We’re still at war

Published 9:15 am Thursday, September 27, 2012

To the Editor:

Over the past week several events occurred which precipitate my writing.  The first event was the death of a soldier from Greenville, NC who was a graduate of North Pitt High School.  Spc. Joshua N. Nelson, 22, was killed by a “green on blue” attack.

As a father who lost his son almost two years ago to a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, my heart aches every time I hear of another soldier losing his or her life  “over there.”  I know firsthand what that soldier’s family and friends are going through and will go through for the rest of their lives.

The second event was the announcement that the training of Afghan forces by our soldiers has been suspended—at least temporarily.  Along with that was the announcement that the “surge” of forces needed to do the training and fight back the Taliban was ended as well.

The other event was the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others by Islamic terrorists in Libya.  These events are all tied together, because we are still at war, which I think many of us have forgotten.

Most of us go through our lives each day focusing on the tasks of the day.   This war has been forgotten by many.  It seems at times as if the only ones who know we are still at war are those serving in our armed forces, those with sons or daughters serving in our armed forces, those who have been injured while serving in our armed forces, or those who have lost a loved one who was serving.

You hardly ever hear the national news media mention anything about it.  My heart grieves for Ambassador Stevens and his death was rightly given many media minutes.  But we still have young men and women dying in service to this great country and there is hardly ever any mention of them in the national media anymore—even though local media do a good job covering the death of one of “their own.”

When we first entered this war after the attacks of 9/11, I supported our efforts to take the fight to the enemy.  But in the last few years I’ve wondered if we haven’t fallen into a trap set for us—a trap of fighting a war by politicians who are not vested in the war other than for their own re-election purposes.  We are fighting a war with “political correctness” tying the hands of our military.   We are fighting a war seeking to appease our enemy instead of winning the war.

With the drawdown of the “surge” and the dispensing of training of the Afghan military, I have to ask “Why are we still there?”  If we are to remain over there, we need to untie the hands of our military and quit trying to fight a “politically correct,” appeasing our enemy, no-win war.  Otherwise, we need to bring our men and women home asap!

Willie A. McLawhorn