Epiphanyblog

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Afghanistan forever?

with 2 comments

Mike Pense, Rep of Indiana

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana on MSNBC

Tonight Rep Mike Pense spoke on Hardball. He stated quite clearly that the US military should stay in Afghanistan until we win, regardless of how long that winning takes. What I want to ask: what does winning mean? What describes winning in a country that no invader ever subdued in its entire history, going all the way back to Alexander the Great? What is winning in Afghanistan supposed to look like?

At a cost of $1M per year per soldier, the US has already spent over $250B in the eight years it’s been in Afghanistan (although I suspect the cost is closer to $1Trillion). Now, we’re looking an additional troop cost of at least $60M just to complete the 2 year mission Pres. Obama stated.

US soliders in Afghanistan

American GIs fighting in Afghanistan

We have a country in which a significant number of the working population cannot afford to buy food; food stamp usage is at an all time high; hundreds of people die every day for lack of health care access; many will die this winter for lack of affordable heat; hundreds of thousands of children are living on the street (or in their parents cars) because of home foreclosure and unemployment; most homes are underwater – worth less than they bought them for; and real unemployment is estimated at 20%. This country is embroiled in the worst fiscal and economic mess of over the last 60 years at the very least!

Added to all that “good” news, the American Association of Civil Engineers stated a year ago that most of American bridges, highways, dams, and waterways are serious jeopardy of failing, crashing, crumbling – as in Katrina-like destruction in almost every state in the country. Oh, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the country could partially pay for unending war by eliminating the unspent stimulus monies. You know, those monies meant to rebuild all those crumbling bridges, waterways, dams, and roads…uh, and hire people who desperately need the work! I guess your health and safety and livelihood doesn’t really matter. Just keep up that war stuff. Forever if necessary!

If this country cannot afford to take care of the US and its population, what, in heavens name, makes anyone think the US can afford an interminable war in a country that has repelled foreigners for over 3,000 years?

Now, I’m no weeping, wimpy peace-nik. I grew up in the military and married a guy who spent a year on the ground in ‘Nam. I’m willing to give the President and Pentagon the opportunity to change the dynamics in Afghanistan, even though I have serious doubts as to the US being able to make any real difference in the political, social, tribal, economic and military arenas within Afghanistan. But, hey, I’ll give them a chance…for two years. But, please, don’t expect my tolerance to last much longer. I simply can’t afford it. Nor can my newborn granddaughter!

I don’t like those ignorant, medieval Taliban idiots any more than anyone else living in any civilized country. Nevertheless, will the US be able to make a difference in this culture? I doubt it. Regardless, I’ll give the US government and the Afghan government one more, limited chance.

However, I refuse the idea that the American people expend years upon years of our youth’s blood and our national treasure on war. We have far too many needs at home. So, someone tell me, what does winning look like?

By the way, is the US military out of Iraq yet?

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Written by Valerie Curl

December 3, 2009 at 7:47 AM

2 Responses

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  1. Chest beatings of a Silverback.

    Ken Ballweg

    December 10, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    • Who? Me or Pense?

      Valerie Curl

      December 10, 2009 at 4:37 PM


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