Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charlie Sheen and Afghanistan

The media is obsessed with Charlie Sheen.  You cannot change the channel without being forced to sit through one of his many, many, many irrational interviews.  “Mega Star Entertainer Goes Off the Deep End”.  “Authorities Remove Sheen’s Children Under Court Order”.  We cannot get enough.  And the media is more than happy to feed our insatiable appetite.
But there is another story competing with the Charlie Sheen love fest.  Unfortunately neither the media nor the American people are paying much attention. 
“NATO Force Kills Nine Afghan Boys by Mistake” reads the headline in today’s New York Times.  “Nine Afghan boys who were collecting firewood were killed by NATO helicopter gunners who mistook them for insurgents.”
The war in Afghanistan rages on with no end in sight and nobody seems to care.  Well that is not totally true.  Experts say 1% of us are invested in this war.  They are the military men and women who are valiantly fighting the war and the family and friends who spend every day worrying about their safety.  The rest of us are more interested in the antics of Mr. Sheen.
The events that took the lives of those nine children are commonplace in this very unconventional war.  We cannot identify the enemy.  The good guys today are the bad guys tomorrow.  We restrict the activities of our troops, often prohibiting them from firing on a known enemy until first fired upon.  Recent reports talk about US troops sitting in the open, watching enemy combatants surround their position, but unable to open fire until fired upon.  The well trained US troops eventually win the battle but not before several of their unit are unnecessarily injured.
We are in the tenth year of a war with no end in sight.  Financially, we have spent $450 billion dollars thus far and currently spend $2 billion per week.  The loss of American lives and the effects on their loved ones is incalculable.  And the only reason that we continue is because we don’t have the political will to leave.
It is said that we are there to protect America but in fact we are creating the terrorists of tomorrow and making America less safe.
There is another back story to all of this that you will never read about in the papers nor see on the cable news channels. 
Someday soon, maybe even today, a company of US soldiers will enter the village where the nine boys were killed.  Their commander will have a bag full of cash which he will dole out to the families of the nine dead children; essentially placing a value on their lives. 
But enough of this depressing war business; what’s going on with Charlie today?

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