Mariner hopes dearly that most of his readers have not experienced a battlefront experience. The noise can be truly deafening; there are bombs, tanks, airplanes, field cannons, grenades, machine guns and incessant gunfire; acrid smoke clouds vision; soldiers screaming and dying – some by a soldier’s own hand; good friends are lost; anxiety reaches peaks destructive to the human psyche. It is no wonder survivors of a battlefront choose not to talk about the experience.
Not as life-threatening and not as explosive, the battlefront metaphor can be applied to the battlefront of the United States, its governments, its human values, its economy and the security of every individual citizen. All are at a point of open conflict. There are visible battles like the elections and the battle-hardened party war; there are regulatory battles that fall on industries and individuals alike as if they were hit by a grenade; there are battles involving humaneness and civil rights that are scarred by political strafing; dollars are the ammunition – oligarchs sending ammunition to preferred hot spots in the battle.
As in any war, it is the human casualty that remains afterward. We live today amid the rubble of an active battlefront. What will remain of trusted values, citizen rights and family security? From what values will we, the citizens, build a post-war peace? What new influences will be imposed in a new age?
We are the soldiers. We will suffer the confusion, the irrationalities, the false promises, and the politically motivated leaders who lead us into battle. We will suffer losses. When the smoke clears, what will we soldiers have accomplished?