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Front Page » November 17, 2009 » Opinion » The Wasatch Behind: Shades of Vietnam
Published 1,799 days ago

The Wasatch Behind: Shades of Vietnam


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By TOM MCCOURT
Sun Advocate Columnist

It has been three months since General McCrystal delivered his assessment of the war in Afghanistan to the White House. President Obama sent him there to look things over, write a report, and tell the president what we need to win the war. McCrystal said we need an additional 40,000 troops.

The president is waffling on doing what his handpicked military man has suggested. That, or he is incapable of making an important decision. The man who insisted that congress sign the tarp and stimulus bills overnight because they were so important we couldn't take time to read them, is now paralyzed when it's his turn to step up to the plate. Instead of dealing with this urgent war issue, he is golfing, campaigning, making daily speeches on TV, and flying off to Asia to see if he can set up a far-eastern version of NAFTA. I think he's hiding.

It's all about politics. The left who supports Obama doesn't want to spend money defeating the people who brought down the twin towers. They want the money for social programs and the redistribution of wealth. The Taliban and Al-Qaida don't vote Democrat. People in the inner-city welfare lines do.

And, since Obama came to office we don't have a war on terror anymore. We have "overseas contingency operations." It's all in the name. Why would we want to spend billions of dollars for something that's not a war? And we are not fighting terrorists anymore. We are fighting criminals. Obama is going to give Sheik Khalid Mohammad, the guy who masterminded 9-11, all of the rights of citizenship in a civilian court to prove that point. Why would our Commander In Chief want to send another 40,000 troops to Afghanistan to fight criminals? The Afghan police should be up to the task.

In the meantime, our soldiers continue to sacrifice, and fight, and die, while our leaders dawdle, and argue, and push the decision away for another week or another month.

My heart bleeds as I watch this unfold. I was that soldier once. Three of my friends were killed in Vietnam just weeks after Lyndon Johnson abandoned his troops on the battlefield and took his pouty face home to Texas. I saw Nixon withdraw our troops without a clear victory, and I saw congress abandon South Vietnam after we had gone. Thousands of our Asian friends were slaughtered. We can't do that again.

Mr. President, send the 40,000 reinforcements your general has asked for, or get the hell out of Afghanistan. There can be no middle ground. Sending 20,000 troops will be like putting 200 gallons of fuel in an airplane that requires 400 gallons to make the flight, and then telling the pilot to do the best he can. We can't fly airplanes and fight wars like that. We've got to commit, or we've got to capitulate.

It would make me sad to see us withdraw from Afghanistan after all of the blood and sacrifice our people have given to make war there. I have talked to several of the young men and women who have carried that burden, and they are the best this nation has ever produced. Why do they do they fight? Is our cause just, or is it not? Can we turn our back on what our soldiers have already accomplished there?

I feel sick in my guts thinking about us abandoning another ally to the mercies of a bloodthirsty foe. Especially since the best and the bravest of their nation have stepped forward to help us. As an American, that would make me feel like a traitor. I don't want to be a traitor, Mr. President. Please help me avoid the shame.

But then, if you do decide to abandon Afghanistan, all is not lost. I'm sure we'll get a chance to fight the bad guys again. Only next time it might be in the streets of our own cities and towns. Those "criminals" have a religious obligation to kill us. My guess is; they'll follow us home.

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November 17, 2009
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