Iowa Victory Gardener writes an excellent Memorial Day post.
No matter how low our opinion of the “Commander Guy,” we must never lose sight of the people that he’s sending overseas to die for the glory of his ego. Undoubtedly, the vast majority of our underequipped, thinly-stretched soldiers would rather be home with their families today (you and me) — enjoying a Memorial Day barbecue, or even doing house work — but duty calls, and the good soldier answers. As Gordon Dickson wrote: “Soldier, ask not - now, or ever, where to war your banners go.”
On this Memorial Day, as we are engaged in the Second Oil War, let us all — soldiers and civilians alike — remember that we all have our duty. Let us perform it to the best of our ability.
For those of us who want our troops home with their families next Memorial Day, we too have a duty, a duty to act on our convictions. I don’t use the term “Second Oil War” lightly — the first was Desert Storm, aka Kuwait — as it’s easy to see that this is about nothing but oil. The proof is as easy as looking at Iraq and Darfur — why are we embroiled in one and not the other? I remember a protest sign from the First Oil War: “What if Kuwait exported broccoli?”
So what is our duty, those of us who want an end to this waste of time and lives? If the true reason for war is oil, then it’s up to all of us to make oil less important. It’s not easy, though: oil pervades nearly everything in our lives. It’s in our fertilizers, plastics, (of course) our gas tanks, and the asphalt we drive on is what’s left over when all the other stuff is pulled out of the oil. Manufacturing, mining, shipping, lumbering, agriculture, all require diesel fuel.
Admitting that oil is necessary to our “non-negotiable way of life” is one thing, it’s quite another to admit that we are past — or at best, very near — “peak oil,” the maximum point of oil supply that we will ever see. Supply is dwindling, and will continue to do so, while demand has just kept going up. That’s why we’re already paying post-Katrina prices for gas before hurricane season has even started. We can’t do anything about the supply, but we can — and it’s our duty to — do something about demand.
One of the lasting legacies of WWII is the collection of posters and other artwork, exhorting the civilians of the time to support the war effort — by supporting rationing, growing one’s own food in “Victory Gardens,” recycling scrap material, carpooling (even though we, hard as it is to believe, were the Saudi Arabia of the day), and all sorts of other sacrifices. Quite the contrast to Commander Guy’s “go shopping,” huh? Even during the 70s, we had myraid PSAs on the radio that drilled us with all sorts of tips to save gas. Where are those PSAs today? Well heck, we don’t need them — we know what our duty is. Let’s get to it.
Our friends and loved ones overseas are depending on us.