Another fine young Kentuckian died recently, victim of the Afghan war. Mourned by his family and friends--actually by a lot of Kentuckians who didn't know him, myself included.
The bikers came to pay tribute; the "Flag Man" came all the way from Illinois to set up hundreds of flags along the funeral route. (I hope you saw the fine tribute to him and our hero Dustin Gross by Steve Hartman on the CBS Evening News last Friday. Just wonderful.)
Unfortunately the bikers will have more funerals to attend, the Flag Man more opportunities to plant Old Glory in more towns, small and large, across America. And yet, the polls show 65% or more of Americans feel the war is not in our interest and we should be getting out...now. That rivals the low point of support for Vietnam. Isn't this message enough for our leaders in Washington.
The president, backed by many Congressional Democrats, keeps adhering to his timetable of bringing the troops home in two years---while signing an agreement with the unpopular. corrupt government of Afghanistan to keep some type of U.S, presence there for ten years or more. (The new president of France told him he plans to bring his combat troops home this year.)
And House Republicans last week endorsed continuing the war, even as they admitted the accuracy of those anti-war polls. How did Kentucky's delegation vote in this very important bill? None of our local media told us. Ask the candidates this fall where they stand on pulling out of Afghanistan..and how soon. The bill that failed would have provided funds for "the safe and orderly withdrawal of troops", according to the AP. The vote against that plan was 303 to 113.
House Republicans also raised the Pentagon budget by $8 Billion over what their own leaders and the president (and the Pentagon) had agreed was needed...cutting funds for many safety net programs for the poor. The GOP there came down hard on the side of "guns", not "butter" and this should be a major debate this fall.
While they were at it, House GOP leaders reaffirmed a provision of a law passed last year, but under attack, to allow the administration to arrest, detain, and hold indefinitely without trial or legal aid, American citizens here "suspected" of "terrorism." Suspected, not convicted. If that isn't contrary to the Bill of Rights, I don't know what is.,.and for an ex-instructor in the Constitution to sign it into law blows my mind. Let these concerns be in the fall debate,too.
Is this what a lot of good Kentuckians died for? I think not. If you want to truly mourn them, ask our people in Washington to get us out of Afghanistan "safely & orderly", and stop repealing the Bill of Rights in the vague name of fighting "terrorism."
I'm just sayin'...