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War is tough on children and other living things....

by northstar at 09:39 PM on March 04, 2002

So, the first Americans have died in ground combat in Afghanistan? My first reaction, after the normal sadness, was “Wait, didn’t the media and the politicians tell me Afghanistan was a done deal?” What happened? Did the bad guys not see the error of their ways? Did we not bomb Osama bin-Laden and his minions into the hell they so richly deserve? Did the pamphlets the US Air Force dropped not convince people on the ground that the US is in fact NOT the Great Satan, but the land of McDonald’s and Haagen-Dazs??

There is a real disconnect between the reality on the ground and what Congress and the media are focusing on. Most politicians, as well as the media, have for weeks been fixated on identifying the next “target”. Would it be Iraq, the Philippines, Somalia, or someplace we never would have guessed if we had a flashlight and a State Department human rights report? In fact, the realities on the ground in Afghanistan are far different from what our collective short attention span has been led to believe.

Afghanistan is a country that has been in various states of war—civil or otherwise—since the late 70’s. It’s difficult to imagine dropping a few thousand tons of bombs on the Afghan countryside and then seeing a functioning democracy magically appear from the primordial goo. No, Afghanistan is still on the verge of a very uncivil civil war. I would imagine that more Americans are going to die. I suppose I understand the need for this, but it can’t be easy to send someone’s sons and daughters into harm’s way. The sad reality is that once the US military leaves Afghanistan, no matter how many American soldiers have died, all hell will likely break loose once more. War, chaos, repression, and anarchy are not just a way of life in Afghanistan- they’re a time-honored tradition.

I would feel a whole lot better about things if our elected representatives were more concerned about understanding the situation on the ground that raising more for their re-election bids. It would also help if the media would engage in less “analysis” (read: wild-ass guessing), and spend more time and effort telling us what is really going on.

comments (4)

you know, with as many news channels running wall-to-wall play-by-play of this "war", you'd think some actual information would get through to us, but, sadly, no.

by kd at March 5, 2002 12:11 AM

Get over it. The United States of Superior Firepower has been trained to expect 'minimum casualties' in any armed conflict because we can throw thermobaric bombs into caves, and tomahawks from miles out at sea. As StraightShot and I were conversing a few days ago, the values on the arsenals were slightly skewed in favor of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. A several million dollar cruise missile... vs... A camel. A runway cratering/bunker busting bomb... vs... A hut made of mud and sand. This won't be finished until someone gets their hands dirty. And that's when people get killed. When you fight a cornered animal, they will do whatever it takes to survive, or to take your ass out with the trash that night. There will be many more dead before this is over. And not just in Afghanistan. Again, this is war. This is not a highschool beating. And I don't give a shit who started it. There will always be hate among man.

by quicksilver at March 5, 2002 12:21 PM

Conspiracy theory alert!

Conspiracy theory alert!

Conspiracy theory alert!

I've been thinking about this recent announcements. I think that these casualties came early in the war, but they've been kept quiet because if they'd been announced 5 days into the war rather than 5 months, the generally universal (at least here in the States) approval of the war would have dried up right quick. The war has been generally successful, but it certainly isn't even front page news anymore. Now, the gov can reveal that people have been hurt, and people will be sad, but no on is screaming we should get out of there (besides the people who already were).

/end conspiracy theory alert!

by mg at March 5, 2002 2:13 PM

so, so, those "friendly fire" casualties at the outset were probably enemy fire, but we'd rather look stupid than weak, so we lied about it. yeah. that makes sense.

by kd at March 6, 2002 1:51 AM

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