Events of the past few days announcing the significantly increasing death toll of both Americans and civilians in Afghanistan has filled the airwaves of the major television networks, cable channels and newspapers across the country. At the same time the White House continues to drag its feet in making a decision in response to the Commander General’s request for 40,000 additional troops.
Recently my local newspaper ran another poll asking the question: “Should more U.S. troops be sent to Afghanistan or should our troops be brought home?” I found the response to be most interesting, because it reflected a shift in the attitudes from similar polls of just a few weeks ago. Now the poll indicates that 44% want more troops to be sent, and a majority or 56% want our troops to be brought home.
Honestly, I am glad that I do not have to make the decision, but it is troubling that should we withdraw we will be looked upon as losing the War and not having the will to complete the original mission. Additionally, I find it to be most troubling to even start to wonder if those brave men and women who have given the fullest measure did so in vain. My God, what if you had a child who died in this distant God forsaken land, and we now decide to fold up the tent and come home?
As I have stated firmly in earlier commentaries I have fully supported the War on Terrorism and held a strong desire to win that War before it comes to our shores again. But, I must admit that I am beginning to have doubt that we or any other force can change what no Army has been able to accomplish since before the birth of Christ. History has shown one failure after another in this part of the world and considering all our other problems, maybe we have no business being there. Both sides of the argument can and have made strong arguments for their position, but this is one that we better get right. For instance do we want those crazy people infiltrating our country any more than they already have?
What really concerns me is the action currently being taken by this Administration. Taking time to reach a good decision is one thing, but traveling all over the country to raise money for elections and re-elections is, in my opinion, a misuse of our President’s important time and his oath of office. Our President repeatedly says he supports our troops, but his actions do not back that pledge. How can he or we support our troops if we continue to spend printed money in a reckless and irresponsible manner?
Thus far our new leadership has talked a good game, but has little to show for the initial months of his administration. Bluster and braggadocio does not get the job done, and never has in the past. An old cowboy expression comes to mind; “Big Hat No Cattle” and it certainly applies to Barack Obama in my judgment. Chicago style politics never won a War, and it will not win the conflict in Afghanistan. Hell, Chicago politics cannot even control the gangs that are killing teenagers every day in the shadows of their public schools and in neighborhoods.
I pray that winning the Nobel Peace Prize will not lead Obama to a course of action that brings further loss of life by our brave fighting men and women. Why does the name Neville Chamberlain keep coming to mind?
The decision about our course of action in the Middle East is way beyond my pay grade, but this is one that can make or break our precious United States. We have made huge mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan and we better get it right now before it is too late. The clock is ticking for every one of us, and the polls indicate that the American people do not like what is occurring in that hell-hole Afghanistan, and unlike the America I grew up in, our will to win seems to be quickly eroding.
Maybe the real questions we need to address are not do we want to win, but can we afford to win, or can we afford not to win due to our current economic circumstances? America cannot continue to print money forever without addressing the consequences of irresponsible behavior. Remember the inflation of the late 70’s and early 80’s?