American Hero

A small Midwest hometown just buried one of its own, Sgt. Bradley Atwell. He was killed in Afghanistan by a group of Afgan insurgents who had dressed as U.S. soldiers and made their way into Camp Bastion, a U.S. military base there, where they attacked our soldiers. We, the people of the United States, have now lost over 2000 of our finest men and women in uniform in that God forsaken country. We have been fighting there for over 10 years. The Russians were there 10 years before us.

My reaction to the photos and stories of Sgt. Atwell and the heartache felt by his family, friends, and community has been one of sorrow and anger. Bradley Atwell is a hero. He and all who are in the military or who have ever been in the military deserve our highest respect and deepest thanks. It is our leaders who must be questioned. It is those who send our troops all over the globe who must answer. It has recently been reported that we now have troops in well over 130 countries around the world maintaining bases, doing humanitarian work, and fighting.

It is the ones in which we are fighting that must be the most questioned. We do not seem to learn. Viet Nam was a disaster. We left there having about 54,000 Americans killed and who knows how many maimed. We went to war in Iraq for what turned out to be nothing. There were no weapons of mass destruction, never were, and Iraq had nothing to do with the attack on the Twin Towers in New York. President Bush knew that. Iraq was never a threat to the United States of America. We went there because Bush and Cheney wanted us to. That war resulted in about 4500 deaths of our soldiers with over 30,000 wounded. What a waste.

The war in Afghanistan really became President Obama’s war. He announced a total withdrawal date. The real question is why wait. Why not just get out of there now. It does not matter whether we get out now or stay another 10 years; that country and its people are primitive and will stay that way. They have no oil which is really our only national interest in the Middle East; that and Israel. The Taliban will take that country back 100’s of years as soon as we leave. The only presence we really need there should be covert with Special Ops and/or CIA attacks when people who have the potential to hurt the United States are identified. Other than that, time to leave and come home.

We must face facts. The Afgans don’t like us. The Pakistani’s don’t like us much either. Then there is India. They are the ones who should be most concerned and the ones who, if military action is called for, should step up to the plate. Pakistan and India both have nuclear bombs. They need to work out their own destiny. The United States cannot and should not be the world’s policeman. Under President Obama, we have done much to create a Middle East with few friends of the USA.

Finally, we simply cannot afford to be at war. In case no one has looked recently, we are broke. Our national debt is sky high and climbing. We do not have the money to hand out to others around the world. We need to be taking care of our own first. If resources are left over at some point, then aid can be given to other countries. Our leaders are failing us. They have failed the thousands who have given their lives to protect us. Time to say, NO MORE.

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About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As part of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest, I have a passion for a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I am also holder of three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science and the environment. I have little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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