I was going to start this post off with the Darryl Worley Video, "Have You Forgotten", but Universal Music Group has all the embedding disabled on their videos. But that is ok. Its a great song, and he's a great guy, so just think about the song as you read this article.
This post started off completely differently two days ago when I began writing it. My original intent was to highlight all the good that has happened since then, and my memories of it. I no longer think that is the correct way to go.
You see, over the last 48 hours, I have heard a phrase over and over again, and it has really begun burning me up inside. Maybe it's because since September 11th, 2001, I have lost more good Friends and Soldiers then I care to count anymore. Maybe because many those times I was there as they breathed their last breath. Maybe it's because in the Military our families have given so much, that it will take years to catch up with one another. Maybe it's all of the above.
This is not me whining. I raised my right hand fully knowing what I was doing. I wholeheartedly believe in my Oath of Commissioning, and the sacrifices that it asks for. That is what I signed up for, to defend my Country at any price; and trust me I understand those costs and would pay it gladly. But, when I hear political analysts stating that we could have paid for health care and fixed the economy if not for, "Those Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan", I get just a bit angry. Well in all truth, I get downright flaming mad.
Have we forgotten that almost eight years ago four planes loaded with our fellow citizens were hijacked? Have we forgotten that three of them were used to destroy the World Trade Center and attack the Pentagon? Have we forgotten that Todd Beamer and his fellow passengers rallied themselves and saved a fourth attack on DC from happening? I know that for many of you that is a resounding no, especially those of you who follow the blog. But, for many right now, especially those who are on television trying to discuss current issues, I would say yes, they have forgotten. If not for "Those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan" how could we look the survivors in the eye.
It has been eight years since we had an attack on our Nation. I am convinced that this Nation is safer today due to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The terrorists do not spend all of their time trying to find ways to kill us in our own country. Instead, they are forced to fight for their lives. Afghanistan is working through its issues, with the help of the US, NATO, and the international community instead of being forced into becoming a terrorist harboring nation with a penalty of death to any opposition. A people long oppressed by the PDPA, Soviets, and then the Taliban are finally breathing the cool air of freedom. The Iraqi people no longer suffer under a tyranical regime. Instead, they are exercising their freedom and moving forward everyday with establishing their country as a strong and vibrant part of the Middle East.
If not for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, none of this would have been possible.
There are still elements calling for us to, "cut and run." History tells us different. We made that mistake once before after the Soviets were defeated. We abandoned our allies and created a vacuam for the Taliban to come to power in. We can not and will not do that again. The ramifications will be ten times as bad and only lead to making our Nation more vulnerable to another 9-11 or worse. If not for the longevity of these Wars, we could be facing a stronger and rejuvenated enemy.
Have the Wars been costly for our nation? Yes. There is no doubt that these have been long years for our Nation, our Military and our Military Families. However, to speak of the cost in economic terms, I believe, is wrong. I prefer to think of the price of the War in terms of our precious National Treasure, namely our young Men and Women.We must stay the course now so that our investment of this National Treasure, insuring our nations' security for the future, is not wasted.
"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. Freedom will be defended!" -- President George W Bush.
I think it is time that our Nation looks back and remembers these words from President Bush. We did not start this War, but we will finish it. If not for these Wars our Nation would most likely have been attacked again. If not for these Wars the people of Afghanistan and Iraq would still be living under the boot of oppression and tyranny. If not for these Wars there would not be a democratic styled nation in Iraq. If not for these Wars, women and children would still be raped at will in Iraq and Afghanistan. If not for these Wars, men, women, and children would still be killed at random and at will in Afghanistan.
The next time a political analyst wants to make complaints about the economy or paying for health care, and blame it on the War, I hope they take a second to remember all the young Men and Women who have fought and died for you to have the ability to make that statement. Maybe next time, you will remember why we are in this War and what that really means instead of demeaning the sacrifices of so many.
God Bless America