WAR WAS NOT THE ANSWER 




“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over
again and expecting a different result” Albert Einstein

The decision by President Barack Obama to twice increase the number of troops makes Afghanistan Obama’s War. He is now counseling with his advisers as to whether or not to follow General Stanley Mc Crystal’s recommendation that he again greatly increase the number of soldiers in our six year effort to catch Bin Laden the 9/11 terrorist. My recommendation to him is as quickly as possible to stop OFFENSIVE military operations in that chronically war torn country. All the military leaders and our own experience acknowledge that there is no military salutation in invading troubled counties. . Since our victories in WW II we have used the military option in Koreas, Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Like the French we suffered military defeat in Vietnam and have had little military success elsewhere. It has been enormously costly in human life and treasure and has only generated great hatred for our country and inspire new terrorists. To continue to play the same military option is truly insane.

Set aside for a moment the fact that we still maintain post WWII armies in Germany, Japan, and in South Korea and concentrate on one example of this insanity, our more recent military attack on Iraq. It is now universally understood that there were no terrorist’s threats from Iraq and that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the 9/11 attract. He had no Weapons of Mass Destruction which was our justification for our ‘Shock and Awe” invasion. After six futile years our allies have sensibly deserted but the US has about 130,000 US soldiers and 180,000 private contractors presently engaged in Iraq. Our troops have suffered 35,828 casualties including 4,345 killed. The result of our military action and its unleashing of murderous religious homicides, between 91,000 and 99,500 civilians were killed and hundreds and hundreds thousands wounded. These numbers are reported from WWW.iraqibodycount.net sponsored by academics and peace activists. It is inhuman for the military to classify these deaths as “Collateral Damage”. Our invasion has caused up to 2.25 million Iraqis to seek refuge in Syria and Jordan. Needless to say 82% of Iraqis and more than half of Americans are opposed to the continuing presence of US forces in their country.

The immediate Iraq war financial costs exceed $800 billion and mounting and the postwar costs to wind down the war and care for the wounded are huge. One estimate of the cost of a US soldier serving for one year in Iraq is $390,000. The daily news reports indicate there still is a great incidence of violence and no indication when this will be a peaceful country. It is often argued that we need to stay in Iraq lest it be invaded by Iran. People who advance this argument do not remember that these two countries were in an eight year war with each other with enormous casualties on both sides. It is ironic that in that conflict the United States supported Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and when USSR invaded Afghanistan the United States and Osama bin Laden opposed the Russians.

With respect to military operations in Afghanistan the President should be discussing Afghanistan tactics with his generals but should also invite in a group of informed historians from Greece, Great Britain and Russia. to explain why since the time of Alexander the Great Afghanistan has been known as “The Graveyard of Empires.” The defeat of the Russian invasion of that country is considered a major contributor to the collapse of Russia’s Communistic Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
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Terrorism is world wide. The United States has its domestic terrorists exemplified by Timothy McVeigh a Bronze Star veteran who served in the Gulf War with the US first Infantry Division. He became a terrorist in revenge against the federal government's actions at Ruby Ridge and Waco. He visited the standoff at Waco and later prepared a truck bomb and blow up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 killing 168 people. He was convicted of 11 federal offenses and executed on June 11, 2001.

Since terrorism is universal is an opportunity for President Obama to show why he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He has an opportunity to substitute Peace Corps type volunteers and send soldiers only in the role as Policemen. Once we stop killing Afghanistan citizens the vast majority of whom are peaceful, it would drastically cut local support for the radical Al Qaeda and the Taliban. With the United States Army and the armies of other countries to provide protection young people all over the world would be interested in coming to build a workable democratic Government in a country that has been war-torn for hundreds of years. One result could be to substitute general agriculture from poppy growing to help control another world wide plague of illegal drugs.
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If this seems too idealistic reflect for a moment that the U.S Marshall Plan and similar efforts in Japan converted our bitter enemies into our great peacetime friends.

First Draft

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