By Randle Loeb on Dec 17, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
"I Watch In Horror," From Ken Gordon
Two pregnant women, a teenage girl, a police officer and his brother were shot on February 12 when US and Afghan special forces stormed their home... NATO h
ad initially claimed that the women had been dead for several hours…, but later admitted responsibility for all the deaths. "US special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened,”
The above is one of more than 100 entries at Wikipedia’s, “Civilian casualties of the War in Afghanistan.”
Lyndon Johnson actually had very little interest in Southeast Asia. He was focused on passing the bills that comprised the “Great Society.” All he wanted in Vietnam was to make it go away without a loss of American prestige. As he committed more troops, he thought he could end the war if it looked like it wasn’t going to turn out well.
Too late he realized that he had created a self-perpetuating momentum. Once an American had died we needed to “win” so that the death was not in vain.
We fundamentally misunderstood the enemy and their motivation. They were much more committed to the war on their home soil than the Americans ever would be, and so our attempt to “win” was doomed, and sending more troops was not going to result in success.
It was only going to result in death.
We currently have troops stationed all over the world at an unaffordable cost. Americans spend more money on “defense” than all the rest of the world put together. We are under the delusion that we can control events if we just have enough soldiers and aircraft carriers spread around. The efforts that we take seeking an illusory control actually deny us security.
There are two major problems with our strategy. First having our troops fight in foreign countries helps incite the people of those countries against us. Second the cost of this military establishment means that other countries, like China, who do not spend as much on a military, can spend more on education and the development of new technology. If our economy falters because of lack of investment, our military will falter soon thereafter.
And our military spending is frequently motivated by pork. A Congressman with a shipyard in his district will always vote for another aircraft carrier.
When we put our troops to war in an asymmetrical battle against terror they will inevitably kill innocent civilians. It takes a fairly high degree of justification to engage in a project with that consequence. It isn’t someone else’s job to evaluate the justification.
It is ours.
I remember that in 1968, after a two-credit class on the history of Vietnam, I felt that I had a better understanding of the nationalist character of the Vietnam War than Secretary of Defense McNamara did.
In a documentary called the “The Fog of War” he later confessed that he had misunderstood the nature of the war in Vietnam.
He thought that the North Vietnamese would engage in the same cost-benefit analysis that he had learned at Harvard Business School.
We need to oppose those who actually do attack America. But preemptive war creates the environment for more attacks on the U.S.
I watch in horror as my country squanders treasure in misguided military adventures which kill large numbers of “collateral” civilians in my name.
It is exactly the mistake we made once before in my life. Here is the White House contact site
Do not hesitate to write back with comments or questions, although I have to admit that I sometimes get more than I can promptly respond to. I do read everything that comes in.
Feel free to forward or republish this in any format.
I hope you are well.
Former Majority Leader Colorado Senate
P.S. I am working on a project to try to reduce the influence of special interest money in American politics. I will be writing to you about that soon.
P. P. S. I have recently added a number of people to this email list. I don’t want to send emails to people who do not want to get them. So if you are in that category go to the bottom of this email and unsubscribe.
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