What American soldiers are dying for in Afghanistan

In a sad article in the New York Post on the recent death by improvised explosive device of 28 year old Captain Daniel P. Whitten of Grimes, Iowa in a remote Afghan province, Ann Marlow writes:

It’s a very difficult moral dilemma, to weigh the life of a young man of great promise against the chance of Afghan children to go to school and gain the chance of entree to a larger world than their poor farming villages.

Did you know that that’s why we’re putting our men in harm’s way in Afghanistan? Not to defeat an enemy of our country, but to give Afghan children the chance to go to school and gain the chance of entree to a larger world than their poor farming villages?

Did you know that we are sacrificing our soldiers’ lives and limbs for the sake of expanding opportunity for Third Worlders?

However, as shocking as Marlow’s comment is, she is only spelling out the implications of our policy. Once the “war” is defined as a “war” to spread democracy, as a “war” to nation-build, as a “war” to expand people’s educational and economic opportunities, in short, as a “war” to improve the welfare of Muslims, then it has already been established that we are sending our men to die for the sake of improving the welfare of Muslims.

Muslims who do not like us. Muslims who are commanded by their god to see us as subhuman, and to wage eternal war on us until we submit to their god and their law; or, if we are Jewish, to wage war on us until we are dead. Muslims who keep the entire female sex locked up and hidden away.

We sent Daniel Whitten to his death, and are sending how many more fine men to their deaths, not for sake of our country, and not even for the sake of some universal principle, but for the sake of our enemies.

As insane and wicked as this is, it is not merely insane and wicked. It is the logical and inevitable result of the liberal view of reality that the American people—both on the left and the “right”—have embraced or have declined to oppose.

Here is Marlow’s column:

A soldier’s story
What Capt. Dan Whitten fought and died for in Afghanistan
February 14, 2010

It’s a very difficult moral dilemma, to weigh the life of a young man of great promise against the chance of Afghan children to go to school and gain the chance of entree to a larger world than their poor farming villages.

But an outstanding 28-year-old Army officer, Captain Daniel P. Whitten of Grimes, Iowa, beloved husband, son and brother, chose to put his life in this balance.

He was killed by an improvised explosive device on Feb. 2 in Zabul Province, Afghanistan.

I met Dan in late November 2009 while embedded with the military in Zabul, where he lead Charlie Company of the 508th PIR, 82nd Airborne Division. For three days, I trailed Dan and some of his subordinates as they prepared for an air assault on a dusty Ghazni town, Faisabad.

Reuters, apDan Whitten (inset) is mourned by his comrades in Zabul.

Reuters, ap

Dan Whitten (inset) is mourned by his comrades in Zabul.

Dan was full of good humor and vitality, and seemed to relish almost every aspect of his job. It wasn’t an easy one—commanding a company of 120 paratroopers spread out over four remote combat outposts, many hours drive from other American bases. In my time with Dan’s men, I stayed at a forward operating base called Nawbahar, which was a 19th century British mud brick fort out of the movies. There was no running water, just a well; no toilets, just burn bags; and the paratroopers slept in extremely cramped quarters. Yet they enjoyed their life.

Something civilians often don’t understand—and I didn’t until I did embeds—is that a lot of men in their twenties enjoy living in rough conditions in the middle of nowhere, as long as they are given responsibility and have the sense that they are doing meaningful work. Dan seemed to me to have found a calling ideally suited to his temperament; he seemed sure of his purpose in a way few of us are, especially so young.

Dan was special, even among the high caliber of officers I knew from the 82nd Airborne, almost all of whom are Army Rangers. Tall, big-boned and handsome, he had the West Pointer’s confidence and the ideal American officer’s ability to put others first. He had already earned two Bronze Stars for his efforts. Yet when it came time to edit my article, I realized I had far more material on Dan’s subordinates than him. That was as he’d intended.

