Here we go again. It’s not bad enough that we are wasting American lives, and billions of dollars, in prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, so now we’re bombing Libya. Will we ever learn that A) We cannot be the world’s policeman forever; and B) If we are going to get into messes like this, we need to go in, do the job, and get out?

Remember last August, when the war in Iraq “ended”? I’m not sure that is a lot of comfort to the families of the eleven American troops killed there since the first of this year. Some of the soldiers were killed by members of the Iraqi military whom they were there to support.

The war in Afghanistan drags on and on, another bloody, miserable treadmill that is helping to drain our resources, and some of the finest young Americans, of our time.

Way back in 1986, American air strikes hit Libya in retaliation for Libyan agents bombing a nightclub in West Berlin; a terrorist attack that killed three people and injured 229. The stated purpose of our retaliatory attack was to reduce Libya’s ability to support and train terrorists, and to send a message that terrorism would not be tolerated.

At that time, the U.S. government said that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was not a direct target of the attack, because it is not our policy to single out individuals for lethal attacks. I asked in a newspaper editorial back then, “Why not? If we cut the head off a snake, we kill it. If we just poke at it with a stick, all we do is piss it off.”

In the current attacks, press releases were quick to say again that Gaddafi is not a target. The purpose of the air strikes is to stop attacks on rebel forces seeking to overthrow the dictator. I ask again, why not kill him? He damned sure didn’t learn a lesson back in 1986. Why do we think he will this time around?

Yes, I know, this is a NATO action, and not just U.S. forces are involved. In fact, we are supposed to hand off most of the responsibility for the action to our allies. Uh huh, and how’s that worked out for us in the past? 

In early 1991, we launched attacks against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army after it invaded neighboring Kuwait. It took us all of 100 hours to drive them back into Iraq, and then we just stopped our thrust. Why? If we would have kept right on rolling until all that remained of Baghdad was rubble crushed under the treads of American tanks, we might not still have our kids fighting and dying there.

A couple of weeks ago, a young Marine captain addressed an event I sponsored in Yuma, Arizona. During the question and answer period after she spoke, one Korean War veteran asked why we didn’t just “clean house and end it in Iraq and Afghanistan?” He said that ever since the Korean War, American troops have been held back, and not been allowed to take the fight to the enemy on our terms.

Any of us that have served in uniform in any conflict since Korea, would  agree. Restricted in when we could fire upon the enemy, restricted on how far we could carry an attack, and hampered by rules of warfare that made no sense, there was no way we could win.

This young Marine officer, an Afghan War veteran herself, did not hesitate to agree, and to admit that it made no sense to her either. She pointed out one big problem we have had forever, in that a soldier or Marine is sent overseas for a tour of duty of anywhere from eight to twelve months.

It takes them half that time to learn the ropes and become familiar with the area of operation, their fellow troops, and their counterparts from other NATO countries. Then, about the time they are up to speed and putting out their top efforts, they are rotated back home and somebody new comes in, to repeat the process all over again.

I hate that we have our young men and women in harm’s way, in godforsaken places where we have no business interfering. But damn it, if we’re going to send them over there, let them do the job and come home once and for all. Let them kill the enemy, because that’s what war is about. It’s ugly, it’s terrible, but if it needs to be done, just do it and get it over with!

Otherwise, let’s stay home, mind our own business, and protect our own borders from the invasion from the south that is slowly overcoming us. Will we ever learn?

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14 Comments on Will We Ever Learn?

  1. joe says:

    I doubt we will ever learn. There are too many “goodies two shoes” that might be offended.

  2. Barbara says:

    You can’t make money if you stay at home. Someone is making a lot of money on these wars and it isn’t the citizen of North America

  3. Connie Bradih says:

    I agree, we should go in and win. That’s the point: to win. It was why I was against Vietnam. We weren’t allowed to fight and win. Instead we hampered our soldier’s ability to fight and got them killed.

    But we need to stop these crazy dictators and regimes. If we don’t, we get Hitler and WW II or 9-11 and Osama Ben Laden. You can’t be an isolationist because they come to you eventually. If you wait, they get stronger and they are harder to defeat. Just imagine if people had listened to Churchill instead of Chamberlain, no Hitler, WW II or Holocaust. If our spy service had been allowed to work and assassinate Osama be Laden, no 9-11.

