Thursday, June 12, 2014
Their sacrifice has been in vain
I think what we're seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan today are the culmination of the wars instigated by President George W. Bush in a knee-jerk response to the events of 9/11. He appears to have truly believed that if we clobbered the dictators and religious fundamentalists in those nations, we could bring democracy to the people there and leave free nations behind when we left.
Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East could have told him he was living in cloud cuckoo land to think that, and many did - but he and his advisers refused to listen to them. They closed their ears to advice and their eyes to the evidence on the ground, and pressed on regardless. In the process they've cost this country thousands of lives and tens of thousands of wounded service personnel, many maimed for life.
Their sacrifice has been in vain.
I think anyone in his or her right mind will acknowledge that a nation should only go to war when pressing and otherwise unattainable national interest is at stake. US national interest was not at stake in Afghanistan (although the Taliban and Al Qaeda definitely deserved punishment, which they received). It was not at stake in Iraq either. We should not have occupied either country, but left it to the locals to sort out. By acting as we did, we've simply created the current playing field, where others are reaping the harvest sown by our actions there.
I blame President Bush and his Administration for unwisely rushing in where angels would have feared to tread. I blame President Obama and his Administration for rushing in the opposite direction, seeking to 'get out of Dodge' without regard for the mess that would cause or the power vacuum it would leave behind.
Thousands of dead American servicemen are spinning in their graves tonight at the sight of all they fought and died for being basically thrown away. I wonder how their families are feeling about their sacrifice? And I wonder if the 'entitlement society' gives a damn?