Why It Hurts

Deborah Venable



I read a story last week that hurts.  It should hurt every American who reads it.  Military chaplains are “speaking out” in Afghanistan “because the troops can’t” according to the story.  You can read it here, American Soldiers Losing Heart in Afghanistan.


Peppered throughout this story is the same theme – why are we here?  What is the mission?


I’m reminded of the same theme running through many minds during the Vietnam War as well.  We veterans, (including wives and families of those brave souls), who survived that awful war were too often kept in the dark on purpose at the time.  With so much negativity directed at that fight, even those who saw the clear purpose had trouble clinging to optimism at times.  The striking differences are these:


That war was waged against the brutal enemy of creeping communism, and most of the people fighting it had been recently schooled in that enemy.  Not that they all came away with the understanding of what a loss would mean, but they at least understood what victory was all about.  America always won!  That war also claimed many more lives than this one, and a great number of soldiers fighting it had not volunteered for military service – much less the whole dying for your country thing.


Fast forward to today.  These soldiers ARE all volunteers.  None of them were forcibly drafted to fight.  Most of them joined out of a sense of duty after their homeland had been brutally attacked by the enemy they were sent to fight.  Some of them have even grown up in the aftermath of that attack and joined when they became old enough.  The war is, after all, eight years old now.


It hurt to read that story because it is filled with hopelessness.  The troops who feel this way are not expecting to win.  They also have no clear idea just what a loss would mean. 


The people who founded America and those who later had to defend it knew both these things.  They had a clear knowledge of winning and losing, and they fought most of their battles on the land they were protecting.  Those who came behind them learned that the battles had to be taken to foreign lands sometimes to keep the battles away from their homelands.  In fact, many modern members of our military will tell you that the reason they fight in far away places is so that we won’t have to fight here at home. 


That lesson has been all but lost on much of the American public in general.  They have been so pampered by modern academia that they truly think humans should be above all that war stuff nowadays.  In much the same way that anti-hunters think meat products in a supermarket haven’t really required the slaughter of animal life, these morons think peace and liberty may be easily purchased with a currency of passivity that does not now, nor will ever exist.


Everything in life is a fight.  We have to fight just to be born.  We have to fight sickness and death to stay alive.  For those who have never seen death overtake a living person, I can assure you that the last thing on earth you will ever do is fight for that last breath of air. 


Pacifists who ask us all to believe that peace can someday settle over all humanity if we just stop fighting each other are spitting in the face of reality.  There are things that will cause a rational human to “walk away” from a fight.  Those things include a respect for the opposition, fear of the opposition, or ignorance of and/or hopelessness for our own situation. 


So, for which reason should those rational Americans among us choose to walk away from the fight in Afghanistan?


Do we respect and/or fear the opposition – those despicable terrorists types with no respect for human life?  We don’t think folks like that would follow us home?  Just what is our situation?  Do we know why our soldiers are there?  Do they?  We’ve already been told that far too many of our soldiers are consumed with hopelessness.  Why is that?  Is it our fault, their fault, or the politicians who sent them there who are the most to blame?   


I am sickened and hurt by the thought that many Americans haven’t got the good sense to just to want to win any more!  If you are not for what the opposition represents, then you certainly should be for winning the fight against them.  We cannot continue to support as a viable solution the laying down of arms and walking away from a brutal enemy.  That will never bring peace or justice, and it will bring that enemy ever closer to our homeland.  And on that note, when he gets here, would you rather I had my gun to fight him off for you, or will you continue to insist that I give it up so that you may feel safer?


It hurts that any free people would wish to see their obvious enemy better armed than their own neighbors.  Yes, it really is all wrapped up together in the constant battle to live free.  We fight wars for a purpose.  The fact that politicians can get rich on power and money via the manipulation of those wars is not any justification for demanding that the fight is wrong. 


Afghanistan has dragged on for far too long.  It is time to get it over with by allowing us to win it.  Let’s see if the politicians can get it right this time.  I think the politicians have far more important things to do than figuring out how to disarm the American people and make us wards of the state.  That is where their time is now being spent, though. 


Meanwhile soldiers and citizens alike are getting more and more hopeless. 


It hurts.     



Home    Rant Page    Email DebV