New York Times foreign-affairs columnist Thomas Friedman laments that most Americans are disengaged from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During a recent radio appearance, Friedman cited comedian Bill Maher’s complaint that “the enemy” has had to fight only 140,000 Americans rather than all 300 million of us.Read the rest of my op-ed, "Thank Goodness We Can Ignore the Wars," at The Future of Freedom Foundation website.
You hear this a lot. Commentators seem to long for World War II, when “the whole country was at war.” They criticize President Bush for letting most Americans shirk their responsibility. When he’s queried about what sacrifices he’s asked of the American people, Bush says they have forgone peace of mind and paid higher gasoline prices. Naturally, this does not satisfy his critics.
Let me suggest that Friedman and Maher couldn’t be more wrong. (Neither could Bush, of course.) It is a good thing that the current wars are not total wars and that most Americans are disengaged from the horrors inflicted by the U.S. government on Iraq and Afghanistan.