Family Security Matters
As friends and I got together writing letters for the troops, it struck us how many of our contemporaries are unaware Americans are fighting a war, or that some of military will not return to their native soil alive. I can’t think of any other major conflict where there has been such a disconnection between those who serve, and those who are served. At this time of year, with Memorial Day just a week away, the sacrifice made by so few for so many should be front and center in our consciousness. Alas it may just be another inconvenient truth.
Coming home, the flag that draped my father’s casket as backdrop to reading the newspaper which no longer talks about the military, unless a local person is killed, or a photo op from a Memorial Day service, is in stark contrast from our early days in Iraq and Afghanistan. You’d think there wasn’t a war being waged or Americans in harm’s way, based upon the media coverage, or more accurately, lack thereof. It made me think of how far we have come as a nation – the good, and the bad, and how the political winds of fortune play a role in the lives of people who risk their security for ours.
Would it surprise anyone to know that more US servicemen and women have died in Afghanistan on Obama’s watch than during the W Bush presidency? The government data on US servicemen/women deaths are clear. Yet where is the public outrage? Where are the protests with clarion calls “Obama Lied, Soldiers Died” being chanted in the streets the way they were when George W. Bush was POTUS? Where is the righteous indignation and concern over military deaths from Code Pink, or the other anti-war protestor groups? Where are the daily front page news items about our brave men and women in uniform who remain in harm’s way?
Sadly the number of flags folded at funeral services over the last 7 years, with the all too familiar phrase “on behalf of a grateful nation” has been greater than the years beforehand, in no small measure due to Obama’s foreign policy in Afghanistan, and even sadder, it does not define or inform his foreign policy either. As an aside, one could of course argue that the number of people – civilians, allies, enemies, and troops – killed due to Obama’s foreign policy errors has eclipsed what has occurred under Bush’s watch. Beyond the idiotic misnomer Arab Spring which saw allies brought to the brink, is the emergence of ISIS (NOT a JV team!) whose efforts towards Christian genocide has resulted in incalculable deaths. ISIS’ ambition towards extra-regional caliphate has led to untold suffering, loss of irreplaceable historic treasures, and death from the Middle East, to Europe and beyond. Instead of one major group of radical killers and their franchisees (Al Qaeda) we now have two major non state sponsors of terrorism, in addition to a more deadly form of state terrorism sponsor – Iran on Obama’s watch. Then there are deaths associated with Putin unchecked, and Syria unchecked, and Palestinians unchecked, and Iran unchecked (which includes Hezbollah), and, well you get the idea. There’s a lot of bloodshed on his watch, not that you would read about it in the major papers, or see it on the major networks. Clearly there are no “Obama Lied, People Died” protests.