26 July, 2010

Afghanistan...

So I am feeling a bit punchy today. I will admit - put that out there before we start this post.


I try to separate my thoughts on my life and faith from my reflections on current events. I would normally post something like this on my other blog, but feel compelled to post it here.


The NYTimes Lens blog ran a story about a battalion being deployed to Afghanistan. 
Their assignment is to set up the forward operating base in Kunduz, partnered with the Afghan national police in that province, to establish security in the region. They’re on a partnering mission, training for the most part. [Gen. Stanley A.] McChrystal’s game plan this whole time has been counter-insurgency. Part of it is establishing a strong local police force and an Afghan national army presence. (site)
Look at the pictures, see their faces. Realize they have families. Then ask yourself what they are dying for. I love that everyone complained and yelled and screamed about sending our young men and women to die in Iraq (another post for another day) but have said nothing about Afghanistan. Talk about a political war. Iraq I can swallow, Afghanistan makes me sick. 


In April of 2009 a law was passed in Afghanistan making marital rape legal. The AP ran a brief story on it


The Guardian wrote about the outcry, led by Gordon Brown. The law, "is said to forbid women to refuse to have sex with their husbands and force them to get their spouses' permission before leaving the house, looking for a job, going to the doctor or receiving education."


Many in the international community spoke out against this ridiculous law. Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of Germany, the UN.


And Obama? Well he called the law "abhorrent" but then essentially said it wasn't the U.S's place to intervene.


Our goal in Afghanistan, according to Obama - is. "to fight al-Qaeda and that is the most important thing."


Now we come full circle - they are connected, I promise.


As a woman standing in the freedom many died to give me. As a woman who can vote today become some pretty courageous women took a stand 90 years ago, I find it totally obscene that we would send our men and women to die in a country that allows such a law to exist. At least we went into Iraq to end the corrupt government and bring about basic liberties - here, we are covering our own tails and that is all. I find it totally incomprehensible that this war has been allowed to go on. And that so little is being said about the laws the Afghan government is passing against its own people... 


We have overcome too much as a country, as women, to be spending money and men and resources into a country that de-vaules women so severely. How many millions of dollars get pumped into Afghanistan every year?


It breaks my heart.


I have met some incredible people that serve in our military. Some of them are being sent to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.


It's a lot harder to stand for war once they have faces and names and you know them.




FDR said: I have seen war. I hate war.




I am having a hard time reconciling all of this at the moment. I am not a pacifist by any means. I agree with having a military and bring about peace and stability and defending our borders and protecting freedom... 


...But I feel like here (and maybe it's always this way in war) our men and women - and they are OURS, our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, lovers, best friends, neighbors... They are Americans just like us. They are people, humans, with lives, emotions, dreams, etc. - are being treated more like chess pawns that people. This is not some international game of Risk - there are real people involved. And it's not just our soldiers, but those of us left behind who love them and are left with no control and no guarantees... 




"I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen two hundred limping exhausted men come out of line-the survivors of a regiment of one thousand that went forward forty-eight hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war." (FDR) 

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