We’re Still at War? Huh. I Couldn’t Tell…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, February 5, 2007

This comic came out the Monday after we here in West Michigan (and our town of Grandville in particular) were absolutely cur-rushed by an honest-to-God blizzard. Two feet of snow, blowing and drifting, negative temperatures, double-digit negative wind chills. It was nasty, sure. But despite my grousing about the time it took to remove all that snow from off and around the house and the fact that my feet (despite three plus pairs of socks) were perpetually cold, it really wasn’t that bad. In the end, I decided when I wanted to be inside and warm and away from the nastiness.

Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on the other hand — not so blessed. They are not only having to deal with levels of discomfort way, way beyond my drippy nose, but there are also the issues of being away from home, away from family, with an unclear mission, with mixed support, and — oh, yeah — all sorts of people constantly trying to kill them (with appalling success).

Which got me to thinking, what have we, the folks who aren’t in or around the military, done so far to sacrifice for these wars? (Yes, yes — beyond the deficit billions of our children’s tax money that has been spent.) Not much, really. And to be clear, by “sacrifice for the war,” I mean, “sacrifice to avoid war” and not “sacrifice so we can make more war.”

Specifically I’m thinking we need a serious, long-term, energy policy that slows and eventually stops the flow of money to countries and radicals that are funding wars against us. I’m talking about an effort beyond the scale of the one that put a man on the moon. What do we have to do to stop importing foreign oil? Gas taxes? Epic conservation efforts? Rethinking nuclear power? Serious public transportation? More funding for engineering schools? Hey, even if it means wearing four pairs of socks, wouldn’t it be worth the sacrifice?


  1. Hoz said,

    February 15, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

    I’d start with a draft. Spread the sacrifice around and give those that decide to go to war more to think about before they do.

    A long term energy policy is very important, but I don’t think it has anything to do with money flowing to places that are funding wars against us. That’s a strawman or red herring. Global warming is a much bigger issue.

  2. Tyler said,

    February 15, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

    I agree with a draft. Especially for those in Congress or those in the White House.

    I also think this is the first war we have fought while cutting taxes.

  3. John Auchter said,

    February 15, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

    Yeah, a draft would certainly prove the point. But speaking as somebody with a young son, I’d prefer paying an extra tax buck or two on a gallon of gas to see where that gets us first….

    And I wouldn’t call the connection between oil money and radicalism that damages America a red herring. I’ll give you examples: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Texas…

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