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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Facing Truth

The Los Angeles Times has a story about the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, and the habit it got into of posing with the body parts of killed insurgents. There were two photos in the story, and they were the least outrageous, according to the Times.

I am still proud of our military. War is hell. Who is responsible for sending these troops into hell? Who is responsible for winning the war, then letting it fritter away while we were with our backs to the wall in Iraq?
I do not approve of what these troops did, but what is comic relief in hell is different from we are used to. I am sure the Army will investigate and whatever justice there might be, it will be done.

I am glad the Los Angeles Times stuck to its journalistic duty. The smell is still rank from the glory days of 2003 when way too many journalists, even the most celebrated, became shills for a war based on misinformation.

In the Times comment section, there are the usual rants against liberal media undermining the military. However, I consider a war that goes on for ten years to be ill-considered. The description of winning hearts and minds was not our original  intention: the focus has been changing over 10 years now.
We are finding that winning hearts and minds is a task best left to Peace organizations, The Red Cross and Crescent, and others committed to service of one's fellow men, and not to an army whose purpose is to fight wars.

It is time to face the truth that we have mishandled the war, and it is probably too late to retrieve it. As far as winning hearts and minds, we should have given that much greater importance 8 years ago when the first mistaken attack on an Afghan wedding ceremony occurred, killing members of the wedding party.

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