Donald Trump is about ask Americans to “trust” him on his new strategy for Afghanistan. Tonight he’ll announce yet another surge in Afghanistan. Let me say this, I was in Iraq for the surge and Afghanistan for the surge. Neither were successful, unless you’re in the coffin-making business.
Just to be clear, a surge means sending more troops to a conflict zone. Why do they use surges? Because things aren’t going well. The Pentagon tried this method in 2007 in Iraq. We now have ISIS, an organization far worse than Al-Qaeda. The Pentagon tried this method in 2009 in Afghanistan. We now have an even more corrupt Afghan government who is run by warlords and drug dealers. During all this, Americans are still suffering from economic despair. Iraqi lives, Afghan lives, and Americans lives have all worsened. But the lives of people in government and corporations have gotten better.
The highest-earning counties in the America are in or near Washington D.C. Residents are made up of lawyers, defense contractors, computer engineers, and federal government employees. Poor people joining the military are killing themselves while the rich get richer.
Is it a coincidence that we had a total eclipse today where the light was completely blocked out from us? Is the eclipse a sign of the times? For the people of Afghanistan, absolutely. For average Americans, sure. For defense contractors, hell no! Arms sales and military budgets have steadily increased during America’s longest war in Afghanistan. Yet, its the average Americans and people of Afghanistan who suffer.
Haven’t we lost enough already? More veterans commit suicide than the troops lost in the wars in the middle east. More civilians have died than combatants. More resources are wasted on destroying than building. How much more will the American public endure until they will stand up and say, “End the wars! Bring our troops home!”
Maybe Americans will have to see more coffins to make the connection. If Trump goes on with another surge, we’ll certainly see more of them. We’ve been at war nearly 16 years yet almost nobody talks about it. Its so easy to forget the US is in 6, 7, 8 wars. I lost count earlier this year. Its hard to keep track when its not in front of you everyday. But what I do see is Americans struggling to pay rent. I see Millennials struggling to pay off student debt. I see residents pointing fingers blaming the “other” as the source for their problems. How about we point our fingers in the right direction: the Pentagon, political leaders, and corporations.
I’ll end with a story about an Afghanistan veteran who took his own life a week after Obama announced in 2014 that the U.S. was going to stay in Afghanistan. Jacob George did three tours in Afghanistan, later becoming an anti war activist and organizer. Jacob wrote a song about his experience. In his song he asks, “Why do we send farmers to kill farmers in Afghanistan?” Jacob was 32 years old when he took his life on September 17th, 2014.