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The 'Sacrifice' of Watching TV



OPINION features excerpts of pieces by columnists from the Op-Ed page and other sections of The New York Times. All columns from the last seven days are available at nytimes.com; Op-Ed pieces (by columnists and outside contributors), plus Editorials and Letters to the Editor, are at nytimes.com/opinion. Please let us know what you think of OPINION at upfront@scholastic.com.

During an interview in January, President Bush was asked why, if the war on terrorism was so important, he had never asked more Americans "to sacrifice something." Bush gave the most unbelievable answer: "Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night." What kind of crazy thing is that to say? Leadership is about enabling and inspiring people to contribute in a time of war so the enemy has to fight all of us—not insulating the public so the enemy has to fight only a few of us. If you want to help American troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, here are some places to start: (1) Coalition to Salute America's Heroes (www.saluteheroes.org), (2) the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (www.fallenheroesfund.org), (3) the Fisher House Foundation (www.fisherhouse.org), and (4) the Walter Reed Society (www.walterreedsociety.org). We've got to take first-class care of those who've carried the burden of this war. It's that simple.

Thomas L. Friedman