On Monday, Aug. 6, a roadside explosion killed three members of our armed forces in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Sgt Jacob M. Schwallie, 22; Spc Chase S Marta, 24; Pfc Dustin D Goss, 19, of the 82nd Airborne Division were killed in action. These young men were volunteer soldiers. They willingly signed up for service to their country.
I write this because you have forgotten what happens to our fighting men and women on a daily basis in the middle east. For over 10 years you have sat on your hands and let our senators and representatives send the best of our nations defenders to a barren wasteland to fight a war that is not even mentioned on the evening news. Our representatives in government are simply doing their jobs. If you don"t tell them to stop this insane war, they won't stop it.
During Viet Nam, soldiers were drafted, some joined. We have an all volunteer army now. Is that why college kids don't protest? The overall number of soldiers is a fraction of those who fought in Viet Nam. Is that why the mothers and fathers are not heard today? Just not enough angry protesters to be heard.
The three paratroopers who died Monday all had an American flag on their uniform. Thank you Sgt Schwallie, Spc. Marta and Pfc Gross for your sacrifice. I apologize for the 300 million Americans who have forgotten that we are at war.
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Harry Presley didn't go far enough when, on Tuesday, he called Afghanistan, "An Insane War."
Hannibal, Khan, the Soviets all attempted to tame this region of profoundly poor but indomitable, simple people. The U.S. mentality of superiority continues to think that the U.S. can achieve its nebulous goals with 10 percent the strike force the Soviets failed with? Ten percent or less of the personnel the U.S. conscripted to Vietnam, and that conflict is remembered as a "wash."
The reason we are in these wars is an over-reaction to 9/11. The fact is Americans kill themselves on our own highways to the tune of 50,000 a year or more. If Americans refuse to rally for that kind of a cause, how realistic is it to expect a remote conflict in Afghanistan to make the news? This is not a desperate gamble for morale as was Jim Doolittle's raid on Japan. It's just...desperate.
Trillions of unrecoverable ($0 payoff) tax dollars could have been redirected to concrete research projects for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and more. Shoring up the Louisiana coastline. Aiding the drought stricken portions of our country. Believably, with that kind of money we would have been watching home movies of astronauts on Mars instead those from an already aging technological Tinker Toy.
This is an insane war because all it does is look to the past. It is a sad commentary that none of the serious candidates chose to talk about anything except this country's obligations and entitlements. Everyone has forgotten this country's dreams. Neither the candidates nor the voters have had their eyes-on-the-ball for quite some time. An insane war is likely to be the only kind of war this country's current attitude and mentality is willing to engage in until government leadership has matured enough to look beyond a stubbed toe, and the population stop acquiescing to being led around by the ring in their collective nose.
David D. Fihn, Sr.