Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Nation's Dilemmas

Our nation is facing numerous dilemmas including, but not limited to:

-- how best to provide all our citizens health care while reducing the system's overall costs.

-- how best to extricate our nation's military troops from Afghanistan while successfully combating terrorism and reducing war's overall costs.

A lively discussion on these topics has been taking place at "Rainy Day Thoughts." I have periodically been contributing comments of my own there. A recent post there, "Health Care or Afghanistan" with the most recent one focused on the issue of U.S. military troops in Afghanistan. I wrote at such length as I sometimes am prone to do in comments on others blogs, I concluded I should probably just post these thoughts here.

The Taliban is not going away. They will regroup as they always have for generations. An American citizen former Afghan in our community explained the history of that group soon after we attacked Iraq.

I came to conclude he understood the situation better than any U.S. government officials, so-called experts and others that I've ever heard expound on the subject. He explained the history of the whole region and that of the Taliban's coming into being -- how their strength has always ebbed and flowed.

His grandfather was, reportedly, a highly respected War Lord compared to some of lesser repute. His father served in the Afghan government. When the Russians came into the country this now-former Afghan was allowed to attend the Afghan Air Force Academy, later trained in Russia. Then Russia was eventually replaced with the U.S. This now-pilot was brought to this country to train, then U.S. pulled out of Afghan. He stayed on becoming an American citizen, eventually successful businessman in our community.

He described how the Taliban has always stepped in to establish order with many Afghan people welcoming them as the lesser of evils -- when the country repeatedly disintegrates into chaos vs some sort of structure, and/or they are faced with "occupiers" of their country and they unite to eject them as they did the Russians.

This former-Afghan has just gone to Afghanistan for a year ostensibly to establish a business per a recent article in our local paper (available in the Claremont Courier recent archives with a fee or subscription.)

We can't undo the failure of the previous administration to aggressively go after Bin Laden in Afghanistan. They seemed too busy with avenging Saddam's years earlier attack on our then-President's daddy (who was our President during the Kuwait War.) They created a nightmare based on lies, betrayed this countries ideals based on the false premise of defending our nation, and have blood on their hands. Maybe we would ultimately have had to attack Iraq from Afghanistan, but we'll never know. We do know not enough focus was placed on capturing Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Pakistan was then and increasingly is now a problem.

Meanwhile, Bin Laden must be laughing in his lair at how our countries leaders fell into his trap and our nation has reaped greater inner destruction than his wildest dreams.

We have a true "catch 22" with Afghanistan and whatever choice we make will not be the correct one. Meanwhile the blood of our young people flows as does that of many innocent Afghanistan people.


  1. Good summary, Joared. It seems odd to me that our leaders think they will make their places in history through winning wars when, in truth, their places in history have been diminished by the wars that they have joined us into - with the notable exception of WWs I & II.

    Although I served six years in the Naval Reserve (never called to active duty) and was ready to contribute my part in time of national emergency, I don't understand the allure of blood-shedding. We should be vigilant and ready/willing to fight; but, we should not assume the role of world-wide police or world-wide bully. Some areas of the world have been in turmoil for thousands of years. What hubris for us to believe we can calm them through wars!
    Cop Car

  2. Good thoughts. If you have time, you might put a link to it in the pertinent post. Did you see Rich's column this morning-- Frank Rich on the same topic. I hope Americans will get informed as best they can on this as we get in the most trouble when we are ignorant.

  3. Great and insightful post JoAnn...thank you so much.

  4. Sadly, the politicians know this but they are so beholden to the military industrial complex that it becomes irrelevant in their eyes.

  5. I don't know if my first response went through I'm having computer issues thus, great post sadly I can relate to so much here..

    Dorothy from grammology

  6. Cop Car: We do have to be prepared to defend our country, so I'm always appreciative of those who are willing to put their lives on the military line for the rest of us. I do resent when their noble intentions are used and abused inappropriately.

    Rain: Didn't want to flagrantly promote my blog without your okay, so thanks. Will try to get over there. Thanks for the Frank Rich link -- I hadn't read it and it's quite good.

    Joy: Thanks for your kind words.

    Darlene: Sadly, what you say is too true.

    Dorothy: Your first comment must not have come through. Can empathize with the frustration of computer problems -- expect all of us have had to go through that.
    Hope the kinks get worked out for you.