October 7, 2009, marked the eighth anniversary of the United State’s occupation of Afghanistan. Recently, commanders came out in support of more troops in Afghanistan, and President Obama seems to be following along with little hesitation. I see no end in sight. I have come to the conclusion that the United States of America is no longer a constitutional republic but a warmongering empire that places itself on a podium of exceptionalism.
Now, very few in the Congress are opposed to the occupation in Afghanistan as democrats stand behind President Obama, and neoconservative republicans continue to back the ever-increasing war activity in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A war that has gone on twice as long as WWII, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, killed more than 850 Americans and tens of thousands of civilians must end immediately.
I ask one simple question to the military and political leaders that continue to back the occupation and ask for more troops: What are we doing? Their rhetoric continues to encourage and endorse the need for more killing and bombing.
Our country must cease its role as a global police force because it draws away massive amounts of money that could ultimately be used to cure our domestic problems. We must always remember the ethic of reciprocity: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
When the United States bombs a building and kills families, we create terrorists that now want revenge. For this reason, the U.S. Military’s presence has become an endless money-sucking occupation.
Afghanistan is an important issue, however, we must look at the entire U.S. foreign policy. In March 2009, the Department of Defense reported the United States military currently has personnel in 150 countries. This number is extraordinary given the fact there are only 194 countries. Right now, we have 380,011 troops stationed on 761 foreign bases with 54,043 troops in Germany and 34,544 in Japan. Did World War II not end sixty-four years ago? I would appreciate an explanation for this but of course the two major parties would never address this issue.
In 2000, George Bush campaigned with a humble foreign policy, yet he somehow brought us into two occupations. Barack Obama, who ran as the peace president in 2008, is not only continuing the war in Afghanistan but has also become heavily involved in Pakistan. On top of this, the possibility of war with Iran is becoming more realistic everyday.
It will be interesting to see what actually happens in regards to the United States and its foreign commitments. As one who is personally angered over the two parties’ destruction of our country’s principles, I hope I am not alone. Roughly eight years into the Vietnam War on April 21, 1971, 500,000 anti-war protesters marched in Washington D.C. and few months later, the Camden 28, including a Jesuit priest, broke into draft offices and burned thousands of documents. Although the Vietnam War is different from our current engagements, thousands have died, thousands more will die, yet I see little protestation.
I know many are adamantly opposed to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, if nothing is done but a useless vote once every four years, I fear the United States will continue on its imperial rampage, ultimately leading to imminent failure.