I stopped by the local farmers market this morning and was bombarded by all the political activists hawking their own candidates. Among the Democrats, representatives from Hillary, Obama and Kucinich were present. For the Republicans, I only spotted the Ron Paul contingent. For the most part, all the reps kept to themselves, except for the Kucinich supporter. His pick-up line was a question asking whether I supported the war. I was going to say that I supported the war before I was against it, but I bit my tongue.
The truth is that the war doesn’t affect me. There may have been a time, say 40 years ago, when everyone watched the coverage of the Vietnam war on the evening news and had friends or family members involuntarily serving in the Armed Forces. But, that day is not today. First, the end of the draft cut most of our ties to the Armed Forces. I don’t have a close stake in the war because there is no threat of being called up. I check the scores every morning to see how my sports teams are doing. I don’t check every day, week or month to see how we are doing in Iraq. In traditional warfare, the civilian population could tell who was winning or losing the war. In modern warfare, I can’t tell whether we are winning or losing in Iraq. I have no idea whether the surge is working or not. Iraq is pretty much like gymnastics or ice skating. It’s totally subjective and you see what you want to see.
The other matter is that news is so personalized today. I subscribe to the news feeds that interest me. You won’t find an Iraq War RSS feed in my reader. So, I know everything that is happening in the world except what happened in Iraq yesterday, last week or last month. And I am fine with that.