America’s Founding Fathers clearly had similar ideas, envisioning only a small national army and much larger state militias where the local property owners would come out on weekends and drill with their weapons on the village green, developing the skills necessary to defend their homes.
I was thinking about the duties entailed in citizenship as I watched television coverage of the spectacle of the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). I wondered about the six thousand plus attendees at the conference and their hubristic sense of entitlement minus any sense of responsibility for what they advocate. The entire conference was dedicated to going to war with Iran, a war that is manifestly not in America’s interest. But there they were, welcoming more than half of Congress and a majority of Supreme Court Justices as well as the President of the United States, as they called for war on behalf of a foreign country.
I asked myself how many of those at AIPAC would pay any price at all for going to war with Iran? How many of them have children in the military? With a little searching I could only find ten members out of the 535 members of Congress having recently had sons or daughters in the military and I would imagine the numbers among other AIPAC attendees would be even lower. I would bet the percentage is miniscule.
And how many of those at AIPAC will be contributing their wealth to support another absolutely senseless foreign war? None, most likely as America has become addicted to going to war on a credit card. Instead, the AIPAC attendees have learned that it is possible to start wars by using much smaller sums of money to buy influence and votes on Capitol Hill and compliant editorial writers in the media, meaning that AIPAC’s $65 million budget can easily translate into a war that costs the American taxpayer several trillion dollars, as occurred with Iraq.
AIPAC understands that there is no need to sacrifice one’s children or spend anything more than necessary when there are other people’s children out there who are ready, willing and able to die for your cause and for the foreign land that you hold most dear. It is a coward’s way to go to war without pain, without grief, and without cost to you personally, where fighting and dying by others is little more than an abstraction. It is one more powerful reason why groups like AIPAC, instead of being celebrated, should be placed under Justice Department supervision and strictly monitored as collaborative and subversive agents of foreign powers, which is precisely what they are. And when they step out of line by stealing secrets or suborning politicians it should mean hard time in prison. No one deserves to die in someone else’s fight, particularly in a bad cause, and no one should be able to start a war and escape the consequences.