Friday, April 30, 2004

Remembering Afghanistan

My cousin wrote me concerning Afghanistan and the fact that we hear so little about it any more: "I was talking with a couple of my patients, guys recently discharged and they have some concerns that the American people are forgetting about Afghanistan. They say the fighting is terrible and soldiers are still getting hurt and killed. It has just dropped off the radar screen in the news. One fellow really had concerns that it was a no-win situation."

It's true, Pat Tillman's recent death in Afghanistan prompted the most coverage from there we have seen in some time. Before that, the Afghan operation seemed all but forgotten.

Afghanistan is a tough one. I think that Afghanistan has a long hard road ahead of it. It has to be one of the most desolate and backward areas on the face of the earth. Positive change comes to countries like this very slowly, if at all. No win? Maybe, but we live in a world where the choices are sometimes between something bad and something worse. God knows I ache when I see those fine young men and women dying in these hellhole countries, but I sincerely believe that if we don't fight them there we will be fighting them here. Yes, I think Afghanistan has dropped off the screen as far as the media is concerned. Iraq now has the spotlight. The media, as well as the American people, seem incapable of keeping much more than one thought in their head at the same time and the current thought is Iraq. Plus, Americans are addicted to tripe such as Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant at al. It's sad, but true. Those young men and women in uniform expect and deserve more than they routinely get from the American people. It's better than it was during Vietnam, but we still don't give them enough recognition and enough love. We seem to want this whole terrorism thing to be resolved in Afghanistan and in Iraq quickly, and it won't be. Not even close.

There are so many important issues before us, issues that affect our very future, but no one wants to think about it. It's too hard, too painful. People want the world back the way it was in the summer of 2001. They want to believe that if we just ignore what's going on in the Middle East and in Afghanistan, it will just go away. It won't. I don't know how this tidal wave of Islamic hatred got so out of hand, but I sincerely believe that the struggle against it is literally a struggle for our survival. If we choose to ignore it again, the next 9/11 will involve a mushroom cloud.

I know this site seems like one long anti-Muslim rant and I am uncomfortable being perceived as a promoter of hate. I am not. I simply listen to what Muslims say and observe their actions. They make no secret as to their worldview, they want nothing less than the destruction of Israel and world governments replaced by Islamic theocracies. We have to be willing to face the unpleasant fact that a religious war is being waged against us.

The war that is being waged against us is not only an overt and violent one, but a more surreptitious one as well. If we continue to believe that Islam is "just another religion" and Muslims are nothing more than "Presbyterians with turbans", Islam will slowly gain influence from within. Most of the countries that have been overcome by Muslims over the past few decades (such as Indonesia) have been overcome from the inside, not by force of arms from without.

There are hard facts that we must be willing to face and I pray that we, as a nation, have the courage to face them and the fortitude to act upon them.

Please Note: I have permanently linked this to the right, under "Essays."