Marco Cáceres di Iorio

Our permanent war mentality has become normal and unacceptable

After two decades of continuous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria, there are an awful lot of US military veterans who are angry with and distrustful of their government either for having lied to them about the reasons they were sent off to patrol or fight overseas or for the seemingly nonchalant and irresponsible manner in which it makes such troop deployment decisions in the first place.

At the very least, they are disillusioned that wealthy people in positions of power who have never served in the military, or whose children have never served and would never entertain the thought, are too eager to offer up young American soldiers to police other countries or help overthrow foreign governments in the name of humanitarian obligation or national security interests.

Most of these government decision-makers pay only lip service to the feelings and needs of vets. They call vets and active members of the military “heroes” and they honor them on certain special days of commemoration and have their pictures taken with them. But these decision-makers still find it way too easy to ship off our young men and women and put them in harms way for questionable, open-ended causes that are seldom, if ever, winnable and seldom, if ever, alleviate the overall danger and suffering.

I think Tulsi Gabbard understands better than any of the presidential candidates on the Democratic side (and certainly Trump) the real human costs of using American soldiers as pawns on a chessboard. Not to mention the costs in terms of treasure (about $6 trillion since 2001). I sense she knows there is a breaking point and the dangers of it to the country. I doubt the others have a clue and, thus, might be content to continue with business as usual.

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