Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Yeah…’Cuz Sorry is for Suckas!

27 Feb

So, in the latest episode of “I Can Do Better Than Obama,” starring the home-schooling, ovary inspecting Republican flavor of the week, presidential candidate Rick Santorum basically called out the POTUS for what he interpreted as being weak when The President apologized to the people of Afghanistan after it was revealed that American soldiers inadvertently burned materials belonging to prisoners at Bagram Air Base, including Qurans.

On NBC’s Meet The Press, Santorum clarified his remarks:

 “I don’t think the president should have apologized for something that was clearly inadvertent, [He should have said] this was inadvertent, this was a mistake. There was no deliberate act. There was no [intention of] disrespect – this is something that occurred that shouldn’t have occurred, but it was an accident.”

So, instead of simply stating “we apologize for accidentally burning your holy books,” Rick Santorum believes that the president should have articulated that sentiment 1) without actually using the words, “sorry” or “apologize” and instead replaced the short and sweet phrase or two with a varying amalgamation of the above 31 words.

Okay…wait.  So, admit to making a mistake, clarify that it was accidental, but by no means; NO WAY, NO HOW apologize for it. Right, because that makes sense.  Mr. Santorum went on to say that it was actually the Afghans that should be doing the apologizing.

 “The response… needs to be apologized for, by Karzai and the Afghan people, of attacking and killing our men and women in uniform, and overreacting to this mistake. That is the real crime, not what our soldiers did.”

 Okay, let try to put Rick’s theory into practice here…

You know what? I did mistakenly back into my neighbor’s car last week, but it wasn’t on purpose.  It was inadvertent – a misjudgment in night-time periphery.  It shouldn’t have occurred, but it was of course, just an accident.

I imagine that explanation will more than satisfy his claims adjuster.

But seriously though, someone cut off Santorum’s poppy supply please!  Westerners have played Occupy Afghanistan for the past several decades, have figuratively and literally pissed on their culture (and their dead) and now have burned their Qurans.  Mistake or not, how exactly did Santorum expect the Afghan people to respond? I’m pretty sure that we all believe in our heart of hearts that the matter of the burned Qurans was a horrible blunder on the part of the United States, but certainly one that was not deliberate.  I think however, at the very least, an apology for such an egregious error coming from the leader of the free world was not only a diplomatic gesture, but it was an opportunity to show that it isn’t global policing, ultimatums and sheer capitalism alone that makes our nation one of the greatest countries in the world, but the ability to display true contrition and humility, even in the face of an unintentional act that does.

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America’s War on Terror: The PISS de Résistance?

14 Jan

Graphic: Scroll to the end of this post  for video of Marines caught urinating over Afghan bodies. 

Upon first hearing of this defilement and having since had several intense conversations with friends, family and social media followers alike, I could not help but to be sickened by the alleged actions of members of our otherwise highly regarded armed forces, and even some of the commentary which has teetered almost on excusing said behavior.

For those not familiar with the story, an anonymous source posted a video to the internet which depicts four members of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, in combat gear standing over three Afghan corpses with their genitals exposed as they relieve themselves.

While the men aren’t readily identifiable in the shocking viral spectacle, they can be heard joking and making statements like ‘Have a great day, buddy’, ‘Golden like a shower’ and ‘Yeahhhh!’ as they moan in apparent relief and release.

From the White House to local barbershops, within hours of the video’s release, most anyone with a heart, conscience, a moral compass or a at least a modicum or respect for humanity had been vocal in speaking out against this disgusting display.  Not surprisingly though, there have been those who were equally as vocal in (almost) defending the alleged actions of these soldiers.

Though speaking from a place of experience and understanding, Ex-Army Lieutenant Colonel and current Florida Rep. Allen West insisted that the Marines were wrong but angrily defended:

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth.  War is hell.”

 The “everyone else” that Mr. West referred to included (but was clearly not limited to) political pundits who he deemed over-emotional, self-righteous and armchair quarterbacks over their opinions on the future of the men and the disgrace that they’ve brought the armed forces.

One media pundit not fitting into Mr. West’s mold however is CNN correspondent and conservative radio host Dana Loesch.  Sharing her views on a St. Louis radio station this week, Loesch made her opinion clear:

 “’C’mon people, this is a war.  Do I have a problem with that as a citizen of the United States? No, I don’t.”

She also said that she would give a million cool points to these guys and would be willing to join them.

Classy lady.

Realistically though, I do get it.  Though never personally having had the remarkable courage or desire to serve my country in the armed forces, I have had family to serve in Vietnam and even members who’ve done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The horrendous stories I have been told of survival and daily life in those war-torn regions are cringe-worthy tales that I still cannot even wrap my mind around, so yes, I am sympathetic.  Living through an ordeal like that; I am sure continues to be a nightmare within itself.

In that regard, Mr. West is absolutely correct.  It is easy for civilians to pass judgment and make baseless comments about behaviors enacted in war when they have never stared death in the face or had to decide between their lives or that of the insurgent trying to blow their heads off.  Still, like I tweeted earlier this week, I honestly do understand the whole “psychology” of a solider and cringe at all they are liable to see and required to do, but the standard of The United States and that of our Marine Corp. is just too high for that behavior.  In this country, we cannot insist that we be recognized as beacons of the free world, yet relegate ourselves to urinating on people…dead people, for kicks.

No One Wins A War

7 Oct

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Today marks the 9th Anniversary of the commencement of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; The United States’ response to the September 11th attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent American citizens. And in this nine year time frame, what has going to war in Afghanistan accomplished?  What have we learned?  Are we any closer to a resolution in the region?  I imagine that the answers to those questions aren’t simply cut and dry, and can have a subjective slant to them, depending on who you ask. 

What is concrete about Enduring Freedom nine years later is that there are close to 80,000 more troops currently in Afghanistan than when the war started, roughly 60% of Americans are against the United States’ presence there, the financial (read: taxpayer) cost of Enduring Freedom to date is somewhere in the neighborhood of $352 billion and while it has been confirmed that a total of 2,100 U.S. and coalition troops have died in Afghanistan since 2001, thousands of Afghani civilians continue to be buried in mass graves as they remain the largest source of collateral damage there. 

Now surely, with the capture of insurgents, the “neutralization” of Al Qaeda operatives and even President Karzai taking the unorthodox approach of negotiating with terrorists forming a council to help negotiate with the Taliban to establish peace in the war-torn country, there has been some successes to come out of Operation Enduring Freedom.  But when you think of the ramifications of this war in terms of a nation even more deeply in debt, another in political, social and economic disarray and the price of freedom tantamount to the loss of humanity and the collection of body-part trinkets, it’s got to make you wonder who wins in war?

Raheem DeVaughn and friends (Jill Scott, Bilal, Anthony Hamilton, Algebra, Chrisette Michele, Shelby Johnson, Ledisi, Citizen Cope, Dwele, Chico DeBarge & Rudy Currence) take a rudimentary yet humanistic approach in answering this age old question; nobody

I am literally moved to tears and gooseflesh every. single. time. I hear this song, especially during Ms. Scott’s prolific assessment on the cause and effect of exerting all of our efforts to do battle instead of considering a less violent alternative.  If only the rest of the 60% in opposition to war-waging under “questionable pretenses” were as adamantly vocal…

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