Sharing the burden

Merton Richard Johnson

As long-time readers may know, this is an image of my dead uncle, who was killed in action in Korea in August of 1952.

Why am I posting a picture of him today.

Some things have me a bit riled up, one of which is the sell-out of the Kurds in Northern Syria. Another is a long-held grudge of mine, stirred up by an article I read today. This plays a bit into my uncle’s tale. It also plays into the tale of many in my family; we have followed the colors disproportionately.

Why? An important part of it is pride and tradition.

Another part is poverty. It can’t be denied that in the US military service is a way out for kids that don’t have a lot of funds.

Which comes to my grudge. Why does such a tiny percentage of the population have to go and fight in a mostly oblivious country’s name?

The article was pretty darn good. I don’t agree with all of it, but I do agree in principle. BLUF: A limited, no exemptions draft would probably end our twilight wars and campaigns. Go ahead, give it a read.

My two cents; a limited program of conscription could be just what we need, given the right preconditions.

  1. No stupid exemptions that let wealthy kids skate.
  2. I agree with the author; all conscripts must be combat arms.
  3. An equal opportunity draft; all comers taken.
  4. Medical disqualifications only approved by military docs.

I don’t agree with the author that the proposed draft be elite-only; this has a whiff of score-settling. I think that such a limited conscription should be utterly random, a real bolt out of the blue. And when someone gets the dreaded certified letter in the mail, it is final, barring overwhelming physical or mental disqualifications.

Actually, this subject came up a fair bit while we were overseas on tour no.X. I’ve heard a number of variations on the theme. The conversations would always revolve around how person X was chilling out at college or something while we were in the desert. Sucking sand while most people had no clue what we were doing; or worse, had no idea that Americans were even present in some of those garden spots.

Wars are simply too common. This has to stop. A good first step would be for people to share the load, as opposed to the same groups getting dipped in shit time and time again.

No one wants peace like a soldier. We spread out the load, and more people will share that thought. Everyone talks about equality? Fine. You may have it. If someone presses an M-4 in your hands, don’t bitch.

It’s the price of being a citizen.

If this happened to tens of thousands of kids each year, there would be political consequences. Big consequences. For example, imagine Baron Trump being assigned as a Private to 5th Marines. Or maybe one of Elizabeth Warren’s granddaughters gets jammed into an Abrams with The Big Red One.

(Chuckles). I’ll bet right now, reader, you are thinking “that wouldn’t happen.”

See? That’s the problem.

Because it won’t.

 

 

 

 

A headline, a disaster

body bag

The image above is something a lot of people have probably never seen before.

It’s a body bag, shiny and black.

Headline today, October 9th, 2019, in the Wall Street Journal.

“Turkey Begins Offensive Against U.S. Ally in Syria”

Think about that.

People who have done the lion’s share of fighting against the bad guys recently just got sold down the river to those who would like to destroy them.

By us.

I wish I was making this up.

Nope, those are the headlines.

Really.

 

 

My activities

andarab-planning

Alright, a quick post today to give you all a feel for what I’ve been up to. Nothing Earth shattering or crazy, just some steady work helping out a friend. Basically I’ve been doing piecework- coming up with many wildly varying scenarios all within an overriding theme.

It’s been fun because I’ve been revisiting a lot of places I’ve been over the years, setting stories within those locales and inventing both male and female characters, situations. So far I’ve done half-dozen odd of them, it’s been a kick.

I try to limit the stories to a given word count, to distill the message within.

In my novels my chapter lengths usually fell around two to three thousand words. For short stories or vignettes this is too long- you need something short but sweet to grab the readers attention, to string them through the ride.

The desired effect is the elusive “can’t be put down” feature of a good read.

Whether that’s true about this patchwork of stories, I don’t know. If they see the light of day remains to be seen. If so, I’ll be sure to put it out to you all in the form of a link or whatever.

So far though, I’ve been fairly satisfied with what’s been saved to my laptop.

Heading into winter, this means progress.