In a news conference about progress in Iraq, President Bush “acknowledged” that the country has war fatigue. The statement went unchallenged by the media – no surprise. Why challenge what you want to hear, even if it makes no sense?
How can Americans have war fatigue? What could we be so be tired of? We haven’t been asked by our so-called ‘leaders’ to help or make sacrifices in the war effort. And few of us have done anything on our own. The only Americans fighting and impacted by the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are the American military and their families. The lives of most Americans haven’t been affected at all.
We may be tired of politicians and the media talking about how we are losing. Although one wonders what they base this conclusion on. We should be glad they weren’t around during the Civil War, World War I or World War II. The outcomes might have been quite different.
We may be tired of being reminded that there are radical Islamic groups who want to annihilate nations that treat women like humans; that allow freedom of expression, religion and assembly; and that are governed by the rule of law and not by intimidation and retribution.
We may be tired of hearing that over 3,000 Americans have been killed fighting to protect our freedoms and safety. Yet have we forgotten that more died on D-Day during World War II than have died in the entire effort against terrorism? Is there is a magic number of deaths beyond which we stop fighting for our way of life? Or a magic number of days beyond which we give up and say we’ve lost?
Many Americans have reasons for not being in Iraq. Some believe we shouldn’t have gone in the first place. Fine. Some believe the Iraqi government and citizens aren’t pulling their weight. Fine. Some believe we are in the middle of a civil war. Fine. Some don’t believe in war at all. Fortunately for them, they are those who will fight to protect themselves. But war fatigue? No way!
War fatigue is what Americans must have felt during World War II when most were involved in the war effort that lasted 6 years and resulted in 500,000 American deaths – and 59,000,000 deaths worldwide!
What we seem to have is a combination of guilt fatigue and a desire for the issue of terrorism to go away. We don’t want to continually feel bad furiously “pursuing our Happiness” while a small group of Americans fights for our freedom (Liberty) and safety (Life). Terrorism is getting in the way.
Unfortunately for us, our enemy doesn’t have war fatigue nor any guilt in slaughtering anyone who gets in their way. There are some who say the President is trying to scare us or that the war on terror is a bumper sticker or that we can simply leave Iraq and it will all go away. It’s like “What part of beheading don’t we understand?”
If we have “fatigue” now, wait until the next attack on US soil. Wait until school buses blow up, airliners are shot down and there are suicide bombings at malls, cafes and sporting events. Wait until our food and water supplies are contaminated and infrastructure damaged. Wait until a dirty bomb destroys part of one of our major cities. Fatigue won’t be an issue then.
For this country to confront this threat, each American needs takes this threat personally and becomes part of the war effort. The longer we wait, the more pain will be inflicted on us. It’s the old Midas Muffler slogan – “Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later”.