July 6, 2007
After 4th Thoughts
Looking at who fights in wars is interesting. Aristocrats and then upper class certainly had their hands in various early wars of the United States. 1776 and 1812 in particular. Then it falls off dramatically. There are stories of upper class folks in the civil war hiring people to fight in their name ... (remind anyone of Blackwater?). I don't have any memory of my civics class back in the day focusing on the Spanish American War other than Teddy Roosevelt's rousing charge up San Juan Hill so I cannot comment on that one. However, when I think of the current crop of politicians in public office I wonder whether they would be willing to risk themselves the way the soldiers in Iraq do every day for just as little reward. I wonder...when did I get this cynical? Was it after Vietnam? Was it after the year+ in captivity the embassy in Iran had? Was it after Watergate? Was it after Contra? Was it after Clinton's escapades? After 9/11? I just don't know. But I am highly skeptical of how history is written in the U.S. and certainly how it is taught.