thoughts and views of an Iowan Cyclist

All the Lost Souls August 26, 2011

Last week I went for a bike ride that took me through one of the neighboring communities in the area. As I rode along the main avenue through town, something out of the ordinary caught my eye. I noticed first the large American flags on every light-post along the street, and then the small flags, arranged in perfect rows like little toy soldiers in front of every house. At first glance it seemed like a celebration, like the old news reels of New York City at the end of the second world war, and in fact one of America’s soldiers was returning home. But it was not to the sound of the Star Spangled Banner and the hugs and kisses of loved ones that he returned to, but the playing of taps and a twenty-one gun salute. Navy Seal John Tumilson was aboard that now famed helicopter crash in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of 29 others. They have returned home, their bodies to the grave, and their souls to eternity.

When events like this involve someone from my local community, I remember that these “foreign affairs” this country is involved in come at a cost. I think we all need to ask ourselves one question…why? Why does this country feel obligated to pursue these war’s overseas that cost American lives. Why are we still in Afghanistan even after the man who brought us there is dead, and to what end do we still occupy that country? Are we there to build schools and roads, to bring “democracy” to a people who have repelled every attempt of westernization since the early 1900’s? The people of Afghanistan do not want democracy, or freedom of any kind, all they want is to be left in peace to fight among themselves as they have for centuries. We Americans mistakenly think that since we have freedom in this country, though we have less and less every day, that other counties want our system of government. Our concern should not be for the well-being of other countries, but our own. Our President has stretched this country’s military presence so far and wide across the globe, costing us billions if not trillions of dollars and many hundreds of American lives, that this country is about to implode upon itself. One look at the history books and it is clear that we can not sustain this course of action and hope to remain afloat much longer. From Rome to Great Britain, history is full of empires that involved themselves in too many country’s affairs, and it didn’t end well for any of them. Our founders knew their history when they wrote the documents that established this union, they tried to make sure that the power to declare war was left up to the congress, where it would have to be voted on by the representatives of the people, not decided by one power-hungry dictator. ( US Constitution Article 1, Section 8 )

If we want to preserve this country for which so many have fought and died, then we need to bring our military home. We can no longer afford to be the nanny police for every little country that is struggling with internal affairs. Would our founders like the way we try to babysit for all these other countries? I think if they did we would still be drinking tea and singing God Save the Queen.