Recently a good Kentucky boy was laid to rest following his service in Afghanistan; the latest, but I fear, not the last to die there...and this is before we know if any of the 30 who died in the tragic chopper crash are from Kentucky.
People who didn't even know Sgt. Jeremy Summers joined family, friends, and neighbors to say goodbye, and the Patriot Guard, a biker group, added their salute to him...as we all should.
But the best salute we can make is to work to end this war; now America's longest war ever, with 1680 casualties and counting.
Why are we there? Why do we keep supporting a corrupt regime that probably lacks the support of its own people? Its so-called popular elections were filled with fraud and deceit. Why is official U-S policy to look the other way as Afghan farmers, and local warlords, raise heroin and ship it off to kill more and more on the streets of Louisville and Louisa?
Have we learned nothing from our experiences in Vietnam?
Do we not realize the history of Afghanistan over the centuries is that no invader has ever conquered and lasted? (And we invaded in 2001 on assumptions that have since been disproved). These are wildly independent hill people...can Kentuckians not understand that? They are more than Eastern Kentuckians with turbans and AK47s, but they burn with the same zeal to be free that has kept that mountain land out of the hands of Khans and Kmers, Russians and Brits...and will eventually from Americans, too. If we leave right away, and we should-not in 2014, they will most likely continue their own tribal and clan wars until THEY decide how THEIR country is to be run. Clans? The Afghan equivalent of Hatfields and McCoys; can Kentuckians not understand that, too?
We may not like the Taliban, but it is not Al-Qaida. If we are to go to war with people we don't like, why didn't we go to war with Russia? Or now with Iran or Syria? Why Afghanistan now?
The yearly cost of that war? 100 billion, (with a B). Boy could that provide jobs, repair roads, build new schools, provide safe water, and keep Americans healthier. Even if you want to use that money only to cut government spending, it's a good start...and it ends a war and insures more Kentuckians will not die.
If we want to honor Sgt. Jeremy Summers' memory and all the others from the Commonwealth who have served so valiantly, that's the way to do it.