When CC asked me to add my voice to his blog, I was pretty thrilled. He had long been an advocate of my writing and I think it would be safe to say that a large percentage of the traffic I ever received over at the Termianl Velocity of Sausage came through his referrals. I am nowhere near as prolific as CC and I'd let my old blog slide. When he asked me to join forces, it was at least in part because our styles diverged.
So. I'm not telling Wanda Watkins to fuck off. She lost a child to the grinding wheels of conflict. For her loss, she has my sympathies and condolences. Right or wrong, the soldier does not choose the mission. In the wake of her family's loss, I can understand why she would need to think that we must all support the mission that took her child's life. My own feelings about the Afghanistan mission are quite mixed. At the outset, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I supported the overthrow of the Taliban, and that pursuit, capture and harsh justice be delivered to Bin Laden, Mullah Omar and the architects of Al Qaeda's crimes. I supported and would still support that original mission. I would also very strongly support the larger mission within that stricken nation, the rebuilding of lives, culture and infrastructure in Afghanistan.
I fervently believe that those missions were abandoned by the opportunistic adventures of Bush and his cadre of pin-striped war lords. The people of Afghanistan were abandoned and any hope of achieving a positive result there was lost in the sands of Iraq. Worst of all, the troops serving that mission were abandoned. Ms. Watkins' son was left to die and it should not have been. In the months after the initial invasion of Afghanistan, the opportunity existed to actually win the hearts and minds of the population. They were willing, I believe, to throw off the repressive shackles of Taliban rule. Half a decade later, reconstruction is a lie. The talking points are hollow echoes of what might have been, the mission is long lost and Nato and the coalition are spinning their wheels in grit, blood and sand.
Had the lunatics not mired themselves in Iraq, the resources and the will would have existed to truly effect positive change in Afghanistan. The restoration of dignity and hope could have won the day. An endless succession of casualties will not do so. The very sad truth of it, is that Wanda Watkins child did die in vain. The Afghan mission was lost by the failure of political will and determination to effect change. The hearts and minds that might have been won, have been lost. The civilian casualties, hunger, lack of jobs, security and hope have allowed the very criminals we had sought an opportunity to return to power.
As to issues of civility, fuck the Lemons and Junks and daft assed goobers that brayed long and loud spitting their invective at Cindy Sheehan. Fuck their grifting souls and fuck all of their pig hearted accomplices in mock outrage. For five long years they have stood by and clapped like bloody fools at the pretty light of exploding lives. They have heaped their monumental scorn on any and everyone that questioned the wisdom of their failed and failing agenda. Their wounded hearts are full of lies, their shock is as hollow as their heads. From where I sit, they can stuff all of their false sanctimony into the dark place where they extracted the shit they hurled at every voice of grief spoken in dissent.