Two of my aunts commented on my last post directly via e-mail rather than using the comment feature. My aunt who resides in Winnipeg Manitoba bluntly stated that:

“Jack Layton does not speak for mainstream Canada.”

I can tell you right now that Jack Layton doesn’t speak for most of the Canadian military in Afghanistan either. The running joke was that they would be glad to set up a meeting with the Taliban for Layton anytime. He will just have to forego the body armor and armed escort. They will stand by to pick up his body and severed head afterwards!

My aunt who resides in upstate New York (originally from Canada) started off by saying that she disagreed with me. Here is her comment:

“I must disagree with you. We should have stayed in Afghanistan in the first place and finished the job there, rather than tilt at windmills in Iraq. Hussein is a bad man but he had nothing to do with 9/11 and no "weapons of mass destruction" have been found. Our incursion into Iraq only fueled the fire and unfortunately also exposed how stretched our forces are around the world. Take care.”

I will rebut her comment point by point.

We have more troops in Afghanistan now (US and NATO) now than we did when we toppled the Taliban government back in 2001. This year is the first real effort at hammering the Taliban in their territory (Kandahar and Helmand provinces). We never left so her comment on staying in Afghanistan and finishing the job is off the mark. As for “tilting at windmills in Iraq”, please reread my post “Stabbed in the Back” to see one of the many examples of how the media is not telling the full story of what is going on in Iraq.

Hussein was a bastard that the United States allowed to live after we defeated him and his military in 1991. Hussein had at his command a nation state. Nation states have the resources and the means to sponsor terrorists by supplying advanced weaponry and laundering money. He may not have been directly involved in the planning of the 9/11 attacks, but HE WAS CONNECTED TO TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS! By flouting United Nations resolutions he gave us a reason to invade. Hussein was not living up to his end of the deal and the only way to sort him out was to remove him from power.

As for “weapons of mass destruction”, we did find old munitions and some precursor materials. Was President Bush wrong on emphasizing “weapons of mass destruction”? That was a political decision on how to gain support for the initial invasion. Overall, there were many other reasons to invade. How about all the men and women that his regime killed, raped, and tortured since 1991? Those deaths are partially our fault so I see his removal from power as something we were morally obligated to do. What about the “Oil for Food Program”? The Europeans were debasing themselves in corrupting that program and that sordid mess had to be stopped.

The “fueled the fire” comment is laughable. Like I already mentioned in previous posts, our enemy hates us for what we are. The United States pulled out of Saudi Arabia and we still get grief. We intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo saving many Muslims from certain death and we still get grief. Israel pulls out of Gaza and southern Lebanon and is thanked with rockets. Israel offered Arafat a sweet heart deal and he rejects it! It doesn’t matter what we do, it is WHO AND WHAT WE ARE!

As for the “exposed how stretched our forces are around the world” comment, there is some merit to that comment but not much. NATO has more troops per square kilometer in the Balkans than in Afghanistan. Unfortunately the killing will resume in the Balkans should NATO leave so that is not an option. The United States spends 4.06% of GDP on defense spending and has 2.09% of its fit for service population in uniform (I used the CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia for reference). That is half of what we were spending and half the number of personnel in 1991! The United States can easily build up its military to 1991 levels without impacting the economy or increasing taxes. All that is required is a political decision to reallocate government spending and the will of parents to encourage their children to serve. Recently a forty one year old grandmother joined the army along with her twenty one year old daughter. Pvt. Black is a Gen Xer like me. Where are all the Gen Y’s?

Here are some more of my observations that you all can chew on:

  • President Roosevelt led the United States during WWII. Germany never attacked us; Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost an average of 112,500 per year.
  • Truman finished that war by authorizing the use of two atomic weapons on Japan, saving numerous Allied and Japanese lives from a costly invasion. Truman, through the United Nations, led the United States to war in Korea. North Korea never attacked the United States. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost an average of 18,334 per year.
  • John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962 by sending in military advisers. Vietnam didn’t provoke that action by attacking the United States. When Vietnam seized the frigate in the Gulf of Tonkin, Johnson escalated our involvement. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost an average of 5,800 per year.
  • Grenada didn’t attack us. Neither did Panama. Nor did Bosnia and the Serbian province of Kosovo.
  • In the years since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has not been attacked because the Islamic Fascists have decided to fix themselves in the two countries we invaded. So far we have lost less than 3000 military personnel in 5 years!

I argue that because we have been proactive in taking the fight to the Islamic Fascists, our combat dead are far fewer than what it would be otherwise. Some people argue that the war started on 9/11. Others argue the war started in 1979 when the US Embassy was overrun in Iran. I argue that this conflict has been going on ever since before the battle of Tours-Poitiers fought in 732 AD.

Political will and the courage to recognize that we are in an existential war with Islamic Fascists are what are needed to win. We Westerners didn’t start it, the Islamic Fascists did, and it is up to us to finish it.

CPT NightHawk


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