Dan was kind and witty and socially at ease, and remembered everything I told him. We’d talked about my writing on Afghan archeology, and so, in the helicopter that took us back from Faisabad, he drew my attention to a mysterious large tower he had passed on previous trips. I could tell at once that it was very old. This tower isn’t known to Afghan archeologists: Dan’s sharp eyes and intellectual curiousity may have made a discovery.

According to Capt. Derrick B. Hernandez of the 1-508, Dan and his men had finished a three-day operation on the Ghazni Province border when his Humvee struck an IED that wounded one of his men.

“Dan then jumped into another vehicle and recovered his original vehicle. Seven kilometers later, his truck again struck another IED, this one instantly killing Dan and Pfc. Zachary Lovejoy and seriously wounding three others.”

Dan died doing work that had meaning to him. As Derrick pointed out in a speech he gave at Dan’s memorial in Zabul, Dan could have had any assignment he wanted. He chose to return with 1-508 to one of the most remote and insecure places in Afghanistan.

On his first Afgthan deployment Dan was aide-de-camp to Major Gen. Joe Votel, and was marked for a bright future. Gen. David Petraeus was among those at Dan’s funeral in a packed Cadet Chapel this Friday at West Point, Votel said Dan had the ability to “make the unbearable bearable.” Unfortunately no one was around to do that on Friday.

I don’t know how many people in Southern Afghanistan appreciate what our military are doing over there; some mutter that the US is in Afghanistan because we want their land. What’s certain is that it’s only in areas with an American presence that government schools are operating in Zabul.

Dan knew there was a significant risk that he would be killed more or less at random, without the chance to meet his enemies in a fair fight. He was murdered by evil men who literally want to keep the people of Afghanistan in the Dark Ages.

We have lost 696 men like Dan in Afghanistan. I would suggest that one way to honor them is not to enter into negotiations with his murderers, or to give Afghanistan back to them.

[end of Post article]

- end of initial entry -

Edward writes:

Reading the newspaper article you posted makes me irate. Supposedly we went to Afghanistan to find and capture Osama Ben Laden. Now we are there to nation Build. We have been there almost a decade and spent billions of dollars and the lives of some of the best and brightest of American youth to no avail. What if we spend another ten years, fifteen years, thirty years without finding this one man or building a civilized nation. Then what? The insanity of George Bush Jr. and Barack Hussein Obama is endless. While we search for Ben Laden in Afghanistan ( perhaps he is in Yemen, Saudi Arabia or even Brooklyn) we allow thousands of moslems into our country as immigrants ( 100,000 per year), criticize Israel for killing a terrorist in Dubhai and lean over backwards to cater to the Saudis and other Moslem dictators. If I were a betting man I would venture a wager that the next insane decision will be to “Nation Build Haiti” into a high tech society without regard to the fact that the average I.Q. in Haiti is 71.

It is so frustrating. Wilhelm Reich, the psychiatrist, was once asked what he thought of the psychiatric profession. He answered by saying that they put Ibsen in a mental institution and allowed Hitler to become chancellor of Germany. As a psychiatrist what would he say about electing Bush and Obama?

S. writes:

My husband is a Naval officer. He has been deployed to many places, including Afghanistan, and most recently on an aircraft carrier to “the region.” Of course we know the risks for those who volunteer for the military, however, we would like to know that those risks are based upon principles, rather than pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking that “everyone wants freedom.” The fact is, everyone wants freedom for himself, but there are certainly many who do not want freedom for others. I do not want to lose my husband for those people or, frankly, for anyone outside our borders. Yet he goes, and I kiss him goodbye not knowing if he will come home. And I’m supposed to pretend that he is fighting for America—killing the enemy is fighting for America; nation-building is acting as a pawn on a political chessboard. I love my country, I would die for my country (more willingly than I would give up my husband), but when politicians tell me my husband should die for *their* ideals, I think, “You, first.”

One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy. ~Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec

February 23

Van Wijk writes:

One wonders if Captain Whitten was one of the conservative young men who some expect to climb the ranks and change the military’s culture from within. I guess we’ll never know now. R.I.P.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 22, 2010 12:42 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):