OWEN: The Politicians, Not The Soldiers, Lost Afghanistan

I’m old enough to remember our last days in Vietnam.  It was a tough thing to see. The last days in Afghanistan are still unfolding, and they, too, have been tough to watch.

Some people are making comparisons, and comparisons may be valid. Some are saying we got beat again and had to retreat from a war we lost. The enemies of our country are now snickering in their corners in nasty places across the globe. The hate-America crowd in this country, many of whom now seem to be leading America, are sitting on their barstools in Georgetown, sipping clear liquors and chardonnays and deep down gloating because they think the United States has been defeated and put in our place. Again.

They can think what they want.

They can continue to sit and hate our country. I don’t care what they think, nor do most Americans. The United States did not leave this most recent, God-forsaken country because our military was defeated. We left because civilians who were in charge of four consecutive administrations never could decide what they wanted done over there.

We went over there because a group of Muslim terrorists struck our homeland. We went over there supposedly to find the people who knocked down our buildings and tried to destroy the Pentagon. The government of Patrician Republican George Bush and his cast of neo-cons didn’t go in with enough force and quickly got lured into another war no one thought we needed in Iraq. The search for Osama Bin Laden was complex and tough, and it took a decade. When our professionals and warriors found him, killed him and tossed his filthy body into the Indian Ocean, we should have left THEN.

While we’re on that topic, never forget that President Barack Obama ensured the murderer of 3,000 Americans received a “culturally appropriate” Muslim burial and gloated over the great care we took in disposing of Bin Laden’s body.

But, we didn’t leave, we stayed.

We continued, as some would say, to “prevent another 9/11” and to keep another Al Qaeda from forming up and coming after us again.

I never bought that and I still don’t.

This is a big world, and there are lots of places terror groups can go and form up. We stayed for some other reason, and I really don’t know why. Sadly, you would probably have a hard time getting the people in expensive clothes living in Washington DC to really explain what they were trying to accomplish.

It became readily apparent in recent months that the people of Afghanistan did not have the desire, or the will to remain free. I hate it for those who did, whose lives will now be miserable. But, I hate it MORE for the 2,400 soldiers and 1,700 US contractors who gave their lives in that terrible, land-locked place that has been very unkind to empires and liberators alike. The peoples of Afghanistan fight empires and tyrants like the USSR and they fight liberators and folks who want to give them running water and schools, like us. Noted.

Afghanistan is now the hands of stone-age barbarians.  It’s in the hands of people who don’t want women to read, take little girls as wives, rape little boys for sport (they call it culture) and toss gays off buildings. We have little in common with the leaders of the Afghanistan, other than being in the human race. I certainly hope we don’t establish diplomatic relations with them.

The charlatans in our White House gave bad and unadvisable orders to our military as we pulled out of Afghanistan. They most certainly told our generals and admirals to do the stupid things we saw unfold in the news. No officer worth his salt would have given up Bagram, nor allowed our soldiers to be encircled and trapped with only an air bridge out like we saw in Kabul. Those were the ideas of people who never studied the operational art, warfare or wore uniforms of any sort. These are the people who probably sneer at the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who enable us all to remain free in our great country.

It is a hallmark of our republic that we have civilian control of the military. It’s the way it has been since we kicked England out of the colonies. Our soldiers report to civilians.  I like it that way. Sadly, civilians often tell our soldiers to do stupid things. Not usually illegal things, but occasionally stupid things. That’s what we saw as we pulled out of Afghanistan. It could have been done 100 times better. We all know it.

Now, as we approach the 20th time around the sun since 9/11, we must be prepared to watch barbarians in Afghanistan claim victory over another invader and probably do disrespectful and filthy things in our embassy. We also must stomach the notion that American citizens were left behind in enemy territory by elitists in DC.

Shame on them. Shame on them all for abandoning our people.

The bad guys on the ground in Afghanistan know the truth. The US could have, and still could, wipe them all out, if our civilian leaders would give the order.

Once we get our people back, I hope we don’t have to go back. Ever. I also hope current and future civilian leaders will realize they need to do better by our warriors, give them missions with real objectives and stop putting them in bad positions that they (the civilians) create.

Our soldiers didn’t lose in Afghanistan, our ill-informed politicians lost.

Editor’s note:  Rep. Chuck Owen is a retired Air Force officer who serves in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

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