By Andrew Steele
An Army Times story on July 2nd reports that the unemployment rate rose to 11.5 percent for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, highlighting another reason why the U.S. government for its own sake keeps the wars going– the massive influx of vets who would come home with no jobs waiting for them if the wars were to come to an end.
With the economy crumbling at home the wars have relieved a large burden from the job market’s shoulders, continuing a perpetual mission in which each soldier is busy fighting insurgencies and drawing taxpayer funded paychecks to do it. Many young people have turned to military service rather than seeking private industry jobs because from a personal monetary standpoint the rewards are more lucrative than making minimum wage or going into debt to get a degree and spending a decade paying it off.
If the wars were to magically end tomorrow the U.S. would be facing an even greater job crisis as vets would find themselves back in the U.S., plunged into the same pool as the rest of the unemployed. Though specialized training from their Army experience may put them in a better position than others of seizing the few technical jobs available, the number of jobs still wouldn’t increase, meaning regardless of who takes the jobs, unemployment would rise and escalate the civil strife in America that is already under way.
As reported in the past, DHS now demonizes returned veterans along with anti-war and anti-fed activists as potential domestic terrorists. Indeed, veterans have played an important role in social movements that have come about because of the “let them eat cake” attitudes of governments that ignore or perpetuate the plight of their people. The American Revolution was led by former officers of the British Crown, most notable among them General George Washington. During the 1930’s shunned World War One veterans who were denied their promised bonuses by Congress marched on Washington D.C, an event in history that ended with U.S. troops killing some of them and destroying the tent city the veterans had set up. While only the federal government would have the nerve to equate our founding fathers who were fighting the tyranny of a mad king, and peaceful protesters (then and now), with terrorists, the fact that the government singles out the otherwise patriotic veteran population whom it once relied on to expand its empire as a potential threat shows just how grim it expects the situation to get for the people under its thumb.
On top of that, ending the wars would result in the reduction of private industry jobs.