Was the sacrifice worth it?
There are people all over TV these days saying we suffered one of the worst days in our history on Thursday, August 26th, 2021 when a group calling itself ISIS-K detonated a bomb at the Kabul Airport, killing 170 people crowded around the Abbey Gate. Eleven US Marines, an Army SSgt, and a Navy Corpsman were also killed, two of whom were stationed at NC military bases. This misjudgment in leadership is too soon to fully pull apart. But my question to you today is, “Was the sacrifice in Afghanistan worth it?”
We have propped up different Afghan leaders over the last 20 years. It has been America's longest war. We have spent nearly $2 trillion altogether of taxpayer money. A quick internet search can reveal the total lives lost and the suffering, including suicide, the war has left. Throughout the 1800's Great Britain, the USSR in the 1980's and the US in the 2000's have found Afghanistan a land tough to tame. Have we ignited the flame of freedom there?
So why are we there? Why not let it govern itself and go back to a forgotten land? Because the Taliban are there. To prevent another 9-11 style attack on our own homeland, we took the fight to them. I think of the tough talk in the Toby Keith song, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.” They caught us by surprise. We were awakened to the terrorist attacks of the perpetrators of many smaller attacks. The United States had finally had enough. We took out our enemies, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. For the last 10 years we have been working on an exit strategy. Three presidents, many Pentagon generals and DC suits tried to get us out. At the moment, history says we failed in the strategy. We went and took the fight to them, and now they have a $10 billion military base at Bagram and the best weapons we could provide. Today we pray for the loss of life; tomorrow we will hold hearings and point fingers.
But for the US soldier who fought over there, who gave all he or she could to their country, they are asking, “Was it worth it?” For all of the missteps in the administration of the war, our people have proven to be warriors. All who supported the effort are still heroes. They took the battle to the enemy, and we have had few encounters with them on our soil. They succeeded in protecting us, so we can sleep at night. We know the cost has been high. But they can hold their heads up in knowing they did their duty. For those who still suffer, the wounded, the families with a missing place at the table, and those who bear the burden, please pray for them. Remember the fallen, and pray for those who are still in harm’s way. We also still remember those we lost twenty years ago on 9/11.
The cost of freedom is high, but the alternative is higher.
In the Cause of the Right,
Rev. John B. Gaither
Chairman, Orange County Republican Party