Are American military lives just a commodity?

The president went to Iraq and told a captive audience of airmen that "we" have been behaving as "suckers" by sending forces to Syria and by inference, to Iraq and Afghanistan since we were not receiving adequate reimbursement (his word) for our efforts. He was therefore withdrawing forces from Syria. No mention of the nature or value of our mission there. No discussion of the consequences in the region of such an action. What figure did he have in mind which would have justified placing those people at risk of their lives? He seems to see them merely as commodities in a commercial transaction to be delivered if the price is right. Never mind who he thinks should be forking over the cash.

How can we suppose those men and women felt hearing that from the Commander-in-Chief? Did any of them come to feel like "suckers" for having lent themselves to this transaction? What a perversion of their lives that would be!

I won't even go into the grotesque spectacle of a president trashing a political opponent in front of serving forces in a combat zone during ongoing hostilities, as he also did.

Herbert Ross



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