I can't think of a generation in recent times who have not had a war to fight. Is it the neighborhood or are things always the same with different actors playing their parts? Lately it is beginning to sound like Orwell's 1984, war is peace message. I'm sure the Right Wing Republican Conservatives are pleased that president Obama has announced a surge of troops for Afghanistan as the majority of Democrats are unhappy about it. The converse is true that the Republican Conservatives are unhappy about a stated time table for withdrawal while the Democrats for the most part are pleased.
Maybe every generation of American manhood and now womanhood needs a war to test their metal. But war is becoming increasingly lethal and the human consequences becomes an enduring national tragedy. It seems that the lessons of history are lost on future generations. Every generation is guilty of hubris and believes that they will not repeat the mistakes of the past and then they go ahead and do exactly that.
I am sure that if there is the will and the money, which we seem to have in abundance for war but not for much else, we can stay in Afghanistan indefinitely and prevail. The cost in human lives and the damaged Americans will be a burden the nation will have to absorb. The damaged human beings that eventually will be the remnants of the war will haunt our doorways, parks, sleep in cardboard boxes and commit crimes and be reported as "Afghanistan vet kills..." as with those VietNam vets that became the invisible and forgotten victims and homeless derelicts who never could escape from the tragedy of their war.
History will judge the merits of the Afghanistan War, a war that the Bush administration could have closed the chapter on had they the foresight to finish the job of eliminating Bin Laden and the Taliban when they were on the run and disorganized. But President Bush had other priorities and that was a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein and hence the war with Iraq and the destabilizing of the whole region and the continuing war in Afghanistan that has been inherited by the Obama administration.
The surge of thirty thousand troops may not be enough, maybe three hundred thousand or even five hundred thousand would be better, that would ensure a swifter victory; and a general could announce on television that "there is light at the end of the tunnel". The problem is where to get these hundreds of thousands of new troops to send to Afghanistan? A simple solution is bring back the draft. Draft young men and women from every walk of life, with no deferments, and send them to Afghanistan. We will either win quickly or we will end it quickly by declaring victory and bringing our troops home. This makes sense and I for one will begin to write my representatives in support of a draft. Once we have instituted the draft we will see where those Americans stand who were willing to send other peoples children to fight a war that their children didn't.
The American people, on the Right, Left and Middle, Evangelical and atheist, will have a personal stake in the war in Afghanistan and then we will see where they stand and then the politicians will take notice when the people take action.
Glenn, the genius, Beck and Obama and the Afghanistan war
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Recommended Book: From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Pierce delivers a rapier-sharp rant on how the America of Franklin and Edison, Fulton and Ford has devolved into America the Uninformed, where citizens hostile to science are exchanging fact for fiction, and faith for reason, and glutting themselves on reality TV and conspiracy theories. Pierce makes no apologies for his liberal bias, and some conservatives—notably evolution opponents and Rush Limbaugh—endure a good deal of bashing. Pierce writes that in the U.S., Fact is merely what enough people believe, and truth lies only in how fervently they believe it. He supports his thesis with references to James Madison and other founding fathers, who may have foreseen and rued the emergence of cranks who would threaten the Enlightenment-based nation they were shaping. Although the book is not likely to win any converts from the right wing Pierce so energetically decries, it is an engaging catalogue of those unscientifically verified truths that enthrall and impassion millions of Americans. (June)
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