It was most interesting to read Adam Morris’ review in the LARB of Harriet Andrews’ Boomers. I thought he did a good job of pointing out the oversights and logical/historical flaws in the book. Save one, a most critical one, and that’s the wars.
We’ve been at war, pointless, militarily and politically objectiveless war, for two decades now. The boomer cohort can reasonably be held responsible for these wars’ initiation and their continuation. It happened on their watch, with their hands on the tiller. It bewilders me that Ms. Andrews, in her denunciation of the Boomer cohort, fails to mention our two decades plus of unsuccessful objectiveless wars abroad against persons who have done us no injury here* in her book. Why is that?
The war of the boomers, the one they could have gotten drafted into and killed in, Vietnam, had the same problems of objectivelessness our current wars have. The opposition to that wrong and pointless war was led by the young boomers, and it is the single biggest claim to fame that they have– their efforts against that war were largely responsible for our getting out of it.** There’s lots of people, mostly in SEA, who owe their lives to this. Political commentary here stateside always overlooks that fact. Particularly conservative commentary, like Ms. Andrews’.
Anyone wanting to take down the boomers who doesn’t comment on the boomer opposition to the Vietnam War and contrast it to their today’s boomer political leadership’s responsibility for our current wars is just asleep at the wheel. That description fits most every Gen X or Y or Z political leader and commentator; fits too many Americans period. Except of course for those–and I’m sure Ms Andrews is one–who have internalized the endless official propagandistic misstatements of fact official DC players (and their second-string in the media and the academy) have put out to justify an endless and ongoing, decades-long commission of the worst crime, sin, and offense as exists, in both the profession of arms and politics, namely, fighting a war with no objective.
So who is to say which cohort is worse–the boomers, who fought against the Vietnam War but in turn gave us perpetual war against ‘terrorism’, or the subsequent generations, who have done nothing to stop the killing and squandering of America’s fortune and good name in our current idiotic wars? Ms. Andrews doesn’t have light enough to see that or ask that question, and her book and efforts are therefore a failure.
*Couple of years back out at a UT event I had the opportunity to ask Rep. Mike McCaul, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, just what sort of injuries the Syrian nation had done to ours that warranted our going to war against them, and what our objectives were for the war. Rep. McCaul had obviously never thought about things in that light, and was quite blindsided by the question, and of course had no answer, which naturally didn’t stop him from gasbagging for three or four minutes nonstop. Afterwards, his wife came up to me and congratulated me on the question. Probably not because she shared my doubts, but most likely to smooth things over from hubby making such an ass of himself.
**You want to argue otherwise in the face of our currently not showing any sign of ending two decades plus of war?