Anti-war protests in all 50 states and in front of the hated King Bush II”s Texas ranch were a fixture in American life and newspapers from 2003 through mid-2008. The protests seem to have disappeared yet the ills of war remain. Let’s look at what is bad about our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
- Americans are being killed
- American taxpayers are being improverished
- limited American resources are diverted to unproductive activities (bombing an opium factory in Afghanistan is not likely to lead to long-term growth the way that building a factory in North Carolina would)
All three of these things were bad in 2004 when the U.S. was rich and getting richer. They are even worse now. We have had a decline in birth rate and population growth due to the economic collapse. This makes the death of an American soldier if anything more costly becuase there are fewer children growing up to replace him or her. We have less money now, so whatever it is that we’re spending on our adventures amongst the Jihadis is less affordable (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933935.html shows that spending is higher than ever and continuing to grow).
Given that the cost of the wars in American life and taxpayer funds is less bearable now than before, how come the antiwar protesters seem to have melted away?
[Update: Tim Hsia, in the New York Times, writes about the same issue.]