Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No easy answers for Syria

No easy answers for Syria
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 28, 2013

The reports coming out of Syria are heartbreaking, but so have reports coming out of other nations regarding the way they treat their own people. The easy thing to say is "do something" but no one seems too interested in what comes after we do "something" and history should have taught us that lesson.

Afghanistan taught a lesson after Congressman Charlie Wilson convinced Congress to fund Afghans trying to get Russian forces out of there. The Afghans were being slaughtered and had very little to fight back with. No one was asking what would happen afterwards.

The answer came with Osama Bin Laden. "The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan begins late in the year. It profoundly influences bin Laden's course. Muslims around the world rally to the Afghan cause." But while he was furious over this, it was not until the Gulf War when he vowed to take revenge on the US.

When the Gulf War ended, President George H. W. Bush decided that sending troops into Iraq from Kuwait would cost too many lives. General Norman Schwarzkopf said "Had we taken all of Iraq, we would have been like a dinosaur in the tar pit - we would still be there, and we, not the United Nations, would be bearing the costs of that occupation."

We knew how long and what it took to get Russia out of Afghanistan before the troops were sent in back in 2001 but did not prepare for the wounded that they should have known would come. The VA was not ready but no one was. They also knew what would happen when troops were sent into Iraq. History told us much but it seems as if reporters were sticking their fingers in their ears so they would not have to hear what was being created.

The result of over a decade of war has been catastrophic for Iraq, Afghanistan and the US. No one wanted to pay the bill any more than they wanted to claim responsibility for what they had already done.

The fact that we have so many veterans suffering with wounds to their bodies and minds, military families falling apart and apathy from the other 93% of the population, leaves many with a bitter taste in our mouths. No one thought beyond wanting to "do something" so the troops pay the price, not just while deployed, but for the rest of their lives.

Now we see what can follow an attack by the US on Syria will bring. "An imminent U.S. strike on Syrian government targets in response to the alleged gassing of civilians last week has the potential to draw the United States into the country’s civil war, former U.S. officials said Tuesday, warning that history doesn’t bode well for such limited retaliatory interventions. The best historical parallels — the 1998 cruise missile strikes on targets in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan — are rife with unintended consequences and feature little success."

We've heard it all before. Some scream that "we can't let those innocent people die" but no one seems to asking what will follow doing this. Some scream "we have to respond" but never seem too interested in what we can cause. No one seems too interested in the fact this very well could cause our troops to be sent yet again into a nation to risk their lives for something politicians decided to do without thinking about the next day.

So who will pay for this war?

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