Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Are you serious? What's the connection to the diary?

The connection is that the so-called narrative doesn't fool many other than the kids that come from military families. It's not a powerful narrative. You're seeing it now because McCain is a POW, but in general, no one buys it. Kids go to the military because they are poor. They don't go to become heroes.

As for the country at large, people honor the service of soldiers. In America, war heroes are not those who fight in combat. It's reserved for those who are wounded and/or save other soldiers during combat. The difference is important because, one, simply serving is honored especially since affluent youngsters tend to look down on military service (and in fact this form of hypocrisy has been used against the right because those who support the war refuse to enlist). It's acknowledged that the poor are doing a service for the rich. That's the so-called "honor" right there. The heroic is reserved for people who almost die and/or saved others. Killing a good amount of Iraqis may be heroic inside the military, but I've never heard a soldier brag about kills, or be considered a hero for that.

In other words: McCain's POW status makes him a hero to many Americans.

Again, if the narrative were actually powerful, then in a time of war, people from all social strata would enlist. They don't. The exact opposite happens. the rich stay home and the poor opt out.

Unlike many other countries, however, the US has a volunteer army that requires a long term commitment. If you signed up before 9/11, you're probably still on the hook.

by Upstate NY on Sat Sep 6th, 2008 at 03:20:06 PM EST
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