What is going on here? We’re at war, right? Well, we are and we aren’t. We have a Presidential declaration of a “War on Terrorism,” but no Congressional declaration of war on any nation.
Today is Armed Forces Day, perhaps an appropriate time to look at what our armed forces are doing. Our armed forces continue to have skirmishes with terrorists in Iraq. These result in the deaths of many terrorists (underplayed by the media) and the deaths and injuries of fewer but significant numbers of our own people (carefully tabulated by the press). (Those who decry the loss of life among our troops — well over 2000 by now — and yearn for an end to the “war” appear to have no idea what war is really like. In our real wars, the death tolls ran to the tens of thousands. For perspective: I read the other day that we lost 12,000 men in the Okinawa campaign alone, in WWII. Iwo Jima was comparable, and there were many others.)
In WWII the idea was to defeat the Japanese enemy who had attacked us, as quickly as possible and whatever it took. What is the idea of this “war” on terrorism? According to our civilian leaders, it is to bring about “regime change” in Middle Eastern countries and to establish democracy therein. According to individual troops in occasional TV interviews, the idea is to make life better for the Iraqis or Afghanistanis.Â These soldiers appear to have been imbued with the altruistic principles that are potentially the death of this country. Perhaps Armed Forces Day should be renamed International Social Services Day.
The promise our President made after the attack of 9/11, when he vowed to go after countries that harbored or supported terrorists, is a far cry from what is actually occurring. The United States has known for decades that Iran is the main national source of terrorism. I have no clear idea why it was not the target of choice after the Taliban. I see no reason for refraining from destroying that dictatorship; it could be done without the cost in American lives that is currently going on in our “war” in Iraq. If our President told the military to take out Iran and let them do it, it could be accomplished in short order.
My Armed Forces Day wish: show the footage of the destruction of Manhattan’s Twin Towers and their thousands of lives over and over. Keep a visual image of that horrendous cataclysm before the American eye until it becomes very real that we are not in this for any reason except the annihilation of the dictatorships that brought it about.