In the summer of 1953, I returned home from service during the Korean War. One day, shortly after being home, I chanced to meet someone I knew from school, he asked where I had been, and I responded, serving in the Army. There was a look of confusion on his face, and he mumbled, “Oh, Korea, I’ve been busy in my new job.” The Iraq War is slowly entering the twilight zone of American interest. It was the most avidly followed news story for most of the first half of 2007, but it has not been the most closely watched story in any week since mid-October according to a Pew survey. The portion of news stories on the war has dropped in recent months as concern about the economy increasingly absorbs interest of the American public.
After several weeks of declining casualties, eight soldiers died on Monday, one on Tuesday and three yesterday. Few Americans have any idea as to the number of men and women who have died fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan and only a handful could offer anything resembling the accurate figure as to the number who have been wounded. Bush has sold many the view things are improving due to the famous “surge” even as evidence increases of Iraq government inefficiency and corrpution. A recesion most probably will go even further in pushing Iraq out of front page news.
The war in Iraq is slowly fading from the conciousness of many Americans because only a milliion and a half serve in the armed forces. Ninety-nine percent of Americans have no direct connection to the war. Will this attitude change?