As the 112th Congress begins auspiciously wasting time and energy on attempting to repeal Health Care Reform and talk of doing a similar dance with the humane repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, there are as of this morning 5860 American soldiers who have given their lives in the line of service since the inception of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. That's 5860 families who have forever been changed by the devastation of war and as much as I realize I am inviting vitriol I do not care because I believe most of you have forgotten about these soldiers.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not necessarily the direct responsibility of Congress but they certainly have the responsibility of continuing to fund these wars and have blood on their hands from the first day of conflict to this very day. I've tired of the rhetoric and I can no longer believe that there isn't a way to bring or brave and courageous soldiers safely home and end the non-stop exodus of American tax dollars that further complicate our domestic agenda and the profound emotional cost of these wars, which are far more detrimental than dollars will ever be.
We must stop funding these wars and we must stop believing that democracy is somehow being defended in these two conflicts that have nothing to do with protecting us or making us somehow safer.
Before you go off on me I will remind you, for those who do not know, that I have one son who served in the military and one who is planning to join sometime this year. I am not anti military and I am not anti war, but I am pro truth and I am pro sanity and at this point there is nothing sane about the two wars we are still embroiled in no matter how you frame it.
We are told that our work in Iraq is mostly done, but mostly is all those who hold power need to continue to suck dollars and lives from our local communities. Afghanistan is not going well and although President Obama made what I thought was a terrible decision to continue the conflict in Afghanistan continues to tell us that progress is being made, how much longer do we have to be stressed and lied to before we realize that no matter what we want to accomplish, the two countries where our military presence is supposedly critical is not only unwanted but no longer helpful to their local causes. There would be no shame is taking our weapons and going home at this point as politicians are the only ones who seem to believe that whatever American democracy is is something that everyone wants, as that is clearly untrue.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, loss of limb(s), profound medical conditions what will plague these men and women for the remainder of their lives and the tremendous cost this created will be a reminder for the next two generations of what happens when bad decisions are allowed to continue unchallenged for years.
What is honestly being accomplished now in either Iraq or Afghanistan that is making positive difference? Name a particular victory of late, or at all, that is obvious as a result of the two wars since Saddam Hussein was captured? Name one!
The Washington Post keeps an ongoing list of the fallen heroes of these conflicts, and they are heroes. You should be mindful and actually outraged at how little we hear today about these ongoing conflicts. And shame on you if you think these conflicts are not making news anymore because there is no news because there is every day we just ignore it as a media and as a people.
I will even suggest that without this piece today most of you, MOST, would not have had even a passing thought about either Iraq or Afghanistan and you know I am right, sadly enough.
We can talk about the legality of these wars or the lies that led us to them. We can point fingers and place blame and there is plenty to go around. We can scream loudly how the very people we elect to represent us have played fast and loose with American lives without so much as showing a millisecond of concern or responsibility and the ongoing argument that if you vote against funding for these wars it is somehow proof that you don't support the troops is just plain ridiculous at this point, as it always was and will be.
How many more neighbors, sons, daughters, bothers, uncles, husbands, wives, aunts, and lovers have to fall before you have had enough? How much death and bloodshed must we have before you come to the understanding that even if you believed with all your heart this was the best and only thing we could do at the time, as ill informed as that position is, that that idea no longer carries any weight in current day reality? How many? Ask and answer these questions and perhaps you will see that the answer is and always was about just leaving and doing it quickly.
We will never leave if the American people continue to loudly do nothing as we are now. Our collective silence on war and the ongoing decay of society that can be directly linked to the onset of these conflicts should no longer be about saving face by hiding behind the IDEA of democracy and safety. Bring our soldiers home and let them defend their homeland; this country where not only will the body count decrease by 99.9% but the stronger borders we want and the heightened security we need could be accomplished by those who proudly serve today.
There are many reasons we are still at war and I could write a million more words to justify my position that we need to end our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan now, but there is only one reason that matters for the purposes of this scribing. It's the right thing to do, period.
You really have no concept of what the cost of war really is and you have no clue why this patriotism we hold on to so tightly has actually caused more harm then good at this point, for patriotism is by definition a love and loyalty of one's country. It's time to be a genuine patriot and demand we restore our soldiers to their place in this country and end the unnecessary and sick policies that are tearing apart families in every corner of this great land. If that is not something you can believe in then I do question your patriotism for what is more admirable than one who cares and believes in taking care of our neighbors and supporting and demanding that we do what is right and best for our country?
If you find my premise a liberal idea or misinformed I sadly understand that you have allowed yourself to be programmed into believing that what we are doing in the Middle East somehow is making a difference here at home, because it is not, if it ever was. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the name of democracy, literally. How can we be proud of that? How?
I pray for a sane understanding from you my friends, that now is the time to end this insanity and if you would please consider what I write today without a political filter. I have some scintilla of hope you will see what I see. I pray!