AS A member of a family with a son in the military, I had my sense of reality twisted by President Obama in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. When he finally got around to discussing the two wars that eat up billions of tax dollars and that have killed or maimed thousands of young men and women, he spoke as if these conflicts are just another wonderful American program for progress and peace.
He mentioned 100,000 troops returned from Iraq, but neglected to mention the 50,000 who remain. He mentioned how our civilians “will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people,’’ but did not explain that they can only move about the country in a military convoy. If, or when, we leave that devastated country, we will leave it with millions of unemployed, angry people who cannot possibly contribute to their own security, let alone ours.
Meanwhile, we have more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. You would never know from Obama’s speech that many are troops that were taken out of Iraq. We can’t win this war, and we can’t afford it. We can’t even afford to take care of the desperately wounded veterans returning with limbs blown off and minds in chaos.
Those of us with loved ones involved in these wars know that they will never end except in bankruptcy, financial and moral. We wait for Obama and Congress to admit that it is not Medicare and Medicaid that is driving up our debt, but rather never-ending war.
The writer is a member of Military Families Speak Out.