Memorial Day fills me with deep sadness.
Perpetual war generates profits for Wall Street, and the weapons industry embraces our whole economy. Even corporations like Boeing and GI are co-dependents in manufacturing the technology of death.
Thus our nation is ruthlessly efficient in recruiting, training, deploying and exhausting soldiers, but we are cynically inept in serving them when they come home, for there is scant profit in caring for the wounded.
Once discharged, many wounded warriors wait six months for veterans benefits. If they file complaints, they wait two years for an answer from the Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Jobless, without medical attention, families shattered, many fall through the cracks into homelessness, addiction or mental illness.
The solution is not as simplistic as merely leaving Afghanistan, cutting Pentagon spending or electing a new president. The solution is a long painful process of demilitarizing our economy, a shift from imperialism to sustainability. This process means transforming every aspect of American culture. It will require soul work as surely as economic work.