Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's hard to care

...when it doesn't really help.

A fellow college student, he with one year of service in Iraq under his belt, bemoans the apathy emanating from the college campus:

People on campus don't think about the war very much. It rarely comes up in conversation, either inside or outside the classroom. Some professors have encouraged me to share my experiences, and some students have expressed interest in my past. Last semester, one wrote an article about another Iraq veteran and me for the campus newspaper. And this semester I dedicated about 250 words of a 900-word paper to the problem of sectarian violence in Iraq for a class on international relations. But that was the first time in my three semesters here that I was asked to formally consider the war for a class...

I find it frustrating that Facebook is a bigger part of most students' lives than the war. After my first semester, I decided to rejoin the Army by signing up with the ROTC. I felt a bit guilty for having done only one tour in Iraq while friends of mine have done two or three. And I didn't want to forget the war. I may be prejudiced, but many of my college peers seem self-absorbed. I didn't want to end up like that.

I spend a decent amount of time thinking about the war, but even I find it hard to dwell on the situation since I can't do anything to change it. I can write an essay every day about why the war is wrong, and it won't make any real difference. I might change a mind or two here or there, and to that end, my endeavors are important, but I'm not really influential by any conception of the term.

The same applies to most college students. I think the reason for the apathy is similar to my own, save when that apathy applies to everything, as it does for many in the post-modern post-adolescent culture of the average college student.

Some students do follow politics, and are concerned with issues not related to celebrities, but it's hard to get fired up about the War in Iraq. It's not like we're gearing up for the invasion of Normandy; most of the "news" is essentially irrelevant. People died, and certain areas were secured, but it's mostly a load of crap to convince the people who still care about Bush's immoral war that "we're winning". Whatever.

Bring our boys home! When someone takes this rally cry seriously, I'll pay more attention. Until then, I'm not going to dwell on Iraq. I support the troops insofar as I want them the heck out of harm's way and back home along our border. If this is evidence of insufficient patriotism, or apathy, so be it. I have nothing more to say, and I'm certainly not going to think about it. That would only add to a post which is already too long.

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