Inspection- The Spoiled Brats of War

by Ken Carman

  You hear it in malls, grocery stores, WalMart, Kmart… wherever kids and adults fight and fuss: the stomping of feet, the whine, the bargaining, the threats…
  “You don’t love me if you won’t…”
 ”No, I’m sorry Honeykins, but…”
  “Wah!”
  Why does that scenario remind me of Syria?
  Here we go again. Intentionally… or not… we couldn’t have the intelligence wrong again, could we? Replaying that old self righteous bloodbath role of ugly Americans one… more… time?
  OK, look, maybe every damn thing they say about Syria and its leader is true. I haven’t seen proof: just claims of what others claim specific leaders have done. Not even the drawings a kid could do, or the photos that could be the government doing something nasty or… well, just “could be” someone else, even something else: like the lead up to Iraq.
 But none of that is the point anymore. Imagine your kid refuses to do his chores, eat anything but candy, stop stomping on the dog’s tail. He’s promised to be more responsible so many times the old song from the 60s: Promises, Promises is on a repeating loop in your head. Yet every time he wants something, once again, he insists he must toss some bombs somewhere, march into some country. That will make the world a better place, he claims, while Mommy just hopes he’ll be nicer if she gives in. Right.
 Why does all this supportive noise from the left and right remind me of the silent suffering parent who seems to think, “Oh, just give him what he wants and maybe this time…”
 If only we could make their prove all their dire predictions of impending doom if we don’t go kill people, we still have to admit you never know until after the fact. If we’re even willing to admit to it then. But that’s no longer the point.
 Here’s the point: if we don’t have enough money for a social safety net, for roads, to pay teachers and employees well. If the post office must be held to account for the benefits of those not even born yet, if we must fight with those who normally call anyone who won’t pay their bills and ride around in Cadillacs “welfare queens:” “fight” just to pay what we owe by raising the debt ceiling… …if we can’t raise taxes to pay for any of that, and won’t raise taxes to pay for punishing Syria, then we simply don’t have the money.
 Period.
  Yes, it may even mean there will be more gas attacks, our enemies may be emboldened. If most of the countries refuse to enforce that odd idea that gas is somehow worse than stabbing, shooting or turning anyone who gets in our way into bloody mist, well then going at it alone will prove what? Will achieve what? Can anyone give us a strong case that will prove tossing weapons at Syria will make anything better?
  Right now Junior can’t even say, “But all the other kids…”
  Rewarding the child who refuses to do anything he has promised to do: like pay for what we have already bought via raising the debt ceiling, simply destroys the economy, turns austerity into an even crueler bully taunt than it already is and makes us all their bitch.
  Let’s top being their sugar daddys, their bitches: stop spoiling them rotten.
  Let’s say, “No you can’t go to Syria.”
 You do know we are supposed to be the adults in the room who tell our politicians, our pundits and our military-industrial complex, “No,” right? In fact, if they really want this so much, if it’s so damn important, then make them try to pay for it up front by going on the national stage to promote raising taxes to pay for it first. It will be like a kid having to make the case for increasing his allowance before he gets what he wants.
  I know, on a rare occasion, decisions must be made. We can’t always do it the right way. There is always some potential Axis-like country out there. The problem is now: especially after Iraq and Afghanistan, the precedent is to just do it, do it, do it first, and suffer the consequences after. Show us some drawings a kid could do, pictures of things moving, and that’s good enough? We “know” WMD is here, here, here and just saying that is all we need? And when it comes to anything your child wants, would you let him just walk out the door with a toy without paying for it first, where the first little girl they see says, “Is that a bulge in your pants or the latest thing: Syria?”
  War shouldn’t be any different than responsible parenting. They shouldn’t just be given the candy bar called war, certainly not ignored: never to be held responsible, when they steal the bars from a store by having a war off the budget. You see I have less of a problem with actually going into Syria, as problematic as I think this whole moral policeman of the world thing is, than them sneaking out of the store. They not only have to prove their case, but find a way to pay for the damn thing first that won’t mean everyone else in society has to pay for their demands. No more paying for wars by dumping it all on the poor, our increasingly uneducated kids, those who need medical care or to simply eat.
  And it’s long past time we should punish those who sneak out of the candy store after stealing the “right” to go to war. Even if they’re out of office now.
  We need to start acting like adults.
 We need to stop enabling the spoiled brats of war.

                                                     -30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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