Would you sacrifice your firstborn son to establish a democracy in country that had a dictatorship? How about giving up your son to effect a regime change? What about exchanging your son to end the oppression of minorities? How about trading your son in return for a country holding elections?
I don’t know of any American mother or father that would do such a thing. I wouldn’t give a finger from one of my sons to do any of these things. Some Americans, however, wouldn’t mind it if some other American’s son came back from some foreign war in a box with only a finger that was recognizable – just as long as it wasn’t their son.
The next time some armchair warrior, some warvangelical, some member of Congress, some reich-wing nationalist, some bloodthirsty conservative, some warmongering Republican, some red-state fascist, some neocon, or some theocon beats the drums for war – like they are doing regarding Iran right now – tell him to put his son in uniform, put him on the first plane overseas, and tell his son what a noble cause it is that he is being sent to die for. Let him tell his son how much his death will be worth it. And if he doesn’t think it worth the death of his son, then it is not worth the death of any other American’s son either.