Eliot A. Cohen, writing for the Washington Post:
It is the phrase of the moment, dropping from the lips of television reporters and radio commentators, salting the columns of pundits, earnestly being spoken by furrow-browed politicians of serious mien.
The families of the fallen are entitled to war-weariness. So are those wounded in body or spirit, and their loved ones. The mother who has sent her son to war has a right to war-weariness, as does the father who prepares to send his daughter to battle again and again. But for the great mass of the American public, for their leaders and the elites who shape public opinion, “war-weariness” is unearned cant, unworthy of a serious nation and dangerous in a violent world.
The average American has not served in the armed forces, as a diplomat or intelligence agent in a war zone. Neither have his or her children. No one has raised our taxes to pay for war. Americans can change the channel if they find the images too disturbing — though our teenagers’ violent video games and gory movies are infinitely more graphic than what would be shown on CNN or Fox News.
“I am not going to send your children to fight this misbegotten war,” or words like that, come from politicians who know full well that our country has an all-volunteer force. No one is sending anyone who did not sign up. And anyone who volunteered for military service in the past decade had to know that meant signing up for war.