SUPPORTING AMERICA'S WAR, MAYBE
by Mark Scheinbaum
Ameican Reporter Correspondent
Lake Worth, Fla.
LAKE WORTH, Fla., Oct. 8, 2002 -- I thought I heard George Bush loud and clear one year ago, "America is at war." I even noticed 3,000 Americans were killed at their desks, riding on planes, or trying to help others.
My readers and radio listeners over the years have actually provided me with much more knowledge than I ever imparted to them, so I'll invite all of you to email me at email@example.com and explain all of these items to me: At a time of war, a union is allowed to threaten to close down West Coast shipping. Showing true Gestapo bargaining skills, management beats the wealthy stevedores to the punch - and locks them out. A nation at war loses war materiel and commodities essential to the nation as 29 ports are closed.
How is this permitted by the President, Congress, or the populace in "time of war?" That's something you should discuss among yourselves. Instead of Saipan and Normandy, an amorphous war is declared against anti-American murderers wherever they lurk. As kids are gunned down in American cities in drive-by shootings as the end product of a drug culture, the drug magnates flourish. Assassins trained in Northern Ireland, Iran, or wherever hate is harbored, run Colombia. A government which is too weak, too unwilling, or too frightened to end 50 years of "La Violencia" takes it seat at the table of nations. Daily terror aimed at America's kids is unchallenged. Please explain. From Bosnia to Indonesia, and from Malaysia to Nigeria, millions of petro dollars from Iran and Saudi Arabia have funded murder and terror. Children are trained to hate. Families of Palestinian children who are trained to maim are rewarded. Yet the fixation on Iraq seems to politely gloss over two of Iraq's neighbors who have the ideology and pockets to make Sadam Hussein look like a minor leaguer. Clue me in? During World War II a business executive or plant manager who lied, cheated, stole, or phonied reports went to jail. In some cases they risked the firing squad. In this modern time of war we hear media debates on whether those who ruin lives and steal billions of dollars should be "shamed" on camera in a handcuffed "perp walk." After all, didn't they just fulfill the American dream of stealing all you can until you get caught? Enlighten me. Some call it treason. Don't they? Kurds claim there is a political nation-state of Kurdistan. For a millennium they have claimed pieces of what is now Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and a chunk of the former Soviet Empire as their home. How come opponents of George Bush suddenly have become such passionate and compassionate devotees of Kurdish nationalism? Why do the issues Turkey, Syria and others will surely face someday, in terms of subnationalism, take precedent over U.S. foreign policy issues? Wasn't Kurdish nationalism a regional problem before Sadam Hussein? Does U.S. mainland security need the go ahead from anti-Kurdish factions in the countries neighboring Iraq before actions can be taken? A time of war is a time of national suffering and sacrifice. How come no prominent leader has called for a return to the draft, or mandatory public service for both young men and women? Why do black and Hispanic kids - giving their all with dedication and honor - bear a disproportionate burden of war?
Why do the sons and daughters whose economic and educational key to the middle class is held in a uniform pocket, not have more middle class white comrades? In a time of war, how many doctors, lawyers, bankers, movie stars, sports figures, or members of Congress, have kids in the military, or served themselves? Isn't it a strange warfare where mostly the folks who already struggle the hardest to make America great are asked to struggle some more? When a nation is at war and the President addresses the nation on a weekday evening about national security, how come the three major commercial networks refuse to air his speech? What am I missing here? Has the war been cancelled for lack of ratings?
Mark Scheinbaum taught political science at the University of Florida and University of South Florida and is chief investment strategist for Kaplan & Co. Securities, Boca Raton, Fla.