Americans tune out as Afghan war rages on

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by WAMom68, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    I don't think this is a surprise to those of us on SAF.

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/08/ap-afghanistan-forgotten-war-082112/

    What the Kardashians are doing is more important.:barf:
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Oh, come on! Be serious! No one cares about the Kardashians anymore!

    It's Snooki these days, remember? :rolleyes:
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    People don't want to think about global issues or world political events. If they do need to think about it, they are thinking about a stagnant economy that's been sitting with a greater than 8% unemployment rate for the last 3 years. They're looking at the home foreclosures. They're looking if they will be able to keep their job and support their family. They're looking at their retirement, 401K, IRA's, etc... to see if they'll have to work until they are 70. If social security will be there. If medicare will be there. If their children will be able to go to college. etc.... This is what Americans are looking at.

    At one time, when the Afghan and Iraq wars were so intense and in the news, people had a greater concern. But once a draw down actually started, the media no longer considered it news worthy. People figured it's heading in the "Right Direction", so they don't need to worry about it. And the media isn't going to talk about it too much. Doesn't matter if people are still in afghan and Iraq. Doesn't matter if Gitmo is still operational. People have become conditioned to care about what the Media tells them to care about. And the media doesn't care about it if they don't think it will sell their service or advance their agenda. So that's why we're where we're at.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Maybe the American people just figured out that as much as we'd like to believe differently, the outcome is both predetermined and largely meaningless.
     
  5. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    So are you saying that makes it okay to ignore what is going on in Afghanistan? If it is predetermined and meaningless lets pull all Americans out now instead of 2014.

    I heard today that we have surpassed 2,000 American troops dead in the Afghanistan war. It took 9 years to reach 1,000 deaths and only 27 months more to reach 2,000 (plus the multitudes wounded). Sounds like something to pay attention to, but I guess that is because I have people I care about in the military. Those who don’t, don’t give a sh*t.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    People care about things that are close to them. They care about things that are timely. I don't search the internet for news on a 2 year old dying in south east Asia in 1985 because it's neither timely nor anywhere close to me.

    If you don't have friends or loved ones serving, there's a very good chance you don't have much interaction with members of the military. When you do have interaction with members of the military, you're generally state-side; also disconnected from the action.

    The military doesn't really help itself out. Bases are generally closed to the public. Service members stick to their close-cropped hair friends. Spouses hang out with other service spouses.

    Active duty military makes up 1% of the population (and that's not a bad thing). Veterans make up 10%.

    If you have 10 guys wearing the same jersey in a room full of 100, they're probably going to find each other. If you have one guy in a room of 100, it's hard to get his voice heard.

    Finally... it has been over 10 years. Did we ever expect people to stay engaged that long? Why should they? They aren't serving. They've donated to Wounded Warrior, showed up for Honor Flights and of course, pay 30% of their salaries to taxes. Are we mad that they don't cry or stop for a moment of silence every time a service member dies? They have close friends and family that die of natural causes, disease or accidents every day. They have kids to raise, dogs to take on walks, jobs to search for, rents to pay, books to read, meals to make... etc etc etc. A guy/gal dying 2,000+ miles away isn't a big blip on their radar, and frankly, if we weren't plug into certain networks like this (SAF), they wouldn't be huge blips on ours.
     
  7. osdad

    osdad Member

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    All the more reason for a special War Tax line item on the 1040 form. At least they'd be reminded of their "sacrifice" every April 15th.
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Brilliantly put. I firmly believe that the public's growing distance from the military is no more dangerous than a military who endlessly demands more and more recognition and praise.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Not to be glib, but I recall you couldn't even turn on The View without hearing the death toll in Iraq on a daily basis, but as others have stated our media has gone silent regarding Afghanistan.

    Where is the daily death toll count like they did yrs ago when it was Iraq, and not trying to make it political, but under Bush.

    We have lost almost a soldier a day in the month of August. How many soldiers need to die before this gets the same attention as Iraq. Do we need another Cindy Sheehan?

    I am not disagreeing that people have lives to live, and this hits home for posters here more than the avg American. Look if you ask the avg American if we ever left Iraq since 1990, many would say yes, we came back in 01. That is not the fact, we have been in that theater every day since August 1990. 2 decades straight and we still have not left.

