Who Will It Be?

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Another milestone will soon be reached in the war on terrorism. No, the Homeland Security threat level will not be lowered to green. No, regular tubes of toothpaste will not be allowed on airplanes. And no, U.S. troops will not be turning everything over to Iraqis and Afghans.

The milestone I am referring to is not a good one. There have been 43 U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year. This brings the total dead up to 990. But if last year is any indication, when 317 soldiers died, the 1,000th U.S. soldier will soon die in Afghanistan.

Who will it be? Who will be the 1,000th U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan?

Will it be someone from your family? Will it be your father, your brother, your uncle, your grandfather, your nephew, or perhaps your husband? Will it be your mother, your sister, your aunt, your grandmother, your niece, or perhaps your wife?

Will it be someone you know? Will it be your friend, your neighbor, your classmate, your coworker, or just an acquaintance?

Will it be someone from your area? Will it be someone from your state, your county, your city, or maybe even your street?

For those in the military, will it be someone serving with you? Will it be your corporal, your sergeant, lieutenant, your captain, or your colonel? Will it be someone in your squad or platoon? Will it be someone in your barracks or on your ship? Will it be you?

Who will it be? Who will be the 1,000th U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan?

These deaths are all so senseless. The 9/11 hijackers are all dead. None of them were Afghans. The terrorist attacks were primarily planned in apartments in the United States by individuals legally authorized to be in the county, not in terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. The United States supported the Muslim insurgents and Afghan militants when they were freedom-fighting Mujahideen fighting against the Soviet Union. The president’s National Security Advisor, retired Marine Corps general James L. Jones, not only acknowledged that the al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan was very diminished, but that “the maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.” No American was ever harmed by anyone in Afghanistan until the U.S. military invaded and occupied that country.

Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan is folly on a grand scale. This primitive country with a long history of ethnic, religious, and factional squabbling is known as the graveyard of empires. The British found this out the hard way, as did the Soviet Union. Why is America the great exception?

According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States spends about $3.6 billion a month in Afghanistan — and that was as of last October when there were fewer U.S. troops in the country than there are now. The 30,000 additional troops that Obama wants to send to Afghanistan will cost another $30 billion. That’s another $2.5 billion a month. The Pentagon has acknowledged that it costs about $400 to get a gallon of fuel into the remote areas of Afghanistan to U.S. troops. The trucking and security companies hired by the United States to transport supplies to military bases in Afghanistan have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in protection money to the Taliban and other insurgent groups to keep from being attacked on the roads. Since the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the Army Corps of Engineers has spent more than $4.5 billion on construction projects, most of it building nearly 400 U.S. and coalition bases in that country.

We don’t know who will be the 1,000th U.S. soldier to die in Afghanistan. But we do know it will be soon. And there are some other things we know about his upcoming death. We know that his death will be in vain and for a lie. We know he will not die to avenge 9/11. We know he will die, not as a hero, but as a dupe. We know he will not die to protect anyone from terrorists. We know he will not die for anyone’s freedoms. We know his death will be senseless, unnecessary, and preventable. We know his death will be a sacrifice for the furtherance of the U.S. global empire.

Who will it be?

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