The American Soldier

 

For 20 years, US military personnel have given grace to the Afghan people and brought swift justice to their oppressors. For 20 years, Afghan women have been kept from sexual slavery because of American military presence. For 20 years Afghan, women have been able to go to school, protected by American servicemen; an opportunity heretofore not allowed by the male-dominated society. For 20 years, the American soldier has stood athwart tyranny.

But let us not forget why America was in Afghanistan in the first place. A generation has passed since the awful day when our nation was attacked by terrorists, terrorists whose place in the world was protected by the then despotic rulers of Afghanistan. The American soldier returned fire, raining down justice so that freedom might ring. And the freedom was passed on to the Afghan people. The American soldier was the face of the American people, interested in nothing more than peace.

America’s protective, peace-keeping service continues today (long after World War II) in Europe and at the DMZ in Korea. Why American presence could not continue in a conditional advice-and-consent role in Afghanistan was not a decision made by the American soldier. Our commitment to peace in the Middle East was kept by the American soldier. It is unfortunate but true that in a sin-marred world there are times when the forces of good must face off against the forces of evil, with force. The American soldier runs toward the battle; the people that need protection are grateful for their fence of grace.

And the American soldier was triumphant every day for 20 years. The American soldier did not “lose” anything. Do not listen to the headlines from so-called journalists who insist that America “lost.” Hard-fought victories were won because of American military might and the combat readiness of an all-volunteer Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Air Force. The losses sustained in our war on terror were the lives of men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice – another marker of grace – for freedom. American soldiers leave their post in triumph, heads held high, US citizens that gave of themselves, so that Afghan people could taste a bit of the freedom that so many in these 50 states have every day.

So, chalk up another American military victory. Our men and women in uniform leave Afghanistan as they came into Afghanistan, having meted out justice while giving grace to those who would receive it. For 20 years, that American grace has been a shield against despotism. No matter one’s geopolitical perspective, there is no dispute that American soldiers did their duty, protecting our country and caring for those in-country that could not protect themselves. Once again, as has been true over our 250-year history, America responds with force against aggression. And the American soldier, triumphant for 20 years in Afghanistan, stands ready again to go down range.

– Written with admiration and thanks from a proud American (Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash)

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  1. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    What you are describing is not peace but an enforcement of our idea of what the good life is. We do not even agree among ourselves about what the good life is..

    Because we then try to impose our own idea of what the good life is on other people who disagree with us about what the good life is, this leads to the murder and mayhem we see in places such as Afghanistan. And it comes back to bite us in the form of terrorism because they don’thave a military as mighty as we do. And we let in people who have a profoundly different notion of what the good life is increasing domestic incoherence.

    We never seem to learn.

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  2. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I seem to remember that on 9/11 terrorists in Afghanistan, a country that provided a sanctuary for terrorists who tried to impose their will on us, a country thousands of miles away. 2,996 people, from 78 countries died in that attack.

    There is no moral equivalency between those that can build a passenger aircraft and those who cannot build one, and who only wish to know enough to use that aircraft to take thousands of lives.

    The lesson that Americans should remember that any nation whose government that slaughters their own citizens will not treat us any differently.

    The images of the panic of Afghani’s trying to get to the airport to get out of Kabul should tell us that our efforts did make a difference in Afghanistan. If that is not enough 20 years without a major foreign terrorist attack in the United States did make a difference.

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  3. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Ultimately it comes down to your reaction to Kennedy’s inaugural address statement: “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

    If we are willing to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship” anywhere, anytime, it will result in the doom of liberty. It will certainly mean that the United States will be doomed. You have to pick your battles and decide what is important, prioritize and realize that we cannot do everything. 

    Afghanistan may have been important in 2001 for the reasons you stated. It was not important in 2003 or thereafter. And frankly, we did not make any lasting difference in Afghanistan and never would have. There has only been one beneficiary of our policy: China. Certainly not the American people.

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  4. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Mark Eckel: For 20 years Afghan, women have been able to go to school, protected by American servicemen; an opportunity heretofore not allowed by the male-dominated society.

    For 20 years, they’ve learned about intersectional feminism and transexuals, seen the rainbow flag fly over the American embassy, and learned how to smash the patriarchy. Mission accomplished.

    Regrettably, there will be no gay pride parades in Kabul and no statues honoring George Floyd. Afghan children will not be taught critical race theory and how to eliminate whiteness. You can’t win ’em all.

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  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Mark Eckel:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This photo reminds me of the one that’s turned up occasionally over the last couple decades, of the fully-decked-out US soldier giving candy to local children.

    My thought when I see that photo is, here is a kind, generous person, who is also prepared at a moment’s notice to lay waste to any threat to those same children.

    As it should be.

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  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Mark Eckel: For 20 years Afghan, women have been able to go to school, protected by American servicemen; an opportunity heretofore not allowed by the male-dominated society.

    For 20 years, they’ve learned about intersectional feminism and transexuals, seen the rainbow flag fly over the American embassy, and learned how to smash the patriarchy. Mission accomplished.

    Regrettably, there will be no gay pride parades in Kabul and no statues honoring George Floyd. Afghan children will not be taught critical race theory and how to eliminate whiteness. You can’t win ’em all.

    Not so. None of this happened, including the rainbow flag. There was an embassy  Tweet this June, for the first time ever.

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  7. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

     

     

     

     

     

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  8. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Mark Eckel: For 20 years Afghan, women have been able to go to school, protected by American servicemen; an opportunity heretofore not allowed by the male-dominated society.

    For 20 years, they’ve learned about intersectional feminism and transexuals, seen the rainbow flag fly over the American embassy, and learned how to smash the patriarchy. Mission accomplished.

    Regrettably, there will be no gay pride parades in Kabul and no statues honoring George Floyd. Afghan children will not be taught critical race theory and how to eliminate whiteness. You can’t win ’em all.

    Not so. None of this happened, including the rainbow flag. There was an embassy Tweet this June, for the first time ever.

    Do you imagine that the people of Afghanistan are unaware of contemporary American values? Even by your own admission, the US government promoted gay pride on Twitter and, undoubtedly, in other ways. Any idea how that might go over in that culture? Same goes for the rest of it. 

    It need not be literally true that intersectional feminism and transexuality were taught in schools there, though neither of us knows exactly what was taught.* It’s enough to know that these are the values of the NGOs and our government officials who were doing the teaching. 

    *Or do you have the syllabi? If so, please post them!

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  9. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

     

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