Our country used to be worth dying for in the war on terror, but it isn't anymore.
When I was pregnant with my son two years ago, I laid down the law. There would be no more military channel watched in our home once the baby was old enough to understand. There would be no glorification of the military, no military games, no stories, no pulling out the old dress blues. At first, my husband, the Marine, thought I was joking.
He now understands why I am dead serious. It would be easy for my husband to unintentionally orient my son toward the military, given his love of combat history and military trivia. But they can't have my son, not, at least, without a fight from me.
Marine Sergeant Kevin Balduf's death at the hands of an insurgent in Afghanistan last month went largely unnoticed in the Queen City. His father, who lives in Charlotte, poured out his grief on Facebook with family and friends. In 2005, this would have drawn a slew of local reporters to Chip Balduf's doorstep, but that isn't guaranteed anymore.
Most Americans think that with the death of Osama Bin Laden, the war on terror is largely over. That's because they don't read newspapers, or the foreign press, where this stuff is better covered. So they don't know that the radical Muslim Brotherhood is on the verge of taking over Egypt, or that radical Islamists stand a good chance of taking over the weakened countries of Libya and Yemen, where most terror plots on the United States are now hatched.
Even with the heavy use of drones, the war on terror will be raging every bit as fiercely when my son, 18 months, is old enough to strap on his first pair of military boots.
While Balduf was dying for his country last month supporting combat operations in Helmand province, the Taliban was very busy. They killed four U.S. soldiers and 42 innocent civilians in bombings at hospital and construction sites that month, and were recently caught attempting to smuggle suicide bombers as young as 9 years old into the country from Pakistan.
And when the Taliban weren't doing all that, they were negotiating a "peace" deal with British and American officials. That negotiators from this country are actually attempting to sit across the table from these savages is nauseating, especially given the brutality they have heaped upon the country's women and girls.
That President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron think we need a peace deal with the Taliban at all has baffled people on two continents. Why cut a peace deal, or God forbid one that grants the Taliban the shared governance of Afghanistan? (That's what the Taliban wants.)
Why use our military power to enforce a peace deal when that is not what the people voted for when they approved the Afghan constitution? What gives military negotiators the right to cut a peace deal in closed-door negotiating sessions with the Taliban that the people of Afghanistan were never invited to?
These are the same Taliban thugs killing innocent Afghans to silence and intimidate them. Why are we sitting around the negotiating table with these people while we ask Marines like Balduf, and the Afghans fighting to keep peace in the country, to die at their hands on the battlefield?
U.S. negotiators no longer require preconditions of Taliban fighters we sit down with at the negotiating table — like that they denounce or break with al-Qaeda, the Telegraph of London reported. We also don't require that they accept the Afghan constitution that both Afghans and American troops paid for in blood.
Even the fact that the Taliban launched the first terror attack on U.S. soil — the failed Times Square bombing by Taliban-funded Faisal Shahzad — just last year hasn't fazed negotiators.
If we are going to cut and run from Afghanistan, let's not hand them the Taliban legitimacy or worse yet, the partial ruling power of a peace agreement. If this is what we intend to do, we should pull all of our active duty military from the battlefield immediately. Asking them to die at the Taliban's hands while we ask nothing of the Taliban just isn't fair.