Peacetime is generally defined as any period of time where there are no violent conflicts occurring such as the time after World War II when for Western Europe and America there was no war. For most people, the idea of no war is a goal well worth achieving, and in fact, the rare times America was able to extricate itself from war, or a war came to an end, it was a time of relief, celebration, and using wartime expenses for the good of the nation. Republicans have a different opinion about wars than most Americans, and if one believes their rhetoric, they would keep America in a permanent state of war in several geographical locations at once.
After twelve years and seven months, it seems as if the unnecessary war in Afghanistan has gone on forever, and now that President Obama has set a timetable to finally bring an end to that war, Republicans are apoplectic the country may see a desperately-needed period of peacetime. The price of the Afghanistan war that poured billions onto the nation’s deficit is over $720 billion and counting, about $10.1 million an hour, 2,232 Americans killed, over 20,000 local Afghani civilians killed, and tens-of-thousands of combat veterans facing a lifetime of physical and psychological injuries that Republicans lust to increase.
The reaction from three Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee to the President’s announcement that America’s longest war was coming to an end was despicable and revealed that, in their minds, there is never a time to end war. Senators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, and Lindsey Graham said in a statement that the President’s decision was “irresponsible and a triumph of politics over strategy,” and a “a short-sighted decision that will make it harder to end the war in Afghanistan responsibly.” Stunningly, the three Republican warmongers repeated the same rhetoric George W. Bush used to perpetuate the Iraq and Afghanistan wars saying ending the war “will embolden our enemies and discourage our partners, and fuel the growing perception worldwide that America is unreliable, distracted, and unwilling to lead.”
The Republicans claimed that keeping combat forces in Afghanistan, presumably forever, would “preserve momentum on the battlefield and create conditions for a negotiated end to the conflict,” and that “any decision to end the war should be determined by conditions on the ground. The question is how the war ends.” The senators ended their end-of-war tantrum claiming that “wars do not end just because politicians say so, the president appears to have learned nothing from his disastrous decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq. The war in Iraq has ended in tragedy.”
The warmongers are wrong on both counts; politicians do end wars just by saying “no more war,” and the Iraq war ended successfully for Americans weary of violent conflict halfway around the world. Period. It is worth noting, again and again, that the so-called disastrous Iraqi sectarian violence going on today began only after America invaded and destabilized the country and has continued unabated. There was no sectarian violence, no Iranian influence, and no al Qaeda presence in Iraq until George W. Bush set his sights on regime change in Iraq. American forces leaving Iraq had about as much to do with sectarian violence today as the civil war that General David Patraeus and his failed surge allowed to give Shia Muslims clearance to eradicate Sunnis from the embattled nation.
On CNN, conservatives S.E. Cupp and Bill Kristol claimed that “what is happening in Iraq will happen in Afghanistan. You know, we successfully went in with a surge. We pulled our troops out too soon and it has collapsed yet again into a den of terrorism. Why not commit to the job and leave when the job is done?” However, one thing Republicans criticizing President Obama’s decision yesterday could not elucidate now any more than during the entire Iraq or Afghanistan wars; what job? What is the mission? If it is defeating an insurgency, history shows time and time again that an invading army cannot defeat an insurgency; particularly in a country like Afghanistan that has been invaded, occupied, and conquered throughout its history only to revert to its natural state of perpetual infighting and tribal wars.
The American people are war weary and the nation is, and will continue to be, in debt for waging unfunded and unnecessary wars of convenience over ideology, resources, and imperialism. It is prescient that as Republicans claim this country can ill-afford to rebuild and repair its pathetic infrastructure, fund unemployment benefits, food stamps, or any other domestic programs, it can afford to continue spending $10.1 million an hour to stay in Afghanistan until “conditions on the ground determine when the war ends.” As President Obama said, “we have to recognize Afghanistan will not be a perfect place, and it is not America’s responsibility to make it one.” It is high time that Republicans recognize that their sole responsibility is to do their jobs and make America as perfect a place as it can be and it starts with taking care of the Veterans their wars of choice created.
