Clint is Right on Afghanistan

CCO Image via J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Now that the Republican National Convention has come and gone like the Obama apparition in the Clint Eastwood chair, all political eyes turn to the Democratic National Convention. Bill Clinton is set to be the Keynote speaker and he’ll try to convince the world that he really doesn’t despise President Obama. Vice President Biden and POTUS Bam will try to woo small business owners, women, gays (people love gays during election cycles) and seniors. It will be another week of hijacking my telly from the significant other breaking from our normal routine of watching HGTV the way most religious zealots watch Billy Graham. And as I watch, I’ll be waiting to hear about something that wasn’t discussed much in Tampa aside from a brief yet surprisingly cogent rant from the aforementioned Mr. Eastwood. I’ll be waiting to hear about Afghanistan – the forgotten war, the forgotten troops, the forgotten national disgrace.

I’m a very wimpy person. I briefly considered going the ROTC route when applying for colleges a million years ago. My rationale wasn’t deeply entrenched in patriotism. I was in it for the free ride. Yes, I was aware that I’d have to serve after graduation but my initial research didn’t ring any alarm bells that I might end up on the front lines in some rat-infested hole with enemy combatants trying to kill me. Once these alarm bells started blaring, I gave up on the ROTC. Again, I’m a wimp. The men and women currently fighting in Afghanistan for reasons I have yet to truly fathom are the anti-thesis of wimpy. They have literal and figurative balls. They are willing to hold the line even if they aren’t altogether certain what they are holding it for. And let’s be clear: pols on the blue and red side have no fucking idea what the troops are doing over there. Yet, they’re there. Again, it’s a national disgrace.

Notice, I didn’t say we when referring to the troops. I hear so many liberal and conservative pundits say things like, “What are we doing over there?” or “We’re fighting them over there so they won’t attack us here”. Let’s be clear. We aren’t there. They are;  they are the troops, their wives and husbands, their mothers and fathers, their brothers and sisters, their children. We are the rest of the population. We aren’t doing nearly enough to demand that the War in Afghanistan, this generation’s Vietnam, come to a swift and decisive end.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to say “We support the troops”. It’s not exactly akin to a wedge issue. But supporting the troops means getting them out of harm’s way, getting them out of a region that believes stoning a woman to death for alleged infidelity is A OK. This is not a winnable war. This is not a civilized region. If America is truly exceptional, it’s time to make the exceptionally sane call. Bring the troops home yesterday.