George W. Bush promulgates a long list of “wars” – the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the War on Evil – and let’s not forget his War on The Bill of Rights, the War on Science, the War on the Environment, and now, the War on Children.
Yes. That’s right. Children. Nevermind his obsession with saving blastocysts. As it turns out, that’s only a strategy for making sure there will always be enough children populating the world to serve as victims of his social policies at home, and his political strategies abroad.
The latest on the homefront is his administration’s fight to prevent states from expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Apparently, the road to universal healthcare for everyone is a mighty slippery slope. You let one barely middle class child into the mix and before you know it, health insurance companies are making lower profits and PAC money starts to dry up faster than Rights in the U.S. Constitution. It’s simply not the way the free market works.
Abroad (it should go without saying except that no one’s actually saying it) the Iraq War has not been particularly good for children. This month so far, more than 1,150 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the region’s violence. How many children have been left without parents? How many children have been maimed and wounded in the violence? No one knows.
But, surely, here at home we must know how many children of our own military have been orphaned or lost a parent as a result of the war? Sadly, no. The last statistical record I could find dates back to December of 2004. Back then, the Iraq War was only in its 22nd month, but already there were 900 children who had lost at least one parent in the war.
military experts said the proportionally higher number of American children left bereaved by the Iraq war is unprecedented.”This is a new state of affairs we have to confront,” said Charles Moskos, a leading military sociologist and Northwestern University professor.
Overall, Americans in uniform today are far more likely to be married and have children than in the military of the past, Moskos and others said. And the reliance in Iraq on reserve forces _ who tend to be older and even more settled than active-duty soldiers _ also means more offspring at home.
Maybe George sleeps better at night knowing there’s at least one “war” he’s winning.