Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Detached from the wars

OUR VIEW: Detached from the war

December 15, 2010 - Fall River's fourth military death this year, that of Pfc. Ethan L. Goncalo, places the burden of war on the doorstep of his home city, but in many American homes, the burden is far too invisible.

Iraq, Afghanistan and related operations have taken the lives of five patriotic Fall River residents in total, all of them volunteers in this pair of wars without a draft. That's a greater loss per capita than any other Massachusetts community, according to a Boston Globe report.

Yet many Americans have never really seen the cost of the war against terrorism — no draft, no war tax, none of the war bonds or victory gardens of the past. The absence of widespread sacrifice has allowed the war in Afghanistan to stretch on year after year with relatively little public outcry.

By the books, it's considered the longest war in U.S. history. Richard Holbrooke, the president's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan who died Monday, argued to National Public Radio's Robert Siegel in June that judging by the period of American casualties, Vietnam remains the nation's longest war. Either way, the fighting in Afghanistan has lasted more than nine years and taken 1,425 American lives — not including the more than 4,400 deaths associated with operations in Iraq.

In that time, what has the average person done to support the war? {continued}

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