In some cases my some fellow liberals, especially those to the far left, can be as exasperating as died in wool conservatives or the Tea Party guys in the tri-cornered hats and the “Don’t Tread on Me” flags. While those of the far left and the far right are on different ends of the spectrum, they have commonalities. Some of these are beliefs that they are totally right and everyone else is totally wrong and their pathetic inability to compromise, even if it is in their best interest to do so. They can both also be irrational.
Lately one of the far left liberals started on a thread on a liberal discussion website I frequent with the post entitled: “Can I just say that the endless war in the Middle East is destroying our country?” In the text he compared our involvement in Syria and Iraq to that of Russia in Afghanistan and pointed out how much this country has spent in those conflicts. In addition he claimed that the wars were being waged “on the backs of students, the elderly, our children and the poor” and sights the killing of innocents in the war zones. He is particularly critical of “50 boots on the ground in Syria” and ends with the statement, “In my view, our military isn’t destroying our enemies, it’s destroying us.” A number of like minded posters replied in kind with one of them making the statement, “And these wars are Obama’s wars not Bush’s. He took ownership the moment he decided to continue them.”
When I read the original post and its replies, something inside of me shouted out, enough of this BS! These people are clueless. Any point of view taken to extremes becomes a caricature of itself and loses all touch with rationality. Some of these people provide prime examples.
As a former Air Force officer who served during the Vietnam War, I have seen the havoc which war brings not only not only in terms of lives ended, bodies maimed, and property destroyed, but also the mental anguish it often brings into the lives of those solders who are fortunate enough to survive physically untouched. Believe me no one really understands the horror war more than those who experienced it first hand. And those people are the most hesitant to put American solders in harms way again. However, just as adopting a non violence stance in the middle of a very violent situation can easily get you killed, adopting a policy of never using our military to defend ourselves is the most dangerous form of naivety.
While I figured that it would make me very unpopular on the liberal website, I decide to reply with my own post. It is contained below. While most replies in the thread elicited active follow on discussion, not one person replied to my post. I think you can figure out why. Here it is:
- The majority of Americans, including me, believed that the war in Afghanistan was necessary because the Taliban government was giving free rein and encouragement to a guy named Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. They had just flown two passenger jets filled with innocent people into the World Trade Center in New York which whose buildings were filled with a lot more innocent people. And let’s not forget the innocent lives lost at ion aircraft they crashed into the Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 people died that day. Worst yet ben Laden vowed to continue his attacks on our country in every way possible. When the Taliban government of Afghanistan refused to quit giving safe harbor to al-Qaeda, we had little choice but to go in after them ourselves. Otherwise al-Qaeda would have grown in strength in its safe refuge and we would still be dealing with multiple cases of having our civilians killed on our streets.
- On the other hand, as the rhetoric of the Bush administration increased in volume and we started to build up troops in Kuwait, I preached endlessly that an invasion of Iraq was unnecessary and unwise. I compared the overthrow of Saddam to removing an evil stopper from a bottle filled with very evil liquid which, once released, could not be contained. But the American people believed the administration’s lies and we went to war again – one of the biggest mistakes in our history.
- Bush compounded his huge mistake of invadingIraq with three more momentous blunders. The Iraqi invasion diverted our attention away from a potentially volatile situation in Afghanistan allowing that situation to continue to simmer uncontrolled. In Iraq, Rumsfeld and Chaney planned the invasion “on the cheap, failing to take into account the insurrections would inevitably erupt once the evil stopper was removed. They also agreed to the dismantling of the Iraqi army, the only force other than American soldiers capable of enforcing the peace in the aftermath to the invasion and the only force capable of protecting the country from outside threats.
- Everything which has since unfolded in that part of the world, including the rise of ISIS in Iraq is the direct result of the stupidity of the Bush administration. I am sick and tired of so call “liberals” blaming President Obama for the aftermath of both wars. In doing so they imply that President Obama has made a couple of horrible situations worse and that is simply not the case. He is simply trying to clean up the messes left to him by his predecessor as best he can while placing as few Americans in harms way as possible. Anyone who cannot see that simply lacks proper vision.
- I am also sick and tired of people who believe that any use of our military is some kind of horrible mistake. I would love to live in a world where a military is not even necessary, where countries or groups never attack anyone else and where all disputes are resolved by negotiations. Wake up folks! That is not the world we live in! And yes, we can all sit around and blame our government’s past policies and mistakes for the fact that are a number of people in the world who consider us their enemies and are trying to settle old scores, but that won’t change the fact that we live in a dangerous world. If you think it is wise to totally disengage and allow ISIS run wild in Syria and Iraq to form their Caliphate, you are not as bright as I as I had hoped. Once ISIS has secured in their conquered territory, and have raped, murdered, and subjected the local populations to their hearts content, they will turn their eyes outward towards the Great Satan. We can either deal with that situation now or later, but we will have to deal with it.
- If you want to pretend that we can ignore threats like ISIS and believe that any use of our military is an abomination, by all means do so. But remember you are part of a very small minority and you are alive and free to maintain your beliefs only because other Americans are willing to shoulder your burdens and protect you.