I’m a Lefty. I’m to the left of President Biden on pretty much everything, as far as I know anyway. But I support him 100 percent for ending the U.S. war against Afghanistan after 20 years of futility and kicking the can down the road by the U.S. government.
As we all saw, right-wing Republicans, congressional Democrats who vow to investigate President Biden, and some in the corporate media were acting like last week was the first time violence flared up in Afghanistan and they are shocked I say shocked about it. All while completely ignoring the long history of violence, death and injuries from the post-911 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Last week, I wrote about seeing a couple tweets like this one proclaiming that the “first” American service member killed in Kabul had been identified.
Now, I know what it meant and I’m not pretending otherwise: It was stating that the first of the 13 U.S. service members killed by terrorists while defending the airport in Kabul had been identified. And I hasten to add that I am saddened by the death of Navy Medic Max Soviak and the others.
But my mind works in a kind of funny way. And that perhaps unintentionally vague headline was to me, the perfect metaphor for the inexcusable way that the above-named actors are playing politics over the withdrawal from Afghanistan — in some some case to politically injure President Biden -- and pretending like everything was just peachy before that. Let’s look at two stark truths:
7,057 U.S. service members have been killed in post-9/11 war operations. And there have been an astounding 30,177 suicides committed by U.S. service members and veterans of these same operations.*
If this many suicides are happening, something is terribly wrong. And yet it’s just been ignored by those playing politics over the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
I used to write a weekly series on Daily Kos about the U.S. invasion of Iraq and later expanded it to include Afghanistan and other U.S. operations. I stopped mostly because I would uncover so much violence and destruction that I couldn’t take it anymore. For those interested to know the stories of just two of the 30,177 suicide victims --Roy Brooks Mason II & Reuben Paul Santos, whose pictures grace this diary -- you can click the link to one of the last diaries I wrote along those lines.
Any true account of the post-911 wars waged by the U.S. must take in the totality of the death and destruction. Now, I don’t even expect the bad actors to acknowledge how many non-American military fighters died due to these U.S. conquests. Or how many U.S. allies were killed. Or how many civilians.
But maybe, just maybe at the very least they could acknowledge the terrible wounds these wars have inflicted upon U.S. service members, their families, and all of us instead of acting like everything was just fine and dandy up until the time that President Biden took the long overdue action to wind down this war.
*figures from end of 2019