I noted I had been linked to a blog run by lovemytanker, a woman married presumably to an enlisted person who sits inside an M1A1 or M1A2 Abrams tank or some version of that class. For all I know she is at Fort Knox where I think these folks are stationed. She is quite the idealised cult of womanhood. Loyal, supportive, committed to family, a S.A.H.M. which I had to look up to understand.
People say I am antimilitary. Well that is easy for those to say who love war. We spend trillions on machines and the projection of American military power and very little on those who kill or are killed in battle. I imagine this woman lives in a very modest dwelling and has to budget very carefully. She does not work outside the home, is a mother with two children, and her husband, who could be in Iraq running dangerous convoys in one of those behemoths, gets paid a very small salary–even including combat pay. Here are some recent figures:
Private First Class (P.F.C.), 3 years service $25,600. Unbelievable exploitation of these grunts.
First Lieutenant, 2 years, $33,000 Now these are officers who are in the field not the pampered elite warmongers who travel first class and meet with the leaders of nations or are ensconced in the Green Zone or in the Pentagon.
Sergeant Major, 22 years, $64,200
Colonel, 22 years $100,500. Why does he or she make $36,000 more a year than a Sergeant Major? The latter has probably been in combat, driven Humvees, ate MRE’s out of tin cans, slept in a tent or in a barracks? I tell you. We have more officers than snow flakes in Chicago and only the officer corps–or some of them–receive decent salaries within the military.
War is usually a rich person’s war, a poor person’s fight. People say support the troops. Yes I support the troops. These are our sons and daughters, our wives and husbands, our neighbors who are exploited as cannon fodder. They are not owned by Halliburton, neoconservatives and others who send them off with their meagre salaries to fight imperial wars contrary to the national interest and who leave concerned and anxious families behind.
I do wish to respond to one of lovemytanker’s comments:
“I stand firm in my belief that if gay people want to serve in the military they should abide by the policy.”
I am not stating they should not: see two posts below on antigay policy of the military. Most of the 10,000 homosexuals who were expelled from the military were not guilty of misconduct or fratenisation. They were outed and expelled. A homosexual who is a virgin, a homosexual who does not engage in sexual activities while in the military will be separated from military service merely because of orientation.
Just the day after my initial blog, the Supreme Court in an 8-0 decision including those “liberal democrats,” ruled that universities and in particular law schools, who accept federal funding, could not exclude militray recruiters. Some had tried to do that due to the military’s violation of academic standards of fairness and non-discrimination. The Solomon amendment threatened to withhold federal monies from an entire university that did not allow military recruiting. The empire has no challengers; militarism and prejudice reigns as we are supposedly spreading democracy and freedom.
For those who visit the spouse’s website, you will note its clarity, attractive presentation and informative approach to issues. She has my e-mail and will let me know if anything on my blog, related to her blog, is upsetting to her.