Over the weekend I had the radio on and was dial-switching when I hit a story, on a Christian radio station, about a program run by the Christian charity Feed the Children to provide food to needy families of troops on active duty away from home. According to the story, there's a great deal of demand now, particularly because a lot of reservists are serving in the Iraq war and their families don't have enough money to buy necessities.
I'm an anti-war atheist, but I applaud what Feed the Children is doing. I'm just pissed off that it's necessary.
The Iraq war is, according to our government, part of the major conflict of our time, the war on terrorism -- yet we're nickel-and-diming the soldiers and reservists who are fighting. Companies that employ reservists aren't required to pay those reservists while they're on active duty -- though a law passed during the Clinton era says they can't be fired. (As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, it appears that at least one big company may have violated that law since the 9/11 attacks. On the other hand, here's a list of companies that do more than the legally required minimum for reservists who are called up. I found it via this thread at Free Republic. For once I agree with the Freepers -- these companies are doing the right thing.)
Now, why isn't it mandatory for every company to continue to pay the full salaries of reservists -- or, conversely, why doesn't the government pick up the tab? Yes, it would come out of your paycheck and mine, but don't we support the troops? Opponents of the war are now being accused of treason -- not for doing any harm to the troops, but for opposing the policy that sent them to combat. Why not sling the charge of treason at anyone who dares oppose a government-funded full replacement of reservists' paychecks? If the conservatives really want the U.S. to play world's cop, then they ought to be willing to pay the price. I oppose the policy, but once it's set in motion I don't want to short-change the ordinary citizens who carry it out.