Friday, September 04, 2009

My Generation's Korean Conflict: The Forgotten War

Having done two extended deployments myself I understand the hardship that those soldiers from the 82nd Division HQ Battalion will face over that extra 52 days. It's 52 more chances to die or get injured essentially 52 more hands of poker with death and injury as the ante.

Why now does Afghanistan matter? Why after 8 fucking years is this war now registering with the leadership and the American public?

First, it's not about OBL. OBL is dead. Get over it. If we kill him he's a martyr if we capture him he becomes a target. So, now after 8 years people want to win the hearts and minds. We can win their hearts and minds. It's not our job our right our duty to protect and defend the constitution of Afghanistan. They now teach in Army strategic doctrine that one of our main purposes is to "protect American interests." Yeah, surprised the shit out of me too. GEN Smedley Butler and "War is a Racket" ring a bell. I don't know what Afghanistan is about now. But anything...anything we do is too little way, way, way the FUCK TOO LATE.

Really, you think after killing these people and occupying them for eight years we are now going to change their minds about western culture and democracy. That would be great if that's what they wanted. We're talking about a band of roving gypsies that settled down in the valleys a thousand years ago that have been invaded multiple times and lived the invasions out. They are not going to leave, but we are. We might as well leave without wasting more lives and treasure. Some wars are winnable, we have 3,000 years of evidence that a land war in Asia is not winnable.

I appreciate the leadership shown by our senior Generals and civilian leadership. It seems after EIGHT YEARS that the war in Afghanistan is getting another, more realistic look. The message I'm getting is that we are going to give it one more college try with realistic objectives and have a short span of time to do it. I don't know if that's because they think it's 'unwinnable' by whatever metrics you can win this war by, or if that's because public opinion is turning in tide against this war and they don't want to repeat Vietnam from 1969-1975. It is nearly impossible to fight a war without public support. However, you can still start one with 60 percent of the public against it. And you know public opinion is slipping for wars when the chickenhawks are squawking about getting out. Those who will rush into war on a 'pack of lies' but never serve themselves. Those who will fight any war anywhere at the drop of a hat so long as their deferments are upheld for polinoidal cysts and 'other priorities.' George Will, neo-con extraordinaire, is now saying we are through in Afghanistan and should have started the withdrawal yesterday. I find it convenient that now, with a Democratic president the conservatives are ready and willing to accept defeat and pin it on the Democratic commander-in-chief. This will keep their supposed 'security' credentials intact with the American public because the withdrawal wasn't done under a Republican just the lying into war and the mismanagement of two campaigns that led to this catch-22 position. Everything that led to this is their fault but will quickly be forgotten by the 24 hour news cycle public.

I think, generally, morale in the military is improving because we don't feel like we have brain-dead yes-men making decisions and it's people taking an honest look with realistic assessments of both Campaigns in the Theater. It's about fucking time. If we're going to sweat, bleed, and lose buddies can't it be for a tangible objective and not some ethereal jingoistic bullshit. Objectives such as 'spread freedom and democracy' vice 'clear, hold and build' X area for example. Which do you think is more realistic and obtainable for an 11B humping 100 pounds through mountains in 120 degree heat?

I know, I know, ours is not to ask why but to do or die.

When you're asked to do or die you should have a reality based and attainable objective for which to die, at the fucking least. Jingoism and propaganda only take you so far up that mountain.

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