William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Winning and losing

    Spc. Jason M. Weaver will not be appearing on the Howard Stern show.

    Insurgents attacked Spc. Jason M. Weaver's unit in the Kandahar province on March 3. An improvised explosive device killed the 22-year-old, who had been deployed for the first time.

    Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt will not be interviewed on the Today Show.

    Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, a gay Minnesota man who went back in the closet to join the military, died Sunday while on patrol in Afghanistan when an IED exploded during an attack on his unit. He was 31.

    Pfc. David R. Fahey Jr., will not speak with Piers Morgan.

    Pfc. David R. Fahey Jr., 23, of Norwalk, Conn., died Feb. 28, in Kandahar Province from wounds suffered when his unit was hit by an improvised explosive device, according to the Defense Department.

    Army Specialist Rudolph R. Hizon will not be featured in a segment on 20/20.

    Army Specialist Rudolph R. Hizon, 21, of Los Angeles, was killed Monday when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan's Logar province.

    Sgt. Kristopher J. Gould will not be on Dateline NBC

    Gould, 25, of Frankenlust Township, died in the Ghazni province of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

    U.S. Army 1st Lt. Daren Hidalgo will not get more than 1 million Twitter followers in 24 hours.

    Flags will be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Daren Hidalgo, 24, a former Wisconsin resident who was killed in Afghanistan on Feb. 20.

    Spc. Brian Tabada will not be a call-in guest on any radio shows.

    The U.S. Army says 21-year-old Spc. Brian Tabada of Las Vegas, Nev., died Feb. 27 in Konar province.

    None of the dead U.S. soldiers above received a glance from the national media. A national media entranced by a celebrity drug-addict that abuses women. A national media that is stumbling over itself to allow Charlie Sheen to spout any type of trivial nonsense he so pleases to an eager citizenry.

    None of the dead soldiers above made a sitcom. All these young men did was give their lives for their country. Which makes Sheen's new motto of "winning" seem all the more pathetic. And should make all of us feel as though we are losing our soul.


    Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles




    Wolfie, not that you need it but I hereby render unto you the Dayly Blog of the Week for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of you from all of me.

    Damn, a sunny Saturday afternoon and I am crying again!

    That's a great blog.

    These young men truly gave their lives for their country, but I have to ask:  how did their tragic, unnecessary, wasteful deaths help our country?  What is Afghanistan to us?  Our theoretical reason for being there is long gone, and the real reason for our being there is just piling the money into suitcases on a daily basis.

    These brave and good-hearted people should not have died.  They should not have!

    And if those holier-than-thou f**kers show up at their funerals, I hope they get completely ignored.

    These young men

    So fucking young!

    But the boy lying dead under the olive trees
    Was too young and too silly
    To have been notable to their important eye.
    He was a better target for a kiss

    Stephen  Spender 

    Thanks, Wolfrum.  I become too complacent at times.  So, thanks.

    And to all readers - if there's a military funeral anywhere near your community, please attend.  Pay your respects, cry a little and let the reality of this tragedy weigh on your thoughts for a while.  Take a friend.  You'll need someone when they play taps.

    Dave Seaton was passing on url's to a BBC series, The Century of Self a few days past. Interesting stuff until you get to the last hour then it all comes together with a big bang.

    It's all about self actualization that started in the 70's and went mainstream. Nowadays you see it when people are concerned about an issue as if they personally own the rights. Such as ...I don't want my tax dollars being spent on abortions...note the my instead of our ?...individual needs trumps public good.

    While I get the satire of the blog, the real fact glares out...no one cares these individuals died simply because the cause they gave their lives for was the collective whole of the group, being the American people, rather than the individual need of a single person. What I'm saying is the public in general is subtlety saying because they didn't die to protect me personally why should I care.

    I suspect we've sacrificed our compassion to think collectively as a nation of individuals for the common good of all to being a nation of individuals that thinks only for the needs of oneself over the goodwill of the public.

    No matter how much one waves the flag, those lives lost can never be replaced. What's more heart rendering is imaging what those individuals could have accomplished if they had lived. We'll never know because they never had the chance to prove they could make a difference. We were robbed of unseen and untested talent that could have made a difference in the years to come.

    Such is the folly of war.

    This is the best I can give to honor the dead.


