-visit hospitalized veterans (requires getting out of the armchair comfort zone, though).
-write your Congress critters and the White House for a war tax and war bonds, instead of saying, "Just charge it!" on the Bank of China Mastercharge Card.
Oh, and this: "As I interpret the Constitution it is not the intention of our system of government that only serving members of the armed forces are entitled to an opinion on foreign and military policy, irrespective of the moral obligation of all citizens to collectively bear the outcomes. In fact it seems dangerous to me that only the armed forces would be entitled in that respect so I wonder what is served by the argument that only those with 'skin in the game' have those rights."
There are few duties as a citizen. There's jury duty, and there's military service. Absence of either, on your part, does not preclude you from an opinion, last time I looked at the Constitution. It's your own personal credibility which suffers when you're all for war, and don't bear any of the burden. But you can do something, man. Otherwise your arguments for war are just as empty and hollow as a big ol' 55 gallon drum.
And, I care more about our troops' well-being than to urge an "immediate withdrawal" from Iraq and Afghan. I do want a safe, orderly, on-going re-deployment, in earnest, and without foot dragging. Since the American people are not actually, materially, tangibly supporting and paying for the wars, but only putting "Support The Troops" magnets on their cars, it's the only reasonable thing to do.
Ok, you're all for the fight, and are not bearing any of the consequences. Back where I grew up, someone who went around advocating for a fight, and then didn't somehow show up for it, might get punched in the nose by those who did.
I'm not into nation building. Looks to me like we're not going to change a damned thing in a feudal warlord culture, except spread more weapons around.
We had a big civil war, ourselves, right here, awhile back, in the context of our own culture, and whose business was it? Who are we to say that other people in a different culture are not allowed to have a civil war in their own context, eh?
NGOs will have to do the best they can. US Aid too. I have nothing against the Afghans. Just don't see any tangible way our deployment there is protecting us.
Basically, any argument you make for expending our troops lives and health in Afghan, not to mention a pile of money we could use right here for health care, infrasturcture repair, technology to get us off foreign oil, and on and on, will come down to, "Well, IF such and such happens, then Oh my gawd Oh my gawd THIS could happen!" Just a bunch of IF and COULD. The CERTAINTY is this http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/02
/21/magazine/0224-AFGHAN_9.html and you are AWOL on doing anything tangible to pay the price and bear your share of the burden, ya dig?
I remember what JFK said in the inaugural address, 'cause I watched it on the ol' black and white TV. He distinctly said "pay any price, bear any burden". Just wondering, since you're all for our troops getting bloodied in this, what's your own stake in it? In what material, practical, tangible ways are you, yourself, paying the cost and bearing the burden for the consequences of the war you endorse, eh?
Your last paragraph: "Whatever the outcome it is clear that we are now directing this conflict at the heartland of our self-appointed enemies, ideologically, diplomatically and militarily. Better late than never and an indication that our current leadership is prosecuting this conflict with a clearly defined mission and the balanced application of reason and force. To those who have wondered aloud why we should continue to aid Pakistan or escalate our commitment to Afghanistan it could be argued that at this moment in time we just might be poised to 'win' some decisive turning points in these elusive conflicts."
The turning point is right around the corner, so let's keep crucifying our troops, right? Pshaw, dude.
I'm sure the Administration appreciates your rationalization for all the body bags and horrid disabilities which will be coming home this summer, which are the only guarantee in this quagmire.
But one mind-blowing tidbit you overlooked: the United States government is FUNDING the Taliban.
-----"American officials have complained for more than a year about the ISI's support to groups like the Taliban. But the new details reveal that the spy agency is aiding a broader array of militant networks with more diverse types of support than was previously known -- even months after Pakistani officials said that the days of the ISI's playing a "double game" had ended." The rest of the story is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/world/
We send money to Pakistan, whose ISI funds the Taliban. Who thinks the ISI is going to turn their backs on the Taliban, which was largely the ISI's creation?
I'm a newcomer to the blog world, and I think I've run off my first troll!
It's made me thirsty to have some relevant dialogue with people who have something to say.
C'mon down! I have no axe to grind with Senator Durbin or anyone else (possible exception for GasBag Limbaugh : - ) I've patiently lobbied him and his people for months. I'm completely dismayed by how he and his colleagues won't take effective action to end this wholesale misuse and abuse of our troops by doing that which will result in safe, orderly re-deployment from Iraq in earnest and without further delay.
Our Armed Forces are being wrecked, ladies and gentlemen, and my priority is to them. We need our Armed Forces for that purpose defined in the Preamble. All I want is for our Armed Forces to be respected, honored, and CONSERVED for that purpose, and I don't take No for an answer on that one. No Free Passes from me for Senators who won't run this ball to the goal line, or for ones who say "no blank checks" and then turn around and write some, nope!