    Something to think about.

  4. Sal. Bellomo says:

    Yes Yes And I will say it again “””YES””” we should stay out

    of it 110 % and take care of this country U.S.A.

  5. Janna says:

    With a granddaughter serving in the USAF and having served a tour in Iraq, now stationed in Italy–her grandmother can say, let our military do it right, we should have mowed those people down until we found that stupid bin Laden and killed him!! As usual, Nick, you hit the nail on the head.

  6. Dave B. says:

    I hate to say it, but there are a lot of American businesses that make money during wars. It’s about making a buck, not about peoples lives. Just ask Dick Cheney about all his companies that are making fortunes over there. What if all the war profits had to be turned over to our government? Do you think that may help shorten wars?

  7. Dave K says:

    Joe has hit the nail on the head to the real problem in this country. What we really need is a tsunami in Washington DC to wipe the slate clean. Don’t forget that YOU, “politically correct” folks are the ones who put those bums in leadership positions in office.

  8. DanBat says:

    Can I just say AMEN.
    My buddy came home with half a leg.This was after he was out and working for a private firm.
    He would share the same thoughts and haws a book out. In this book he tells the tale of a snake that was just poked at all day. In the end that snake won.
    Thank you for this blog.

  9. Dale says:

    Dave K: Are you referring to the dems, repubs or tea partiers?

    Our government is not cookie cutter – if it were, then perhaps pragmatism might reign and not the current chaos. EG, repubs want to cut funding to the National Atomic Safety group that goes around the world and rounds up all the atomic waste that could instead end up in the hands of terrorists. Penny wise, pound foolish.

    Also, remember, all the references made to being held back and not being able to go in and conquer has been through multiple administrations of different political parties.

    Instead of blaming “politically incorrect” perhaps we should be pushing to let the military have a bigger say in what goes on when it comes to deployment of forces and how they’re utilized.

  10. Steve says:

    What is there to learn? WE already know. You are preaching to the choir, here.
    Barbara and Dave B. make valid points. It points out who is really in charge. Our “elected officials” are little more than puppets, powerless to make substantial change. It doesn’t really matter whose party is in office.
    Things are changing, thanks to technology and communications, and not immediately for the better. You will see more bloodbaths as long oppressed peoples demand freedom and despots cling to power.

  11. bucky says:

    I agree with those people who responded before me. Have we learned nothing from all the previous wars since WWII. We wasted our children in those battles, only to have the countries go to dictators, or remain seperated such as Korea. Now we send our troops to countries that will turn against us any way the wind blows… We have enough problems at home with out trying to be the worlds police force. Lets clean up our own illegal immigration problem, by putting our troops on our borders.

  12. Mike Mitchell says:

    Why do we keep getting involved in wars we can’t win? As said above big business! It has nothing to do with politics because everybody in ofice is busy padding his own bank account no matter is he is a domocrat republican or whatever he is. In the last 50 years or more has one person been elected to high office who was from the working class? No way! It is all rich guys taking care of their rich buddies at our expense. Why dont we crack down on the illegals? Because they supply big business with low cost labor and they make more profits that way. Same old same old.

  13. Tom says:

    Another UN/NATO action where the contributions of firepower provided by other nations would not put on a good 4th of July fireworks display. Once again our leaders have put us in a position where we are not allowed to complete the job we have started. Our brave young men and women are being told to fight battles to protect people that are our friends in the daylight but are our enimies at night. Let the other Middle East countries, the French and the Spanish fight this one and keep our troops out of this one.

  14. Orville Schinke says:

    Being a veteran of 20+ years of active duty in the US Air Force I believe I’m qualified to address this. Our country’s leadership will continue to send men (and boys) into combat without any thought of winning. War is hell — people get hurt, some get killed. The only way to stop any dictatorship, once you’re involved is to “cut them off at the pass.” Bomb hell out of them and let the peaceniks grumble and protest. Are we in this Libya thing to win? Although NATO is said to be leading it, do people understand that the United States is part of NATO? If we don’t grind this thing to a halt with some boots on the ground, there are a lot more people that are going to get hurt. You can’t win any war with people who hide themselves in holes in the ground by strafing and bombing!

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