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Enough is Enough: War Chatter from the Oval Office

By       Message Jake Diliberto       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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On August 31, 2010, President Obama declared a, "successful end to Iraq". President Obama said, "Like all Americans, I am awed by [US Serviceman and woman] sacrifice, and by the sacrifices of their families."

What were those "sacrifices"?

As I reflect on my time as a Marine in Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, I cry small tears. I recall, 9 years ago I was in the same places the current fighting forces are at now.

I think about my good friend Jeff Taylor USN (S.E.A.L). We were in Operation Enduring Freedom 2001 together. We were first boots on the ground after 9/11. While deployed, we used to talk about the good life in the US. We used to discuss McDonalds, motorcycles, and our favorite-hobby skydiving. When we returned in 2002 we were glad to return safely, and we were proud of our work. However, Jeff's story did not end like mine.

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Today, Jeff rests inside his coffin. He returned to Afghanistan in 2004, and he died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan 2005.

God Rest his soul, but I want to know how many more will die. How many more brave young people will go to war? How many more of my friends are going to pay the ultimate sacrifice? When will Washington DC be able to prop up a corrupt government resting Kabul Afghanistan.

Afghanistan President Karzai safely sits in Kabul, and President Obama sits in the ivory towers of the Washington-which one of them really cares about my friends? Obama and Karzai cooperate to send thousands of Americans to war, yet they never have to worry about the blood we shed or the scars in our heads. Presidents can send their children to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford while American security rests in the hands in ordinary people like my friends and me. We suffer from PTSD, sleepless nights, and bad memories. Meanwhile the President says, "Thanks, I have a new war for you to go to".

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President Obama is moving ahead for more war in Afghanistan. He has a list of reasons why. He has said, "Afghanistan is vital to American security". I wonder, if the war were so necessary, would the President be willing to send his two daughters to Afghanistan? Likewise, if President Bush's daughters were in the military would he have been so willing to send them to Iraq. No one can know the truth, but it is a needed and fair question for the Commander in Chief.

As a Combat Marine of Iraq and Afghanistan, I struggle with President Obama's tribute to us. I do not think he will ever know about our sacrifices unless his own children go to war. President Obama will probably never know about our nightmares and our post war anxiety. President Obama will never remember about the American, British, or Iraqis blood that covered our fighting vehicles. President Obama will never know about our own moral crises and our moral injuries incurred during war. In fact, most Presidents never will.

No one will know about our sacrifices except for those of us who have been in the trenches.

Moving to his speech: President Obama failed to mention the national costs of war. The President indicated he wants more war in Afghanistan, yet he refuses to admit the national social for this war. Indeed, the most damaging costs to Americans at large are the social costs, yet President Obama has not said a word.

Consider the Iraq war,

-- More than 4,500 American soldiers are dead and 40,000 wounded because of the war.

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-- The U.S. taxpayers paid above a trillion dollars some estimates into 3 trillion dollars.

--Iran has grown in strength

-- Jihadist terrorist attacks increased around the world seven-to-ten fold in the three years following the 2003 invasion.

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Jake Diliberto is the Co-Founder of Veterans For Rethinking Afghanistan. He was a Marine Cpl. He served with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and served on security forces for II MEB in Operation Iraqi (more...)

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