Families of Military Suicides Seek White House Condolences – N Y Times


to write our ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving to all American veterans and their families. Have a peaceful and meaningful day.

In today’s New York Times we read about families of military suicide victims requesting White House acknowledgement. That story Families of Military Suicides Seek White House Condolences is self explanatory.

In this article, The Lost, written by a graduate student at Harvard Business School who is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and former infantry officer with the 10th Mountain Division speaks of his mixed feelings now that he is home safe and many of those who served with him are not.


In this story, U.S. Seeks 10,000 Troops From Its Allies in Afghanistan, we learn that the U.S. will be lucky to get fewer than half the troops it is asking NATO to supply for combat operations in Afghanistan.

All of our allies, all of them, are balking at their present troop levels and most do not want to send more.

What is it that Obama is going to tell us on Tuesday from West Point that is going to alleviate our "misunderstandings" about the war in Afghanistan? This is at a time when our own allies refuse to participate at greater levels and are making plans to leave Afghanistan soon.

Bring them home Mr. President.

We will find a way to make due with the oil we have on hand. We will have to "green up" fifteen years faster than we planned. It will be hard. There will be sacrifice. But we can do it.

This is not worth American lives.

In an Op Ed piece by Nicholas Kristof called The Religious Wars we have his thoughtful take on the evolution of G*d and what that means to all of us on this Thanksgiving Day.

It is a wonderful piece to read considering that we have interjected ourselves into the Wars of the Muslim Reformation without any end in sight for any of us.

It is worth reflecting upon on this Thanksgiving Day that it is a strange conception of G*d that has us all convinced that we need to kill each other to honor the name of the Deity and push His will forward.  Odd, isn’t it?

How did we get so confused?

In an editorial concerning the never ending and always present barbarity of the Middle East entitled Iran Punishes Its People, we learn of yet one more way that despots hang onto power. They execute dissidents.

This is some country we are talking about here.  And they are months away from a nuclear weapon most likely.  Great.

In this story Obama to Go to Copenhagen With Emissions Target, the President is willing to tell the world in Copenhagen that we will commit ourselves to reduce green house gases by "going green" to save the environment.

But not to save American lives presently being taken to safeguard foreign oil? What am I missing here?

Lets be clear, "going green" is the smartest national security measure we can take in the 21st century. When our young people do not have to die for our access to foreign oil, "going green" takes on a whole different level of significance.  Going green literally will save the lives of American service men and women.

In today’s Washington Post we read the leadoff article, President vs. party on troop increase, with a subtitle that explains it all, "Caucus wouldn’t back a costly expansion of Afghan war".  Finally!

We Democrats are finally getting our kimshi in one sea bag!  Maybe.

I hope that the Democratic caucus has the chutzpah to stand against the President and refuse to fund this war escalation. I seriously doubt that any of them have the cajones to stare down a President of their own party. But it will be nice to engage in that fantasy prior to Tuesday’s announcement that we are escalating this war.

Frankly I have seen this too many times in this town to believe it. It is all Broadway theater stuff.

The Democratic Party leadership will make a show of saying they don’t want to fund the war.

They will say that we need the money here.

The President will talk to all the Democratic leadership personally and in the end he will get whatever he wants.

That is how this is going to work.

I am so jaded. I don’t believe we have anything even resembling the loyal opposition in this country anymore.  I would like to believe it, I really would.  But I just don’t.

I have seen this so many times before so I just do not believe it anymore.

It is all choreography and in the end, the Serviceman and Servicewoman gets it…directly in the end. I remember that feeling quite well. I still have a hard time sitting down.

This will be no different.  God I would love to be wrong on this one!

I do not know what to make of this story, but although it seems to have nothing to do with our lot as veterans, it speaks to modern American goods and their value. We are in trouble if this is indicative of American products.

The story U.S.-made drywall now under scrutiny, is odd but telling. Is this where we are headed relative to our product quality? If so, the future will not be bright.

We cannot even manufacture dry wall without rotting out the appliances in the house? And we put a man on the moon?


Finally, in an Op Ed by David Ignatius entitled Obama’s skeptic in chief, we learn that Vice President Biden is still holding out for a clear exit strategy from Afghanistan and he has made a name for himself as a pain in the ass with the military people who are responsible for restructuring our Afghanistan strategy. Good for him!

That is what civilian government is supposed to do with the military…constantly make them prove their case.  This is sound government.  We need more of it.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day. May the Cosmic be thanked for all it has given us. May we have peace soon.

I have one Thanksgiving Day request if you do not mind.

If you wanted to throw in a little prayer to your G*d today asking that I get a real big lottery win soon, that would be very much appreciated!

I never miss a chance to request something from The Deity.  You never know!

Get informed and stay informed. An informed veteran is a comfort to his friends and a danger to his enemies.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)


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