Lives Pledged to This Republic Are Not to Be Thrown Away

by Mark Antony Rossi

The World looks to America not because we boast about Freedom, but practice it with heart and good cheer. These two qualities are missing today upon learning more young soldiers have died for a land (Afghanistan) that was never interested in freedom in the first place. Unless the definition of freedom is the absence of intervening powers like that of the Soviets or the Americans. If you care to look beyond the bias reporting the rarely discussed truth is the Afghan tribes prefer the Taliban over America. They prefer these religious zealots because their beliefs are not that much different from the typical tribal family living throughout Afghanistan.
It may be difficult to hear this but for every Afghani who proclaims on public television his or her love for freedom there are 500,000 living in the tribal areas who agree with restrictions on women, banning music and dancing, turning the state into an emirate, the list goes on. Part of America’s problem in this situation, similar to Vietnam, is we only listened to the very few who agreed with our expanded mission. A mission that was initially about removing terrorist threats to our homeland but eventually grew into an orgy of mindless nation-building.

We should have only been in Afghanistan for a year. Once it was clear Osama Bin Laden was no longer present, we should have left but continued the search for Al Qaeda elsewhere. Instead, we built hospitals and helipads while our so-called ally, Pakistan, hid Bin Laden practically in plain sight for years. And again America refused to accept the truth that the ISI, the intelligence branch of the Pakistani government was also sympathetic to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The numbers do not lie:
19 years spent longer than necessary in Afghanistan

Over 8,000 US and Allied Soldiers were killed, including over 3,000 civilian contractors

Nearly 1 Trillion Dollars Spent

After today, add 13 more US soldiers dead in a war for a land that never wanted our help nor ever asked for it. And the fourth, US President, Joseph Biden, involved in this senseless conflict still unable to formulate a plan to rescue our citizens and beat back the bloodthirsty pirates promising to punish a superpower. Instead, we project weakness and failure and frighten our allies abroad who hope we remain steadfast in defense of the South China Sea.

I wish I could somehow inspire greater faith that America will stand by its regional commitments to endangered countries like the Philippines, India, and Taiwan. But I cannot lie. We have a Team in the White House whose sole philosophy is merely reversing everything the last guy did. That is not a well-thought-out plan. It is not even close to a plan. Our national moves should be measured by what is in front of us and not who came before us. The World is in the balance. What America does right or wrong has ramifications for the young American boy whose father was blown apart at a Kabul airport and for the Taiwanese girl whose parents will die in a future Chinese missile attack on that island nation.

Lives pledged to this Republic are not to be thrown away like a soulless position paper on the floor of the State Department. America’s soldiers, our beloved children, are now dying for elected officials bereft of fortitude and lacking any forward vision of a more secure tomorrow. As the bodies arrive at Dover Air Force Base, a place ironically built in the President’s home state of Delaware, we must salute their courage to answer the call of duty and remind ourselves and the world that though we have lost our way we have the ability as a nation to rise up and be counted once again — in honor

About the Author:

Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright, and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. He also hosts a podcast called Strength to be Human.

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