The drums are again beating loud and strong. They are saying we should send troops to Iraq. We should attack Syria. We should send our forces to counter any and every hotspot in the world.

If we need to be in this perpetual state of “war,” then we need to get the American people fully involved in that task. The average American citizen, rich or poor, does not have any skin in this process. When are we going to stand up like our Founding Fathers and commit our fortunes and lives to the protection of this country? Words and political TV bites are cheap and insulting.

If we need to go to war, then our Congress, men and women, need to step up and require that all able-bodied men and women serve their fair time in the military. No exceptions. They should implement a tax that is specific to waging the designated war. Once Congress declares and authorizes the war, then they need to let the president lead that effort. The generals and admirals are advisers to the president and should not be dictating when and where we go to war. The military is there for the defense of the American citizens and should only be used when called on by a full body of the citizens’ representative body.

If our leaders are going to sound the drums of war, then all Americans must be required to dance to the music. Either put up or shut up.

Richard Stagnoli

safety auditor