Disillusionment, Not Guilt

John Johnson II

By John Johnson, II

      The Afghanistan bungled withdrawal has appeared to cause immeasurable guilt for Americans sympathetic with the plight of Afghans caught in harm’s way of the Taliban, especially amongst a core of military veterans. The enduring motto of Veterans is, “leave no fellow soldier behind.” Understandably, this honorable vow has resulted with the savings of countless lives. For our military to maintain this value within its ranks, it has required tremendous valor and sacrifices.

Now, more than ever, it’s vital to protect our citizenry, especially our veterans from debilitating guilt. This can occur by making them aware of our true rationale for imposing military occupation in Afghanistan and attempting to change their governance structure and culture. Consequently, disillusionment, not guilt should be the expressed feelings.

Contrary to the labeling, these 20 years of loss of lives and destruction of property using the most advance military weapons didn’t make this a War. Rather, it was a senseless struggle, though painful to admit, wasting our Nation’s most invaluable hu-man and economic resources.

A soldier trained to shoot a gun acquires a skill, not courage. Courage is the strength of character to face danger, such as the destruction of one’s culture and homeland.

Afghan men once trained, failed to demonstrate the courage of a committed soldier. Consequently, unwilling to fight for a provincial government, they chose to surrender to the Taliban without a fight. Insight suggests that the Taliban made, as well, an offer they couldn’t afford to reject. The Taliban, masquerading as regular Afghans, were always amongst the crowds.

Remember, Americans must avoid accepting guilt caused by disillusionment. They should realize that Afghans who supported our mission may have done more so because the U.S. paid them handsomely. Also, there’s no guarantee that Afghan’s seeking to flee won’t join our domestic terrorists, instead of embracing our democratic values, which are certain to cause a cultural shock.

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Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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