In every time of trial, a few take cover, shirk, lurk at the edges and steal from the table. One day I realized that “Daddy Warbucks,” a self-made “zillionaire,” was one of those. I wondered if cartoonist Harold Gray, was making a sly comment because you don’t make zillions by serving at the front. Daddy Warbucks was a war profiteer.
The world’s most famous war profiteer is Milo Minderbinder in Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22,” a mess officer who sold anything he could get his hands on. I knew a real one. His name was Lt. Deering, and he ran the officer’s mess in the Army of Occupation, Foggia, Italy. He liked to flash a thick roll of scrip and boast that he sent thousand-dollar money orders home every week. And now the Milo Minderbinders of the world are taking over.
The leeching billionaire Koch brothers pay their Tea Party puppets to push their profiteering agenda. Tea Party puppets sneer at the very idea of self-sacrifice while craven shape-shifting politicians bowed, scraped, and kowtowed while the nation was veering toward financial Armageddon.
Maybe it’s time for the rest of the world to kick its USA habit. Maybe a world out of joint would recover if the U.S.A. welched on its debts, no longer had the soundest currency, and was no longer its ethical and moral compass.
But for Seal Team Six and for all who remember what it was like to live in the Greatest Generation, such a prospect is a bitter pill, and I, for one, would be sorry to be wakened from the American Dream.