By Contributor Rev. Alan Eschenbacher
Enough already with the war in Afghanistan! It was NEVER a good idea and if you at the Pentagon don’t believe that, I invite you to look at history. Afghanistan doesn’t take well to foreign occupiers, or helpers or whatever you want to call this current fiasco we have ourselves involved in. The recent killing spree by an American soldier is just the recent and, so far, most blatant attack on civilians (oh how my heart aches for those children! I have a 4-year-old granddaughter!). These kinds of things will continue, as will retaliation by Taliban or Afghani soldiers against American troops or U. N. troops or whomever, and the killing will go on, and on.
This 38-year-old staff sergeant and reported family man with wife and two children, obviously “snapped” due to a probable mental health issue. This leaves us to wonder if the military is doing due diligence to look for decompensation signs and get help for soldiers with mental health issues. Oh, by the way, you there in the Pentagon, it’s well known that prolonged wars generate lots of mental health issues for soldiers; thought I’d mention that in case you weren’t paying attention or hadn’t heard or maybe wanted to set up some type of screening. Or, better yet maybe STOP THE WAR! Bring troops home. The situation in Afghanistan is out of control and the quagmire is getting deeper daily. And by the way, another heads-up for the White House and Congress and whoever else might be listening there in D.C., if you insist on spending billions of tax dollars in Afghanistan, fine, bring the troops home, send Afghanistan the money, let them build schools and hospitals and whatever infrastructure they see fit and stay out of the way! If they don’t spend it appropriately or maybe use it for terrorism then the good news is you can stop sending the money. Afghani citizens do not want us there! And our officials supposedly in charge of our interests have no clue, it seems.
The Pentagon spokesman I saw on television news responding to the killings said, “… this has been a great tragedy, but an even bigger tragedy would be if we abandoned our mission in Afghanistan …” Wrong! The only so-called tragedy would be if all the corporations and stockholders making fortunes in the weapons and munitions business would see their business dry up, too bad for them.
We must end the war and stop all future wars in foreign lands, stop letting greed and lust for gain decide how we use our military. The Pentagon accounts for more than 50 percent of our national spending. This is an outrage. We live on a relatively small planet in an enormous Cosmos. All the people on earth are interconnected and dependent on one another, it is time we started acting like the brothers and sisters we are, regardless of differences in values and faith preferences. We must live and love one another as if our lives depended on it, because they do!