Republicans oppose spending even a fraction of the amount of money to conduct the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the Veterans those wars created. In fact, over the past five years Republicans opposed spending any money on anything for this country or its people because they claim the country was broke, but they never once flinched at the cost of the wars. Likely because their corporate donors in the oil industry and military industrial complex were the beneficiaries; the troops or returning Veterans certainly did not benefit from the Republican largesse for war. It is hardly unreasonable to expect Republicans to support spending the same amount of money on Veterans, domestic programs, or rebuilding America that that are willing to continue spending to conduct the war in Afghanistan.
Americans may have thought Republicans would be as relieved that the Afghanistan war is coming to an end as they are, but they would have been sadly mistaken. It is beyond belief that President Obama’s announcement that at the end of 2014 America will enter a rare period of peacetime was met with such criticism and disgust, especially when Americans are weary of the country’s longest and completely unnecessary war. What is seriously puzzling, is that support for the war in Afghanistan is reportedly at 20% of the population, but when one considers Republicans, neo-conservatives, and religious right warmongers love a crusade to kill innocent Muslims, it is surprising the support is not greater. However, the rest of America will love the idea of entering a rare period of peacetime after over thirteen years of war, and that certainly includes war weary combat troops.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
24 Replies to “Republicans Lose Their Minds Over the Fact That the War in Afghanistan is Ending”
All I can say is “Amen and AMEN!!
As I have long said, your typical Republican politician believes in government of, by, and for the rich, knows little and cares less about the problems of ordinary middle-class and working poor people, never met a war he didn’t like, and believes rules and laws are for mere mortals–that Republicans have a God-given right to just walk between the moral and ethical raindrops.
I think the repub politicians that continually cry for war should be made to do a 3 month deployment in a ground unit. Suit them up and send them out. Let them get a taste of what they are so eager to vote for. I doubt any of them would last more than a week.
Wait a minute….are you saying that the Fascist, war-mongering fools of the GOP have minds?!? Stop the presses! NDFL (nearly dead from laughing). The only reason they’re so apopleptic (sp?) about the Afghani War ending is that it allows for less defense/military spending. That, of course, is the Fascist view of things, having a “strong military and a strong presence around the world”. Bullfeathers. As the President said at West Point yesterday: restraint actually strengthens us, not weakens us.
If not mistaken, Mccain was at one in a war, ‘nam I think.
The warmongers learned nothing about the former Soviet Union’s demeaning “experience” in Afghanistan. The Soviets remained in Afghanistan from 1979 until 1989 and finally threw in the towel because they realized there was no way they could defeat the Mujahideen. Anyone who thinks any nation can go into Afghanistan and solve its’ problems, win a war, and declare victory is nuts. These folks need to study the history of the region, and they’d discover that fighting a war there is not like fighting a “traditional” war. The geography, the many tribal groups, the insurgents funded by Pakistan, Iran, China, and other nations makes declaring victory in war tough to achieve since regions in Central Asia and the Middle East have a history of ongoing conflict reaching back for thousands of years, something many Americans are not aware of. I think Pres. Obama is looking at Afghanistan from a realistic POV while his detractors are living in a fantasy world wherein the U.S. wins every war.
@Dlf: McCain was indeed in Vietnam and spent 5 years (I believe) as a POW. His lust for war is born out of the revenge he feels for his years in captivity. He is dangerous and irrational.
When will fools understand……wars cost money.
They ‘cost’ most of us, but if you could check Dickless Cheney’s offshore accounts my guess is you’ll see that it didn’t cost him anything. Just the opposite.
Obama should, if the R’s really want that war, just ask for the tax increase to pay for it.
To which Obama will get:
Call their bluff.
I was thinking similarly. “Losing their minds”? I didn’t know they had any or found any minds.
War makes money for the rich, wealthy, elite republicans invested in the American war machine. The lives lost in war are the cost.
