Chinook Helicopter Tragedy in Afghanistan by Cindy Cross
The Chinook helicopter shot down in Afghanistan over the weekend is yet another tragedy to shake our country from its complacent stupor. Twenty-two Navy Seals, three Air Force Special Operations personnel, five Army aviators and eight Afghan soldiers were all killed when their helicopter was felled form the sky by a Taliban Rocket propelled grenade (RPG).
"As heavy a loss as this was, it would even be more tragic if we allowed it to derail us from our efforts to defeat al-Qaeda and deny them a safe haven in Afghanistan," said Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.
It's been ten years since we invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban, and here we are, 10 years later, with no progress. Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother was recently assassinated along with a long list of other officials and policemen how are killed on a daily basis. The Taliban are no closer to being extinguished from Afghanistan today than they were 10 years ago, but we continually pump money and American soldiers into the abyss called victory.
It's called insanity. No other word could describe the failure we have faced in our efforts to help Afghanistan. The soldiers who were killed in the Chinook helicopter were the best of the best. The elite of the best military in the world, snuffed out by some rag-tag Taliban radical.
Obama promised voters he would get us out of that place if he was elected, but did as politicians dostalled the American people to please the military industrial complex; that huge military money machine that President Eisenhower warned us about in 1961.
Here is part of that famous, prophetic speech where Eisenhower tried to warn us about the danger of such military might. Do not forget that he was at the panicle of the military in World War II where he was the Supreme Allied Commander. Even in such a prestigious role, he could see what lay ahead, and had the American people's best interest at heart when he gave this speech.
Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961:
"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Let's make no bones about it; the U.S. is simply in Afghanistan for the money that is generated from the war machinenot because we want to make America safe. Eisenhower could see what was coming in our future and he was dead-on.
Thanks to Obama, we are guaranteed to be there until 2014 and who knows how much longer after that.