I've posted three pictures within the last couple of weeks from a thousand years ago (actually 31-32 years past) when I did my time in the U.S. Army. This was during the time when the "All Volunteer" concept was being implemented after the Dark Prince of the GOP, Richard Milhouse Nixon, realized enough was enough with the tragedy, the quagmire (good word) that Viet Nam had become for the United States. Yes, it was Tricky Dicky who finally pulled the U.S. out of Viet Nam in 1972-1973, after another GOP president, Dwight Eisenhower first sent military "advisors" there in the late fifties ('58 or '59). Of course, Nixon was savoring his second term triumph, while dealing with the imbroglio of Watergate and Deep Throat and Dirty Tricks and all that shit which would eventually lead to his resignation from the presidency in 1974.
I keep reading and hearing both Republicans and Democrats insist--under the cover of promulgating and supporting the glorious western-style democracy that they claim the Iraqi people have embraced unconditionally (bullshit) --that the United States can't just pull out of Iraq; that we have obligations and a moral imperative to stay the course. (I'm remembering some of this same horseshit that was so jingoistically bantered about during the Viet Nam conflict.)
To tell you the honest to God truth, I'm getting so sick and tired of writing about Dubya's war that I'm having a little trouble just being coherent. I mean, I and so many others declared Dubya's war a disastrous move even before he got that little hard-on and gave the okeydoke to start bombing that godforsaken shithole and maiming and killing hundreds of thousands of the indigenous population, as well as over 1700 of American soldiers. I am so weary of this bullshit.
Anyway, the pictures I've posted from my Army experience provide a view of a "peacetime" Army--if there is such a thing in this crazy world--where duty assignments were generally not life-threatening; where, if needed, each and every one of us who had passed through the love/hate experience of Basic Combat Training could defend our country against legitimate threats.
The terrorism of religious fundamentalists is, however, a whole new ballgame. And, I do believe the old, sacred notions that drafts or the requirement that all persons--once they reach eighteen years of age--be conscripted into the armed forces, with few exemptions, are probably necessarily going to have to be tossed like last year's cell phone. There's something new on the death, hate and destruction market and Uncle Sam better be prepared. Dubya's little wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are remnants of an age-old war mentality that argues to the victor goes the spoils. That just doesn't work anymore, buckoes.
Bring our soldiers home. Protect our homeplace. Retool the armed forces for the conflict that is, sadly, based upon religious zealotry where one's death in the good fight against the infidels necessarily opens that golden stairway to heaven; necessarily promises nirvana.