If the GOP wants war, first the ones who vote yes for it..go to the front lines themselves first; next, their offspring go and fight in the front lines. Then see if they still want war.
Republicans are sick, twisted individuals with no moral compass. No exceptions, it seems.
IMHO one of the main reasons the Republicans were so eager to start two wars had nothing to do with fighting terrorism. In reality, the objective was to cripple America’s social programs by sucking up all the available revenues. We have a faux security crisis. We must spend money to meet it. But the same Republicans playing Chicken Little about the threat of al Qaeda stoutly refuse to raise taxes. So, the money to pay for the wars has to come from somewhere, either diverted from domestic spending or be borrowed. Borrowed works just as well, because then the government has to spend money to pay interest. Money which is then not available for the social programs Republicans hate. Macchiavelli would applaud these conniving bastards.
Think about it,we haven’t won a war since WWII. We stopped N.Korea at the 39 parallel and have won some skirmishes but we have not won any major wars. We ran with our tails from Vietnam Nam, we had to pull out of Iraq and we won nothing but heartache,grief and a generation of disabled vets from both wars. We have at least 500 bases in foreign country’s. Why? We improve their economy but ours is suffering. Most of those bases employs the people of that country. Here the Republicans keep cutting us. Did they ever not have money for any warn. Nope,they cut us and have the Gaul to cut the Vets who served in them. So much for Patriotic,Family Values Right Wing Liars. Let them do the actual fighting with their bodies not with the stroke of a pen. Imagine Miss Lindsey carrying the gear, Ryan toting the largest weapon they have and having to rough it up. Boehner would be the barkeeper at the Officers Club. Fartenhold would be on a strict veggies only diet.
Yes he was, taken prisoner and called the song bird by fellow prisoners. You’d think he would be against war but he is not. Loves it, must make some money from it. Just like all good rethugs do. If, they make it in the next election, there will be another war maybe, more then one. rethugs can’t stand peace!!
I totally agree with your humble opinion Charles. Nicely said.
Let’s face it, a good war is hard to find. Imagine being able to use the whole arsenal on somebody who can only snipe and blow you up with fertilizer and ball bearings. It’s the sort of war that makes heroes and careers and doesn’t upset too many people back home. Then there are all those jobs in the related ‘defence’ ‘industries’.
Not having a war would be more than sad, it could be tragic.
Perhaps the three stooges, McCain & Co., could explain to the American people whom they claim to represent just exactly what they mean by “ending the war in Afghanistan” responsibly. The truly responsible thing would have been not to become involved in that cesspit of a country in the first place. These clowns should butt out and keep their silly mouths shut if they have nothing constructive to contribute to the national debate, which they clearly do not.
The Afghan war was initially more legitimate – it was the response of an attack on the USA. That is why the NATO Charter was invoked and we had Royal Canadian Air Force fighters patrolling US airspace and Germans, Canadians, Brits, etc. alongside us in Afghanistan.
However, GWB wanted war in Iraq from the getgo…a grudge match against Saddam Hussein for trying to kill the elder Bush in 1993. If he hadn’t done that, Afghanistan would likely have been done years ago. It is telling that the only major allies with us in Iraq were the UK and Australia…and Tony Blair and John Howard lost their jobs over being seen as “Bush’s lapdogs.”
Republicans have nothing positive to offer, especially domestically. However, they are VERY good at using war and “rally ’round the Flag” to their advantage…which as a veteran I find very disgusting.
Bowe Bergdahl, our only POW in Afghanistan is now free. Apparently this required some sort of prisoner exchange for 5 Taliban leaders held in GITMO, who have been transferred to Qatar. Here’s the President’s statement
Is it Africa next ?
“..An investigation by TomDispatch has found recent U.S. military involvement with no fewer than 49 African nations.”
“The United States is responsible for 41% of the world’s total military spending. The next largest in spending are China, accounting for 8.2%…”
Gen. Smedley Butler was right: War IS a Racket.
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