“An Empty Regard” by William Deresiewicz (TIMES, 8/21/11)


     Kudos to William Deresiewicz for an article that has been long overdue.  However, after reading his warning: “Pieties are ways to settle arguments before they begin,” we need “to see what they’re hiding.”

     There are a couple of skeletons that I think are lying hidden in all this sentimental palaver: (1.) an analysis of the classes in our military ranks (i.e., who are the grunts and who are the officers?) and (2.) are they actually viewed the same after being equally seen as “heroes”?

     Based on my careful reviews of those little TIMES information boxes about the dead, I have the distinct impression that these heroes come mostly from small towns and the majority are non-commissioned officers (NCOs), with a smattering of junior  commissioned officers.  There are no senior officers among the dead.  Would it be fair to say that the majority of all casualties are from  the American workingclass or would that be unsentimental?

     Another subject that is hidden relates directly to the question of casualties; i.e., reports that our wounded heroes are not receiving the best treatment in various veteran hospitals, which is often blamed on “necessary” budget cuts.

     Finally, there is information from time to time about how well senior officers are treated after retiring from active duty with very lucrative pensions, receiving high  executive positions with companies who (would it be unsentimental to say?) are profitting handsomely from these two wars.

     Mr. Deresiewicz, nobody has to be kicked in the pants.  A full exposure of these conflicts, how and why they were begun and  the consequences in human lives lost and resources wasted would go a long way in waking up the people.  Such an exposure should come from “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

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