Let  me  show my age by revealing that I grew up in a time when there was no penalty for face-masking in football  because there  were no face masks;  when people rode in vehicles called streetcars to baseball games that were played in daylight;   when characters in movies could smoke but not curse;  and when the  ­Number One issue in any election held while Americans were fighting and dying overseas was that Americans were fighting and dying overseas.

That said, please tell this relic of the 20th century how the most heated, divisive mid-term election in a generation could take place with candidates venting their feelings over health care, bailouts, taxes, deficits, immigration, but with no question raised over a decade-old war in which young Americans are fighting and dying.

What’s more, fighting and dying with no clear objective and, as the man in charge of the war, General David Petraeus, tells us, no end in sight. This, says Petraeus, is a war our children will inherit, the same view held by that great sage of the Vietnam era, Henry Kissinger, who warns that Americans “must be prepared for a long struggle.”

Read now, as quoted by Andrew J. Bacevich in “The New American Militarism:  How Americans are Seduced by War,” what another sage observer once said about long struggles: (more…)