I haven’t commented on the Afghanistan chopper crash or the casualties, not on the radio, not on the blog, and not on comments on anybody else’s blog.
Why, because we are fighting a war.
To those who only exposure to it is an X-Box 360 let me explain something; a war involves fighting, fighting involves killing and on occasion dying. Although I’m loath to use it as a source take a look at the Wikipedia page of ships sunk by the Japanese Navy during World War II. Count the number of ships listed, it’s over 100. That doesn’t count ships sunk fighting the Germans or the merchant marine. It averages out to about two ships a month, how many people do you think died during those fights?
You could likely pick any single day of the civil war after 1861 and find more casualties than we suffered over the weekend in Afghanistan, and we won’t even compare it to world war 2.
In a long war you are going to have reverses, this is one of them, it no more indicates defeat in the war than Cold Harbor did.
I wouldn’t even commenting on this now, but there are two messages from this event that annoy me and need to be addressed:
This is not a “tragedy” it is a battle, a battle we may have lost but a battle. When we reduce this to a “tragedy” we turn warriors who were bravely facing the enemy into victims plunged in a situation over which they have no control. I think it insults their memories. These guys know the risk every time they enter the fight and they go in anyway. That’s not a victim in my book, it is in fact the type of thing that the “greatest generation” used to associate with manliness before our society decided that was a forbidden word.
Contrariwise when the media volunteers information about secret units and special ops to sell papers or t-shirts, when you use the loss of a battle (and that’s all this is) as a political football to call for withdrawal and retreat, when you argue for a draft in the hopes of creating dissent among the people and the troops. Then you are aiding the other side. You may not understand it, you might not even mean to (although some of the left frankly are) but when you do this, you aid the enemy in time of war.
The longer we play up this up, the more we do the propaganda work of the enemy for them.
My suggestion, lets get out of the way and let those charged with fighting the war get on with it.
Update: When Mika says: “We’ve got to push this story” on Morning Joe it makes me sick. That she doesn’t understand what is wrong with that statement is amazing.