Thinking About Our Longest War Ever
by James Glaser
February 9, 2015
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We attacked Afghanistan way back in 2001, almost 14 years ago, and less than a month after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Of course we now know that no Afghan was in on the attack, and we also now know there was no Iraqi in on the attack either, but those are the two countries we attacked to get revenge.

Just so you know, of the nineteen attackers on 9/11, fifteen came from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, and one each came from Egypt and Lebanon.

So we made an unprovoked attack on Afghanistan. Afghanistan never threatened us. Afghanistan never had the means to attack us. They had no army, no navy, and no air force. So, our troops attacked that country, and now we as a nation think of those troops as heroes.

I fought in another long war we had—Vietnam. The country of Vietnam never attacked us either, and they never even threatened to attack us. Now some American people claim American troops in that war were heroes, too.

I sometimes wonder why, when America makes an unprovoked attack on another country, American troops become heroes, but when a country like Germany made unprovoked attacks in the 1940s, their troops were deemed as evil. Just where is the difference?

Now I could see our attacking Saudi Arabia in revenge for those attacks on our country, but that might just hurt some rich Americans and some of our politicians, too. There is a 28 page report about Saudi Arabia's involvement in that 9/11 attack, but American citizens are not allowed to read it. Here is how the New Yorker explains it:

On the bottom floor of the United States Capitol's new underground visitors' center, there is a secure room where the House Intelligence Committee maintains highly classified files. One of those files is titled "Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters." It is twenty-eight pages long. In 2002, the Administration of George W. Bush excised those pages from the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. President Bush said then that publication of that section of the report would damage American intelligence operations, revealing "sources and methods that would make it harder for us to win the war on terror."

"There's nothing in it about national security," Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has read the missing pages, contends. "It's about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis." Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, told me that the document is "stunning in its clarity," and that it offers direct evidence of complicity on the part of certain Saudi individuals and entities in Al Qaeda's attack on America. "Those twenty-eight pages tell a story that has been completely removed from the 9/11 Report," Lynch maintains. Another congressman who has read the document said that the evidence of Saudi government support for the 9/11 hijacking is "very disturbing," and that "the real question is whether it was sanctioned at the royal-family level or beneath that, and whether these leads were followed through." Now, in a rare example of bipartisanship, Jones and Lynch have co-sponsored a resolution requesting that the Obama Administration declassify the pages.

Really though, there is little chance of President Obama releasing that 28 page report. It would hurt our rich friends in Saudi Arabia, and it would hurt the Bush family and who knows what other politicians. Also, it would show the American people we attacked Afghanistan and then Iraq in more of a cover-up than to get any sort of revenge or justice for that terrorist attack on 9/11.

How would that fit into the hero status of the American troops we sent to attack a country whose people and government had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack? The same goes for our troops who attacked Iraq. That crap about bringing freedom and democracy doesn't hold water, because nobody in those countries was begging us to do that. Although, there were many Iraqi past politicians who were employed by the US government making the claim that they spoke for their people in requesting our help. Help? We killed and maimed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions.

I guess what I am really thinking about is how America attacks other countries that would never hurt us if we didn't attack first, and then to make the American people feel good about these attacks, we pretend that the troops we sent to do this attacking were actually heroes. That is supposed to make the American citizens feel good, and the troops, too?

There is one big flaw in this deception, and that is that many of the troops figure out they have been had. Their friends have died, they and many of their friends are maimed for life, and they have to live with the truth. Our troops killed thousands and thousands, really untold numbers of innocent civilians in both Afghanistan and Iraq. For what? So some politicians and rich Saudi royal family members would not be found out?

Well, when you come back from a war that you realize was based on sham and a lie, it eats on you. Think about this. 22 American veterans are killing themselves on average every day of the year. That is over 8,000 a year and those are just the ones the Veterans Administration has to admit to.

CNN reports, "Why suicide rate among veterans may be more than 22 a day," and asks the question, "Who wasn't counted?" Here is a bit of that article:

Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That's a suicide every 65 minutes. As shocking as the number is, it may actually be higher.

The figure, released by the Department of Veterans Affairs in February, is based on the agency's own data and numbers reported by 21 states from 1999 through 2011. Those states represent about 40% of the U.S. population. The other states, including the two largest (California and Texas) and the fifth-largest (Illinois), did not make data available.

While the exact number might be higher, the question remains, are our veterans killing themselves because they have figured out they were not defending America, but rather murdering innocent people who were only trying to defend their own country from American aggression?

We don't know the answer to that question, and we may never know it. However, we do know that we teach our children killing is wrong, and that two wrongs do not make a right. It really doesn't take long for a combat Soldier or Marine to figure out the only people he or she is defending are the members of his or her own unit. It also doesn't take long for them to realize that the people who live in the pitiful dirt poor countries we attack surely couldn't have mounted any real threat to our country.

It also doesn't take anyone very long to understand there is no way logistically any of the countries we attack could get their troops, if they have any, to the other side of the world to attack the United States. It takes a Super Power to do that, and we are the only Super Power on earth.

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