Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Never Forget"? I Remember

I remember 9/11. My family lived through the aftermath in a personal way - lots of time apart, in uncertainty.  I look at the mess the government has made of the post 9/11 efforts of our military.  Either the government sent out us to do things we shouldn't, or the government took its eye off of national security and began to look to politics, or both.
My conclusion is simple.  Government is not competent to much of anything, especially wage war.
We argue about whether the death penalty is right or wrong, and whether it was Bush or Obama or Kennedy or Johnson or Nixon or the Democrats that are to blame for the seeming disasters of our incompetent foreign interventions.  Those people are just the bit players in a political system.  We commit the lives of the military with high sounding big talk about 1% risk of this or that, and then back up all the talk - after the blood is spilled and limbs lost and brains scrambled and the civilians get whipsawed as we blast in and breeze out - with decisions based on political polls and electability and some froth about the political legacy of this or that buffoon sitting behind the desk in the oval office.

Political legacy?  Pathetic.

I don't think it is possible for our government, any government, to wage a just war beyond a war of survival.  I don't think any government is competent enough to deprive a citizen of his/her life, no matter the crime that citizen may have committed.

I would prefer that the US military withdrawal from the world stage were conducted competently, rather than accidentally, but I think if it is allowed to continue, military withdrawal will eventually be a good thing.

I think of the valor of many soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines who are not here to remember.  I think of hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis who were killed in the turmoil that we created and then recreated when political expedience dictated that we leave.  Only the soulless can ignore all those who pay for the incompetence and short sightedness and soullessness of the US government.

Let other peoples' incompetent governments screw their lives up - let's get our pathetic politics out of that business, so that at worst, we Americans and only we Americans pay the cost for the idiots we elect.

Honor to you my fallen brothers and sisters.  Honor to those who did their duty, who bore the costs, who did as they had sworn they would, who defeated the enemy in the field and cared for many non-combatants who needed your care.  Honor to those who lived the horror, saw the dying and paid in blood for the privilege.  It's not your fault that politicians are who they are.  The things you were fighting for were real, and those things were much larger and more real and more meaningful than the sots who sit in DC and choose our fates based on their insatiable need for significance.  I salute you.  

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