    We as a society take this conflict as just a fact of life. We stopped asking and caring, instead replaced with that's just how it is.
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I hear there's this guy who's going to be on American Idol next. He's just fabulouth! :redface:
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Really I heard it was going to be a girl...Mariah Carey!

    Sorry for diverting. Back on topic.
     
  12. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    All joking aside, I think the current situation boils down to two issues:

    1) Politics. The media darling is in the White House now, so everything is Skittles and flying unicorns until after the election. That's all I'll say on that.

    2) Politics. If we had gone in, kicked the mother-loving crap out of everyone who so much as looked at us funny, instilled the fear of America into them (God doesn't always come through when we think we need Him), and left with a warning that the next time they stuck their noses in our business we would blow them into orbit, this would have been over in six months. Instead, we decided to fight a restricted campaign and then stick around to nation build.

    You see a pattern here?

    Life was easier when wars were fought to win rather than to be popular afterwards. :rolleyes:
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I'm sorry to say that Afghanistan never was, nor ever could be, that simple. Not even close. Not by a longshot. That view of how to fight a war is simplistic, barbaric, juvenile, and wrong. Worse yet, it's fruitless.

    The Soviets lived by unfettered, overwhelming tactical force in Afghanistan. How'd it work for them? (SA applicants: look up "The Bear Went Over The Mountain)
     
  14. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  15. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    +1. Obviously I haven't been, but the more I read about Afghanistan and talk to people who've gone over there, the more complex it seems. Good book rec, by the way...that's been on my list for a while.

    I think this is really true too. For all of my friends in high school, I am the closest person they know in the military. Considering that I've been a 2ndLt for three months, was on leave for nearly half of that, and have done nothing of significance since, that's (to me) kinda scary.

    But it also has a flipside...I was talking to my roommate (also a 2ndLt going air) and we were both sort of grudgingly forced to admit that to us, most domestic issues in the upcoming election are almost irrelevant, so we aren't as well informed as we probably should be. I mean, we have good, stable jobs, no student loans, free health care, etc.

    I know that's on us to get out there and get educated "on the issues," but I think it just goes to show that people only care a lot about what affects them and those close to them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  16. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    I agree. I’m not saying the American public needs to give more recognition or praise to the military. I do think the level of public apathy regarding war is disgusting. Everyone was all gung-ho on getting out of Iraq but you don’t hear the same about Afghanistan. If more people cared maybe we would not have been fighting there for 10 years.
     
  17. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    You watch "The View":shake:
     
  18. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Maybe America would care more if our government had cared more. Afghanistan spent about 8 years on the back burner after the last POTUS decided he didn't like Saddam. Iraq was the mission. We used to feel bad for brigades like 3/10BCT who always went to Afghanistan. America doesn't care now because we spent a decade not hearing or caring about NATO's headache in central Asia.
     
  19. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    My $.02 on why Afghanistan has gone off the radar with the US public...

    I agree with the fact that the public only follows what it is fed by the popular press. Taking this further, the press, since Bin Laden's demise and the 2014 pull-out date hasn't had a concrete thing to focus on which has clearly defined protagonists and antagonists. We have our issue with the Pakistani blockade, but explaining Pakistani politics to the US public is a sure-fire way to lose your audience. Hence with plenty of other scandals where it is easier to identify villains, the press has moved onto easier topics to create sound bites for.

    Now if there is complication with our withdrawal in 2014, (almost a certainty) we will be brought back to Afghanistan as a news topic, but only because the stuff going on in Washington - not what our troops are doing over there.

    Let's just face it, it isn't about the war, it is about an American populace that has the attention span of a gnat (apologies to any gnats reading the forum) that the popular press like to keep that way because it is always easy to titillate them to keep their eyes on the sponsor's advertisements that get them the bucks.
     
  20. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    TPG,

    I ask you to put your legs back on. While being in a wheel chair certainly will get people to notice your situation, I'm not sure that it is the type of notice you really want.

    If you come across half as well in person as you do in writing, once people get to know you, your loss will only serve to amplify your stature with those who take the time to talk.

    I'd rather see fewer people with a positive impression than many with a superficial view of people like you. Unfortunately, I am afraid many people have already developed a stereotype of the wounded warrior and may not be paying much attention once they pigeonhole you based upon your appearance.

    Yeah there is the school of thought that bad publicity is better than none, but I think you bring plenty of the things that people want to experience without your missing physical attributes.
     

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