“. . . . . I learned that Osama bin Laden’s strategic logic was to embroil the United States in a never-ending conflict to ultimately bankrupt the country. “All that we have to do is send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written ‘Al Qaeda,’” he said in 2004, “in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note ….” Why are we continuing to do what Bin Laden wanted all along?
But that, ultimately, was not the thing I realized.
I learned that every part of me wanted to just stay quiet with my feelings about the war because I was afraid of what people might say. It’s easier to bask in the warm embrace of “Thank you for your service” without questioning what that service was for. One way or another, we were all affected by Sept. 11, which has caused us to view the war through a distorted lens. This is why most of us won’t comment or share or at least have a dialogue about the war.
But the main reason I wanted to stay quiet is because it has embarrassingly taken me 17 years to realize something, and what I realized was this: Seventeen years ago, staring at that picture of Mohammad Atta, I wanted revenge against the people who killed my brother. But what I finally realized was that the people who killed my brother died the same day he did.
I refuse to take Atta’s orders, or Bin Laden’s. I will not “stay quiet.” End the war.”
Joe Quinn is a United States Army veteran.
DL: In hindsight, invading Iraq and Afghanistan were mistakes. I recommend “State of Denial,” by Bob Woodward, for a briefing on the Iraq mismanagement. We ignored the rules of war as delineated over a thousand years ago by Sun Tsu, in “The Art of War.”
For example, three of his cardinal rules are: know your enemy better than you know yourself. Only go to war as a last resort. Never occupy a foreign land for a long time, it is too expensive, and reveals your ignorance while all of your advantages will slowly erode.
Having severely damaged these two counties, and Syria, Libya and Yemen, perhaps we have no better choice than to pull out. Here is the top comment which I endorsed: