Saturday, September 07, 2019

Saving face in Afghanistan...but not saving lives

The months long US negotiations with the Taliban to remove the 14,500 US troops there has one overriding purpose: saving Uncle Sam's face from his inevitable defeat in a war he should never have fought. But our endless face saving strategy didn't save the life of US Army Private 1st Class Ellis A. Barreto Oriiz, who died Thursday from a car bomb in Kabul. Ortiz is the fourth US soldier killed in the last two weeks, continuing the surge in US casualties that has made 2019 the worst for US soldiers since our official end to combat operations in 2014.

Most US citizens are oblivious of the ongoing carnage in Afghanistan as the media is complicit in our government's downplaying the 18 year long violence we unleashed on the Afghans in October, 2001. PFC. Ortiz got barely a mention in a tiny, easy to miss blurb on page 5 of my morning paper. That's business as usual as America desperately tries to save face in war everyone knows is lost and must be ended. But while America saves face, PFC Ortiz, his unfortunate comrades in arms, and thousands of Afghans are losing their lives.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Time for Trib to give peace a chance in Afghanistan

‘Three questions for President Trump on his looming Afghanistan peace deal’ (Trib editorial, September 5) should have simply asked the only question worth answering: “When will the US finally exit the 18 year long lost Afghan war?” Sadly, the Trib Editorial Board cannot face the truth that the Taliban has won for the same reason North Vietnam won in Vietnam: the US cannot impose its will on a nation determined to resist American aggression. Setting up a puppet government in Kabul 18 years ago never worked and never will. The fact Kabul was not even in the negotiations speaks volumes about America's fantasy it can retain influence in an Afghanistan free from US meddling. If the Trib was truly worried about extremists gaining a foothold in the region to threaten America, it would have opposed US military intervention that not only fractured Afghanistan, but fractured Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and West Africa, making them all targets of the very extremism we’re trying to prevent.

The Trib Editorial Board has no answers for the three questions it posed because there are none. Wasting pixels and newsprint fretting about the consequences of our inevitable defeat does not help the peace process. It inhibits it.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Machine Gun Nation

We may never know the motive Seth Ator gunned down 28 people, killing 7, before he was killed by police in Odessa, Texas. But we do know a nation which allows the manufacture sale and distribution of weapons of mass killing, such as the AR style weapon that enabled Ator's murderous rampage, is not doing Job 1 of a sane society....protecting its citizens from random violence. For some years now I've been calling these weapons of mass slaughter what they really are: machine guns.
Gun purists argue with me that's overkill in describing these weapons. The only overkill is the bodies piling up in the American shooing gallery from these machine guns.