Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We're Still at War

I listen to a lot of A's games. They all have the same 8 or 9 commercials that rotate through, starting with the pregame show. I figure this is because the A's are a small market town and there aren't that many companies that want to sponsor them, and the radio station that broadcasts the A's is a very small market station. I can recite many of the commercials word for word. One of the beer commercials is so catchy that I sometimes find myself singing it. It's pathetic. There is one commercial that's actually for the morning show on KTRB, the A's station, that really gets me. The spot talks about how the sports broadcasters go to Iraq to have young (male) soldiers cohost shows where they (I guess long-distance) interview sports stars. The announcer says he's been out to the war about 15+ times, and it's so great because the soldiers really dig it and it's really fun and moving and "the only bad thing is that it's 135 degrees and there are bullets being fired."

Well, yeah.

As Mother Jones Magazine reminds me every day on twitter, We're Still at War. Every day they post pictures from war-related activities- Iraq, Afghanistan, soldiers returning home, etc. It's sobering and sad, and it disgusts me that sports broadcasters are making light of the fact that US troops are still engaged in killing people abroad. In neocolonialism abroad. In "nation building" in the name of fighting terrorism almost 8 full years after September 11th (only 1 month from 8 years away). What are we doing? How can we justify these soldiers' lives? Not just their potential deaths and injuries at war, but the lives of their families while they're gone. Their futures when they get back? (Also from Mother Jones) Their high rate of suicide. Alternet published an article about the justice system screwing vets and though I've heard it before, it bears rereading and repeating. And of course it's not just the soldiers. Without sounding like a folk singer, how many innocent people have to die? How many people have to die- fuck innocence? How many overhanded, outdated, illegal, and downright irrational programs of George W. are we going to continue, and why?

And how many people at home, worrying about the economy, worrying about health care, worrying about their pit bulls (guilty!) have forgotten? If you're on twitter, sign up for Mother Jones' feed. Look at that picture every day. I'm trying to do it. To remember what's going on. To force myself to take action: 8 years is too many. About 8 too many. But let's stop now.


Running With Dogs said...

What saddens me most about this picture is just how young these BOYS are.