead “the greatest generation” shed their blood so that I could inherit the world we know. So that I would have a choice.

The war in Iraq is divisive and the American public has the right to question the decisions of its leaders. But it is absurd for groups such as the NYACLU to bar the military recruiters from visiting high school campuses. High school students aren’t brainless morons. As a former high school student (only five years ago I might add) I personally dislike the ACLU’s stance. No military recruiter has ever forced a student to sign the dotted line. Sure they can be persuasive, but human beings have a choice. If America’s high school students can not make this choice on their own or with the appropriate consultation, this nation is surely in trouble.

Without the men and women of the US military there would be no need for the ACLU and its “army” of litigators. In the absence of a capable military we would all be guilty until proven innocent.

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