Changes Have Obama Rethinking War Strategy – W.P.

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In today’s Washington Post, an article written by Rajiy Chandrasekaran and Karen De Young tells us that President Obama is reviewing all options for our involvement in Afghanistan.  Finally! 

The man finally listened to the people who are providing the troops!  Isn’t that wonderful?  Its seven months late, but its still wonderful. 

One odd thing.  In the article the authors claim that Obama’s election was disputed.  It was?  I don’t remember that.  Do you? What was disputed?  He clearly won by a large margin.  Anybody know what they are talking about?

The article is here.

     

In a related piece in today’s New York Times by Jane Perlez an article entitled "U.S. Fears That Pakistan Aid Will Feed Graft" the author tells us that the Obama Administration is doing everything it can to limit the corrupted spending of $1.5 billion dollars we are getting ready to give that government for aid. 

It seems that Pakistan uses aid in a corrupt and inappropriate manner.  Now there is a shocker!  Here is the article.

And in yet another Times article written by Richard Oppal and Archie Tse entitled  "One in 4 Afghan Ballots Face Check for Fraud" it appears that our man Kharzai not only just stole the Afghan election, he more or less absolutely absconded with it!  And this is the kind of democracy our people are dying and killing for in Afghanistan!  Doesn’t it just warm your heart?  That article is here.

Now, to the real matter at hand. 

Where was American veterans’ input on these wars prior to our investing billions of dollars of monies we borrowed from the Chinese in order to wage these wars?  What did American veterans do to signal to the government that we agreed that we should wage these wars?

What did we do as a group of citizens?

Well, most of us gave at least tacit support to the wars in Western Asia.  Most of us frankly just sat here and let the government govern however it wished.  We let Bush and his people do whatever they wanted with practically no real push back.

That is not how democracy works. 

The Founding Fathers never envisioned that the people would routinely allow themselves to be outflanked by the rich and powerful (read that as "defense industries" or "energy interests") so that their sons and daughters could kill and be killed for the sake of money and whatever other secret agenda our government has for these places. 

This is exactly why we broke away from Great Britain in the first place.  It was being run by avaricious lords and extremely wealthy merchants with overseas connections who were literally allowed to do any damned thing they wanted in North American colonies as long as the King got a cut of the take.  We had a revolution over this kind of oligarchic behavior!  Anybody remember hearing about this in school?

In a federal republic based on democratic principles, the ‘government’ is supposed to prove its case to the electorate prior to committing billions of dollars (that we do not have by the way) to a series of wars that is unclear at best in its mission (I am being charitable) and secretive in its goals (that is an understatement).  American veterans simply allowed this debacle to unfold by saying little to nothing to the government about prosecuting these wars. We sat on our hands while this unfolded.

We are not innocent. 

We must take our share of the blame as a group for allowing these clownish attempts at nation building to go forward pushed inexorably ahead, day by day, against the will of the people, so that the profit margin of America’s defense industries and her oil and gas monopolies can have a more successful bottom line.  America’s veterans, those of us who know the horror of action, those of us who have seen death and destruction, allowed this to go forward.  We were complacent or even quietly supportive when we should have been shouting.

We should have been shouting, "Hang on!  Prove your case!  You have not done that!"

I am a left wing Democrat and I frankly blame the Democratic Party for caving in to the Bushites so easily.  The Democrats must take a large share of the blame here. They simply caved in because they were afraid that they would dip in the polls relative to popularity amongst a people looking for someone to exercise vengeance upon. 

My own political home, the Democratic Party, failed me.  They caved in to the Bush Machine when they had to know that he was basing his war judgements on nonsense.  They caved in and veteran silence and tacit approval of these wars allowed them to cave in.

American veterans were silent or they tacitly approved of a war by fairly weak support early on when we should have been questioning every facet of our nation’s involvement in what has turned out to be clear and absolute debacles on every conceivable level.

Thousands of American deaths later, hundreds of thousands of American wounds and injuries later, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani deaths and injuries and displacements later, we are questioning what we did.

Let me be clear, I will tell you what all of us did.

What we did was refuse to do our duty as democrats in a federal republic.  We failed at every turn to aggressively challenge the ‘government’ when it told us we needed to go to war.

Look at what our silence and tacit approval caused.  Look at how we have reaped the misery that we have sown by our refusal to take up our responsibilities as fully involved citizens.

No, veterans are not innocent here.

We need to learn from this and never forget it.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)

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