9/17/2007

Is Iraq wasting a Generation??

Today I was reading my regular dose of a favorite sports writer, and his reflections on the stomping provided to the San Diego Chargers by my New England Patriots. He also discussed the ongoing imbroglio around the Patriots attempts to steal defensive signals from their opponent last week. He quoted an email that he had received from a reader, which made a good point, until it went way off the rails.....
"I can't believe how hysterical Peter King sounded on WEEI when talking about Belichick's indiscretion. Talk about getting his skirt up in a bunch. Does this guy realize sports is the toy department of life? Save the righteous indignation for the 9/11 anniversary or the waste of a generation in Iraq."
Wasting a generation? In what conceivable way???? Given that the emailer is from Massachusetts, it is probably a meme he hears repeated in the liberal echo-chamber up there.

While the loss of every life is devastating and regrettable, losing almost 3800 military members is hardly equivalent to wasting a generation.

For comparison, WWII claimed over 400,000 military lives which, even at that high level, was only 0.31% of the national population. In Vietnam, the loss of over 58,000 was only 0.027% of the population at the time. Today, the 3800 losses is but 0.0013% of our nation's population. We are hardly losing a generation. But then again, neither did we really in WWII.

It could be said that in Vietnam the United States lost a generation psychologically. A generation that was self absorbed, and did not choose to serve, internalized the images of death they were served up at 6pm, and moved on with a wounded, fragile, and tortured soul.


On the other hand, the WWII generation had a penchant to serve their country, persevered with a mental toughness, and moved on after the war to earn the label "The Greatest Generation".


If you ask me, there is a greater chance that this generation is serving in Iraq, and re-enlisting to return to Iraq because they believe in the mission, is more likely to emerge to resemble the "Greatest Generation", than the "Wasted Generation" of Vietnam.


"A new greatest generation is emerging -- in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in the other, less-publicized battlegrounds of the War on Terror.

Focused on the U.S. political cycle, America's press elites are missing the extraordinary story of the 19-through-35 year olds who are winning this war. The detailed history of this new cohort of American and Free World leaders -- the people who will shape the 21st century -- is being written by themselves, chiefly on the Internet, via email or web logs.

This is a battle-honed bunch with exceptional talent and motivation, young people with a mature balance of idealism and realism, youthful cool and professional competence...."

1 comment:

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