    St. Crispen's Day Speech

    If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
        To do our country loss; and if to live,
        The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
        God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
        By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
        Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
        It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
        Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
        But if it be a sin to covet honour,
        I am the most offending soul alive.
        No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
        God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
        As one man more methinks would share from me
        For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
        Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
        That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
        Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
        And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
        We would not die in that man's company
        That fears his fellowship to die with us.
        This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
        He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
        Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
        And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
        He that shall live this day, and see old age,
        Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
        And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
        Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
        And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
        Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
        But he'll remember, with advantages,
        What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
        Familiar in his mouth as household words-
        Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
        Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
        Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
        This story shall the good man teach his son;
        And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
        From this day to the ending of the world,
        But we in it shall be remembered-
        We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
        For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
        Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
        This day shall gentle his condition;
        And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
        Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
        And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
        That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

    What I'm saying is the public in general is subtlety saying because they didn't die to protect me personally why should I care.

    That's deep, and probably all too correct. At the risk of getting Resistance going, I wonder if that mentality affects modern Christianity, as well. (At least, for those who still truly believe in it, as opposed to the fakers too weak to admit that they're just pretending because they don't want lose friends/influence.)

    Dexter Filkins review of Bing West's The Wrong War, NY Review of Books http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/books/review/Filkins-t.html?_r=1

    We can turn our military into a full-fledged all-purpose social service agency and all it takes is one or two AQ or Taliban or whomever to blow it all up.  Yes, there are contexts in which people in other countries want the US military there, at least for a time.  Afghanistan ain't one of them.  How many more of our people will die for a mistake? 

    Just a point of clarification. The desires of the people in Afghanistan have nothing to do with why we are there. We attacked them because their government allowed Al Qaeda to maintain a bunch of training camps and provided state protection to the guy who bragged about attacking New York City.


    Agree with ADreamer.

    So now 'the guy who bragged about attacking NYC', or whoever played him in the captured video, and his organization, are being provided state protection, financial backing, free reign to cross the border and kill Americans, and arms and training camps in neighboring Pakistan, a recipient of billions of dollars in US military aid and a 'trusted partner' in the GWOT.

    Pakistan, where politicians are gunned down with impunity, nuclear weapons designs have been sold for profit by AQ Khan who is a national hero for his work on 'the bomb', and where 'blasphemy' against Islam and/or any attempt to spread Christianity is a capital offense punishable by death.

    At the same time after 10 years of war, Afghanistan is rated one of the 3 most corrupt governments in the world, where 70% or so of the population is illiterate, and where another 30 years of occupation might turn it into another Pakistan like failed Islamic state.

    The sooner we get out of the region and let the local nations work things out the better, the whole Afghan adventure has been a futile endeavor. The Karzai family already have their villa in Dubai to retreat to when we leave and the place falls apart under the assault of Pakistani backed terrorists.

    Yes, I'm aware of the genesis of our most recent involvement in Afghanistan.  We attacked them for the reasons you said. 

    And then we stayed.  And stayed.  And stayed awhile longer.  And then a bit longer.  All long after almost all AQ, our true enemy, had left that country, meaning they are probably physically located in, oh, only around 60 or 70 countries around the world now, ours included. 

    And we're still there.  They see us, still, committed to keeping in power a "government" (effectively the mayor of Kabul) they long ago concluded was utterly corrupt and in any case had no more ability to govern outside of the capital city than the mayor of New York city has to govern New Jersey. 

    And our kids are, still, dying over there without any sort of national interest or humanitarian justification I am able to discern.  Because there are people there who are very angry about what we've done there, or elsewhere, or in any case just want us, as the latest foreign occupier, the hell out, and have for a very long time now.  Not seeing us get out, but rather stay year after year after year towards no attainable useful end, a few of them just lose it or join together to blow people up, thinking maybe that will get us to leave already.  

    Is anyone able at this point to offer an explanation of what we are doing there independent of the Obama Administration's desire to minimize the risk of political harm it feels susceptible to on account of being charged with "losing Afghanistan" or "cutting and running" when we eventually leave?   How many more of our kids have to die for the Obama Administration's political convenience?

    Viral post pits coverage of Sheen, fallen soldiers

    By Wayne Drash, CNN's Afghanistan Crossroads, March 10

    It started with a Facebook status update. Upset at the media's coverage of Charlie Sheen, someone took up for American soldiers dying in Afghanistan.....


    Edit to add: this is prominently featured at the top of CNN's home page right now, it's really their current main headline.

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