Today’s news that Gov. Nikki Haley’s husband is being deployed to Afghanistan presented quite a surprise, but for reasons that made me uncomfortable.
I hadn’t thought of Afghanistan for some time, and it seems very few people even talk about the fact that we remain at war. Amidst the meticulous efforts to parse gaffes, analyze ads, and focus on potential VP picks, it is so easily forgotten that so many of our young men and women are fighting — and dying — there.
We were at least partly surprised to learn about Haley’s husband — because so few political leaders (or opinion leaders, by the way) are personally touched by the war. With the end of the draft (a mostly salutary development) and the decline of noblesse oblige, it is now the newsworthy when a politician sends a loved one to the war.
So when I happened upon a story on the subject from Kelly Vlahos, I was particularly struck by her conclusion, where she discussed being around tourists of battlefields, war memorials, and museums. They are fascinated by the old things, “but when it comes to news about the current war, no one wants to talk about it. They’ve heard it all before.”
Usually wars are over before they are forgotten.