Monday, March 12, 2012

Afghanistan: Soldier Killed Civilians. Defund The Army, End The War Now

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - OCTOBER 13:   Afghan sold...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

From Denny:  With Republicans so fond of pleasing their puppeteer war profiteers, they now find themselves in a quandary.  You see, the Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner, and, with it being an election year, they are cooked.

Republicans are big on deficit plans no matter how unrealistic.  Now they are faced with reducing the size of the active Army troops to the point the military can no longer run a two-front - or soon to be multi-front - war.  Another 100,000 ground troops will have to be slashed to meet the criteria of the $1.2 trillion budget cuts.

Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno whined to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee about his situation.  However can he secure his status to retire at a high pension and then acquire that all-coveted position of newly found wealth with his handler lobbyists and crappy think tanks?

Supposedly, it is the failure of the lawmaker supercommittee to agree on a deficit-reduction plan that caused this hardship for the Army.  But is it really?

War On Terror lack of success over a decade

The military has enjoyed an entire decade of War On Terror, not producing anything significant.  The Pentagon actually believed their own propaganda they tried to sell to an increasingly skeptical American public.  Who believes you can shove your own culture down the throat of a brutal Stone Age culture and they will be happy to embrace it?  Yes, that was the Bush Era of Happy Talk and unrealistic expectations.

Soldier went berserk this weekend, killing 16 Afghan civilians

Now, this weekend, as happens in all long-term wars, the unthinkable happened:  Our soldiers have started to turn on the local civilians.  One of our soldiers went berserk, killing at least 16 Afghan civilians.  Oddly enough, after the massacre, he came to his senses and confessed to his horrific crime.

President Obama's statement

President Obama was shocked and deeply saddened by the incident.  He called the shooting "tragic and shocking, and this does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan."

President Obama extended his condolences to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.  Obama made it clear his administration would establish the facts of what happened as quickly as possible to hold accountable those responsible.

Afghan President Karzai's statement

Afghan President Karzai was not impressed or mollified, stating, "This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven."

Secretary of Defense Panetta's statement

Apologies and statements of shock continue to flow from American officials and politicians.  Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated he "spoke to President Karzai to offer my deepest condolences and profound regret for the tragic incident in Kandahar province that resulted in the loss of life and injuries to innocent Afghan civilians, including women and children."

Sec. Panetta also said, "A full investigation is already underway" and "offered Karzai my assurances that we will bring those responsible to justice.  We will spare no effort in getting the facts as quickly as possible, and we will hold any perpetrator who is responsible for this violence fully accountable under the law."

Sec. Panetta also assured President Karzai that "the American people share the outrage" felt by Afghans over the Sunday incident.

ISAF Commander Gen. Allen's statement

Commander Gen. John R. Allen of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) also released a statement of "shocked and saddened" by the incident.  He pledged "a rapid and thorough investigation."

There are reports that it was the Afghan security forces who captured the suspected lone soldier of the attack, handing him over to the U.S. military.  Currently, he is being held at a NATO base.

Gen. Allen said, "We will maintain custody of the U.S. service member alleged to have perpetrated this attack.  And we will cooperate fully with local Afghan authorities as we ascertain all the facts.  This deeply appalling incident in no way represents the values of ISAF and coalition troops or the abiding respect we feel for the Afghan people."

Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid's statement

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) called the incident "absolutely wrong.  Our hearts go out to these innocent people," saying this incident was "just not a good situation" when interviewed on CNN's "State of the Union."

Will Afghans who killed U.S. troops over holy book burning be brought to justice?

While the American and international forces are getting to the bottom of this tragic incident, the Afghans need to fully investigate and hold accountable their own people who killed six Americans and 30 fellow Afghans over the holy books burning incident last month.  That outrage was so bad it was the Afghans that went berserk.

Stupid military, stupid government continues war for financial gain

You would think by now, after a decade at war, that all the men involved in this misery would have come to their senses, be they military, politicians or Big Business.  Human beings are simply not hard-wired for excessive long term stress such as war.

How long did anyone believe they could hold the discipline of the ground troops before massacres happened?  How long did anyone believe that cultural and religious clashes would not result in the killing of our soldiers?

How long will our United States government continue to be so foolish as to continue this war?  How long will President Obama and the Pentagon continue to visit unnecessary hardship upon our soldiers and their families?  How long can we send our soldiers on three, four and five tours of duty and think the unthinkable will not occur?

Republicans drag down America into bad decisions and the resulting misery

Of course, to hear it from the Republican side of the political aisle, America should not apologize for anything.  We should not apologize for occupying a country that is weary of our presence and war?  We should not apologize to our own soldiers that are suffering greatly from post traumatic stress, receiving little or no treatment from a disinterested Pentagon or impotent Congress?

Even over this incident the Republicans like Senator McCain are issuing statements of how this is a tragic incident on one breath.  On the other breath?  He is pleasing his war profiteers and advising we continue at war.  Read that as he does not care about the soldiers' level of stress or the Afghan people's stress.

The Republicans just don't care.  What they see as the perfect vision of government is a Police State that is under their complete control where they can rake in all the financial profits.  What a depraved mindset.

Financial gain and corruption on the highest levels of the military and government bring misery

The Republicans are all about enjoying the financial profits of war and desire this war, and many new ones, to continue perpetually.  The Pentagon pushes new wars constantly, big on the idea of never-ending war.  The military brass benefit financially after they leave the service so it is in their best interest to push war.  That's how out of control Big Business and the top levels of the military and government have become.  Selling war has become such a financially profitable business that no one wants to get off the drug drip.

What will America do to end the suffering for our soldiers and Afghanistan?

Isn't it time for America to grow up and stop the suffering of our own soldiers?  When will American leaders in the civilian government and the military start to care about how their actions, their callous decisions and their depraved mindsets are destroying American soldiers and their families, the American economy and the American reputation overseas?

Long over due:  End the Afghan War now

It is well past due time to end the war in Afghanistan.  America - and the world - do not want to hear about some distant draw down in a few years.

In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, it is demonstrated just how weary the American public is about the Afghan War.  A majority of Americans, to the level of 55 percent now, believe that most Afghans are opposed to our objectives in their country.

And 54 percent want our military to withdraw from Afghanistan now - even before succeeding at training the Afghan Army to be self-sufficient.  President Obama has hung his hat on that Afghan Army training policy, making it a pillar of his war strategy.  Time to change direction and revise the war strategy.

Long ago the Democrats and Independents figured out this Afghan War was not worth fighting.  For the first time in a decade it is Republican voters that are finally figuring out the obvious too:  Get out of Afghanistan today.

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