Bob Herbert, in his opinion columns for the NYT, tends regularly to pin things down to moral basics, as in this recent example.
From the very start of this war the loudest of the flag-waving hawks were those who were safely beyond military age themselves and were unwilling to send their own children off to fight. It’s easy to be macho when you have nothing at risk. The hawks want the war to be fought with other people’s children, while their own children go safely off to college, or to the mall. The number of influential American officials who have children in uniform in Iraq is minuscule.
… the vast majority of the parents who support the war do not want their children to fight it.
The president and these home-front warriors got us into this war and now they don’t know how to get us out. Nor do they have a satisfactory answer to the important ethical question: how do you justify sending other people’s children off to fight while keeping a cloak of protection around your own kids?
An “important ethical question” it truly is. And it’s hitting a number of ordinary American families VERY close to home. But it’s hitting very few of the of the families of those who are causing it to happen.
There was some of that going on during Vietnam as well. George, as you recall, managed to avoid going to that other war while well over 50,000 braver, more disciplined, or (mostly) just less fortunate Americans went and died there. It was wrong then, and it’s still wrong.