WHY ARE THERE NO TALKS?
IS IT YOU, IS IT US?
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
7 years of war and there are no discussions, no peace initiatives, nothing. Is this possible? Nobody even remembers why we are fighting each other. Is someone saying we have no basis for even sitting down and talking to each other like human beings? Men of good will, soldiers, veterans, warriors demand that the path be opened to bring this war to an end and allow the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan to live in peace and security and for America and her allies to be allowed to disengage from this war in a manner consistent with real values of the American people, values not of governments.
If someone is willing to sit down and state that all of us are killing each other over religion, culture, oil and gas, opium or, more likely, because we are all being manipulated into senseless self destruction, then let that outpouring of truth begin. If we have become vermin and predators, and are no longer men, then let us have the honesty to admit it.
America is engaged in a great national debate over the war in Afghanistan. We will either commit massive military forces and escalate the current conflict into an unimaginably destructive counter-insurgency or withdraw to safe havens and use powerful and sophisticated weaponry to inflict a wrath few nighmares could imagine.
This is inexorable. It will happen. Nothing can stop it, nothing but courage, honesty and humanity.
We are no longer fighting wars as men, we are now driven by unseen forces none of us comprehend, moving only toward senseless destruction. Each human life has equal value yet every death is treated as a rationale for more death as though war were a living thing meant to live, grow and beget more wars and more death until nothing is left but war.
If we are all going to continue killing each other’s children, destroying each other’s homes and bringing the hope our families into the dust, we owe each other the courtesy of sharing those reasons we justify our combined barbarity.
Please excuse my ignorance, but with all the rhetoric about "evil doers" and "the Great Satan" I seem to have missed exactly what any of us are fighting about.
I am not asking for anyone to surrender. I am not asking for anyone to give up their values, their hopes or their longings. I am, however, asking for everyone involved to put their ideas out for everyone to see, out in the light of day.
There are some bad assumptions being made here. Afghanistan’s painful victory of the Soviet Union or America’s withdrawal from Vietnam are only providing historical precedent for misjudgement, not victory.
The new American government, the "reasonable" government, the government that will listen to Islam is in power now. There is no better time to make a case for peace. That it is also a government that, because it is willing to accept Islam, is chained to a need to continue a war it may not want is a reality being ignored.
We know the Taliban didn’t attack the World Trade Center. I am willing to accept that many things accepted in the United States and reported by our news are utterly false. However, there are things we do know. We know that all people in Afghanistan are not willing to live in a manner dictated to them by others. Time has moved on and things have changed. Peace and mutual respect will require men of reason to abandon arrogance and choose life over death.
It is time we sat, face to face, glared at one another in suspicion if need be but began our combined journey on the untrod path to something more than hate and misunderstanding.
We have shared too many deaths to not be brothers.
Veterans Today Senior Editor Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.