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Tue., Aug. 4
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Was Afghanistan another unnecessary war?


In one of his recent Watertown Daily Times letters, Bart Bonner, respected today for his Vietnam service, described U.S. involvement there as including the murder of millions of innocent Vietnamese civilians.

Facing and telling the unpleasant truth with courage is perhaps a form of healing for some veterans.

Quite a few of us Vietnam-era veterans feel that was the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, wrong reasons.

Most Iraq vets recently surveyed now think their war wasn’t worth the price we paid in blood and treasure.

The 1.1 million U.S. family caregivers of disabled Iraq and Afghan war vets the Times noted on April 9 pay a huge price every day of their lives.

Now Carlotta Gall says even Afghanistan was the wrong war.

Her new book, “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014,” comes out after her covering that war for a dozen years for the New York Times.

The book connects dots long since reported by multiple news outlets.

The Taliban originated in Pakistan, and Pakistan gave the Taliban safe haven in its border regions.

So we could never catch them when they hit and ran.

Pakistan knowingly hid Osama bin Laden for years, necessitating our hiding our Navy Seal raid on him from its military, and Pakistan imprisoned their citizens who helped us find him.

This may have been under ousted leader Perez Musharraf, but the new regime won’t return the billions we gave it for fooling us that they were our ally.

Defenders of what may be the incompetent leadership that sent us into perhaps three wrongheaded, unwinnable wars seem to have an airtight alibi system.

They parrot “Freedom isn’t free” and “I’d rather fight ‘em over there than over here.”

With NSA surveillance, torture, attempts to suspend habeas corpus, etc., our wars have greatly reduced our freedoms here at home.

And no enemy military can get here without destroying our Air Force and Navy first.

So we’ve sent our Army and Marines over there to be decimated on the installment plan.

For what? Our politicians and generals will now have to earn our trust again before they tell us what parts of Europe may be worth fighting the Russians for.

Roland Van Deusen


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