... and it is a war we have grown very weary of. A war that I suspect has little more import in most people's lives than Monday night's reality show. This reality show too often ends, not in delivery of a rose or a contestant being sent home amidst a chorus of boos, but rather with the loss of a soldier and the upheaval of countless lives.
The President's address to the nation concerning the troop drawdown in Afghanistan was not exactly stirring, in fact, it was a little lackluster. It was just, okay. It was the type of speech a President gives when he announces he is going to withdraw 30,000 troops over the next year and a half.
I am certain President Obama was not expecting the same ballyhoo which occurred after he had announced our troops had killed Osama Bin Laden and that perfectly underscores the lack of enthusiasm now. We were anxious to go to war in 2001 because we wanted revenge. We wanted someone to pay. For many of us that need was met with the death of Osama Bin Laden. All of a sudden the war made sense.
In 2011 we want our troops home. Prolonging our ten year war into a 13 ½ year war does not make sense to us.
One gets the impression that our President made this particular decision to keep a select few legislators happy.
Senator McCain and those of his ilk love to engage our troops. That is who he is and what he does. That will never change. He sings war songs that he makes up based off of Beach Boys songs and then laughs about it for goodness sake. Let him blather. Let the war hawks pound their hands and stomp their feet. Just bring our troops home.
We understand that we will never be completely safe again. Likewise we understand that we will never be completely out of danger. Wars of the future will be fought crossing territorial lines with computers and unmanned aircraft in the middle of the night. We acknowledge that we have an uncertain future. We are okay with this. We would just like to start that future now.
Day after day we hear how programs that help the poor and the middle class must be dismantled or reduced here at home because we just do not have the money to pay for them. This continues to happen even as we know that taxpayers are spending billions upon billions of dollars overseas fighting a war that will not change much. When we leave Afghanistan, their city Kandahar will look absolutely nothing like Albuquerque. They will still hate the United States, they will still hate each other and the people who call the shots will always be the ones with the biggest guns.
President Obama had the opportunity to do both, the politically expedient thing and what is best for the nation. Today, rapid removal of troops falls under the category: opportunities missed.
We are left wanting more and it becomes just a little more difficult to listen to an administration talk about the two unfunded wars of the prior administration.
This war, Mr. President, is now yours. It is ringing up on your cash register and the unpaid bills are all yours.
Ownership of this war also demands that when you are signing those letters to parents and spouses of serviceman killed in the line of duty that you must pause just a little longer and consider whether those lives are truly worth losing.