Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Where are the wartime sacrifices now?

Posters like these from World War II seem almost laughable now.

I wasn't around during WWII, obviously, and was only a wee bitty of thing during 'Nam. Desert Shield/Storm wasn't really a war in my mind - it was a total slaughter covered by the media. And none of the military conflicts or covert ops our government is involved in around the world all during the last two decades were official wars.

But, we are, unfortunately, involved in one now. And from the looks of it - even with a regime change from this one to one controlled by the Democrats - it will probably be an unending war for awhile.

I got to thinking about that last week a bit when I had a free minute to think. I was wondering about past wars and how it would be interesting to go back in time and be a fly on the wall during WWII. It would have been interesting to hear the kitchen conversations of the time period. The reason I've been thinking about how normal folks worked, lived, and acted during the last big and real war, was that I saw this Northwest University site: ["World War 2 Poster Collection"] which had an archive of all these old signs from the 1940s asking people to sacrifice for the war effort. Give up a little for our boys so they don't have to. Horde and recycle - before recycling - rags, rubber, animal fat and fuel. I mean, after all, they were fighting the dark menace of the Nazis and Hitler. Never mind that Standard Oil and IBM were helping the Nazis while our boys were dying and all.

But, the propaganda posters were used to make the American people think that they were a part of this world war, that the sacrifice of American boys and citizens mattered, and that we were all in it together, in a way. And that war did matter despite the isolationist tendencies of the time period and the rumor/fact that FDR knew that Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked and let it happen - hint, hint, sound familiar? - in order to drag the American people kicking and screaming into the war against the Axis powers.

But doesn't it make you think about where is the wartime sacrifice now?

Sure, war is a racket, but there are numerous support the troop rallies and drives to come up with materials our soldiers need in Iraq and Afghanistan, like Chapstick and talc, while they are guarding trucks with cheesecake on it, while Haliburton gets billions, and while billions more are lost and unaccounted for. Imagine that.

Imagine a public service or government-sponsored ad program suggesting that Americans in 2006 save their rubber for the war effort! Imaging saving your leftover dinner fat to the local butcher to be used in explosives. Imagine even carpooling?! Imagine growing hemp for the war effort. They did that too.

More posters later ... but it is all something to think about in this day and age.

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