I again cede the stage to others far more eloquent than I. From Boston Globe columnist James Carroll
There is disgrace in what the United States has done in southwest Asia since 2001. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans remain the so far uncalculated measure of what America inflicted. Having so misused the patriotism of its own military members fighting abroad, are we now misusing their proper status as honored veterans at home to avoid reckoning with a national dishonor? When politicians celebrate the individual virtues of veterans by praising the American military as the best fighting force in the world, are they deflecting the harsh truth that both in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon behemoth has been fought to a draw by primitive forces? If the most bloated military budget on the planet can be matched by impoverished tribal warlords, why is that budget sacrosanct? Its defenders use the honoring of veterans to shore up the very militarism to which the veterans themselves have been sacrificed.