Opinion: Time to Get out of Afghanistan | Politics
By Steven E. Masone
North Korea threatened to launch another missile in a provocative move recently and the United Nations Security Council does nothing. No sanctions, no action. The world wants the U.S. to be the world cops, but will not provide through the U.N. the political muscle or a united front to send a clear message to rogue states like North Korea and Iran they must not threaten other nations. With the recent tragedy in Afghanistan where one and or a few US soldiers committed murder of women and children we are reminded of the My Lai incident in Vietnam.
On March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War United States troops under the command of Lt. William L. Calley Jr. carried out a massacre of about 108 unarmed men, women and children in the village of My Lai. The C Company, also known as the “Charlie Company,” of the 11th Brigade, Americal Division, was ordered to My Lai to eliminate the Vietcong’s 48th Battalion.
On the night of March 15, Capt. Ernest Medina, the commander of Charlie Company, told his men that all civilians would leave the village by 7:00 the following morning, leaving only Vietcong soldiers and sympathizers. He ordered them to burn down the village, poison wells and wipe out the enemy. The next day, at 8 a.m., after an aerial assault, Lieutenant Calley’s 1st Platoon of Charlie Company led the attack on My Lai.
Expecting to encounter Vietcong soldiers, the platoon entered the village firing. Instead, they found mostly women and children who denied that there were Vietcong soldiers in the area. The American soldiers herded the villagers into groups and began burning the village. The rest is bloody history.
The main differences in the two incidences is there were no orders or mission given regarding the Afghanistan massacre, just the war's toll on the human mind and spirit. But, the same conditions that drive otherwise good people into madness existed in both.
A conflict that has gone past it's purpose and the citizenry as well as the local military continue to blend with the enemy who is killing and maiming your friends and comrades in arms. Many young men have lost their sanity just in early training to become killers, much less those who have been taken from civilian life as a reservist and kept in these killing zones for years.
Afghanistan is a U.N. operation. In Iraq the U.S. had to unilaterally form the coalition after 17 violations of U.N. Resolution 1441 was flagrantly broken, with silence from the Security Council. The inability and inaction shows that the U.N is unnecessary and irrelevant. We can expect North Korea to continue it's sabre-rattling and ill behaviour, with the U.S once again getting the short end of the stick when we have to take the lead alone.
With Iran in a threatening posture against Israel, and all the other international economic woes, it almost seems that the U.S. is being set up as always to be the "scapegoat" for every thing wrong in the world. We liberated Iraq under accusations abroad and at home that it was about "oil". Show us the oil.
We are still spending billions in Iraq and and are receiving zero financial remuneration in any way shape or form from Iraq. There has not even been a toothless resolution for their repayment of any kind. Our soldiers are still dying and losing limbs, eyes, and other wounds and lifelong damage for ungrateful and greedy nations that hate us and it is time to stop this unfair and dangerous association with the United Nations current attitude.
President Obama recently said,"America is changing, and the rest of the world also must change." But, are we changing for their good, or ours? If the U.N. will not take strong action that minimizes the risks of our sons and daughters being killed and maimed, then get US out! The U.N. can move to Paris or Berlin, or wherever and the rest of the world can go it alone, as we have had to do to often. N.A.T.O and our other international treaties and relationships that work, is where our attention should focus in this changing global age.American blood has been shed too long for those who forget and care only for their failed ideologies and keep trying to make us the big bad wolf of the world only because they are angry that our form of a free republic has prevailed, and they refuse to help holding all our intentions as suspect. While we must see justice done when our own commit war crimes, except in actual self-defense, war is a crime. No one denies that fact. It is obvious Russia and China want regimes like Syria to quell their Arab Spring. Russia and China want no one to interfere when their spring comes and they are the majority veto on the U.N. Security Council? Why do we bother with the pretense? While probably not viable, if isolationism equates to American lives saved...where can we sign up?