"Loose lips sink ships". During WWII (yes, I do remember those days) phrases like this were common. We were at war. We wanted to keep every advantage to ourselves. It was a fight for the survival of freedom. Hollywood notables toured with USO Shows to cheer the troops. Movietone News showed movies of our troops fighting and winning all over the world. Rosie the Riveter was extolled as a hero. Newspaper articles proclaimed the sacrifice that was being made both by our military and the civilian population. War Bond drives were held to finance our efforts. Even kids in school brought in their nickels and dimes to buy savings stamps. When they filled a book, they got a bond. Politicians of whatever stripe stood four-square behind the war effort. This was a nation unified. The enemy was enemy to all of us.
After the war, speeches were made. Songs were sung. Our military came home. We entered one of the best and brightest times in our country's history. Roads were built. The average family could now buy a home instead of renting. Jobs were plentiful. Higher education was on the rise. Then, along came the Korean "police action". It looked like a war. It smelled like a war. But we weren't supposed to understand that it was a war. Just keep walking, nothing to see here. People accepted Korea as necessary. But then all of a sudden that Viet Nam monstrosity appeared in the news. It was bad. It was wrong. But worst of all it alienated many American people from each other and from the government. The country lost it's trust.
Now here we are in another war. One we did not want but it was handed to us. Never believe this war is about U.S. support of the Taliban when Russia invaded Afghanistan. Or about either of the Bushes going into Iraq. Or Bill Clinton's foray into eastern Europe. This war goes back to the Crusades and has been smoldering ever since. Like an underground fire, it smokes and spreads but breaks out into flames only occasionally. We should have the WWII attitude about this war. But the alienation of the past has grown into a societal infection. Newspapers whose freedom is protected by the Constitution feel they shouldn't take sides. They will print rumors and leaked secrets as front page news. Those that make millions making movies now look down on and denigrate our military. They are 'citizens of the world". Love of country is for the great unwashed masses that"cling to their God and their guns". Politicians will leak military secrets to their friends in the press to harm the opposition and to curry favor to get better press treatment for themselves. But worst of all is the White House announcing secret operations that should remain buried to protect those that did the heavy lifting and to keep our methods and means hidden so that the president can proclaim himself a hero and a great Commander-in-Chief. He is neither.
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