Not Forgotten! Not Quite!
To emphasize the new importance America’s current president gives to the war we had been told was finished, The Washington Post prints separately the names of those lost in Afghanistan; they were once “lumped in” with Iraq. Saturday’s edition published Germantown’s Rodrigo A. Mungula Rivas among the other dead soldiers. He was 27.
Specialist Mungula served in the 10th Mountain Division until June 21 and a battle in Bagram, Afghanistan, literally on the other side of the world from Montgomery County. We can tell by the double “last” names that he entered the Army when he was not totally Americanized. He is now. The flag crisply folded over his grave made him more American than anyone walking around on this earth.
And that includes Barrack Hussein Obama.
By expanding the nation’s wars, instead of shrinking them, the president of the United States stands accused of murder. Had he come through on his campaign promise: six months after his inauguration our armed forces would be pulling out of the treacherous mess in Southwest Asia. Announcements continue to come that the strength is being increased. What do 20,000 troops mean among Afghanistan’s 24 million? And Iraq’s 31 million?
It would be an egregious mistake to say all men, women and children are anti-U.S. But they’re getting there. Every time a bullet or bomb goes astray and kills civilians, the family and friends of the deceased don’t care how the shooting started. They connect their casualties, however, to the Americans’ presence. Washington rationalizes by warning of greater losses to come, in civil wars. They don’t care. As Muslims, they consider all the future in the hands of the One God.
Mr. Obama’s critics appear justified; he was not prepared to become this nation’s commander-in-chief. Every time he opens his mouth he sounds more and more like the generals’ puppet. No one with stars on his shoulders ever favors withdrawal, especially after Vietnam; a substantial number of now-graying veterans “know” we could have won. Many blame politicians, as the Nazis relied on “stab in the back” to explain Germany’s crushing loss in 1918. In fact, their army had nothing more to fight with.
Wars in Europe are fundamentally winnable: the enemies sharply defined by nationalities. The Third World is the general way to designate countries that were once colonies. Usually, but not always, recognizing natural boundaries like rivers and mountains, the imperial powers employed straight lines to alert others of their claims. When Iraq was still Mesopotamia, London told Paris the British wanted the oilfields, north and south; the French accommodated London’s lines because they were more interested in Syria.
Kurds, several kinds of Shiites and scattered Sunnis found themselves relegated to Baghdad’s sway; that leaves any outsider intent on subjugating the country with multiple bases of resistance. Left to their own devices – after blood-letting, maybe heavy – they will figure out a way to live with themselves. Much of the world sees America propping up one Shiite faction that Washington prefers over those that may be subservient to Tehran. That still applies even after Iran gives various signs of national implosion.
U.S. generals refuse to accept Southwest Asia’s reality, and they have convinced Mr. Obama to adopt their view. Dealing with immediate catastrophes, real and potential, and lulled by the Pentagon, the president has put Iraq and Afghanistan on the White House back burner. Not really forgotten. Not quite. That should provide some consolation for the family of Specialist Rodrigo A. Mungula Rivas.
But I am mad as hell at Barak Hussein Obama!
He ignored a campaign promise and he broke my heart.