Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Union Battle Flag - Civil War.

The blogging has been light over the long weekend, as we spent some time with family. We honor those who have fallen in war today, and offered up their names in prayer. Last year I posted about the origins of Memorial Day.
Memorial Day's origins are rooted in the Civil War, where a larger percentage of nation's young men were killed than in any other American war, before or since. The war was gruesome, long and cruel.
With the death of Osama bin Laden, this Memorial Day I look forward to a plan to reduce our presence in the Middle East, and indeed throughout the globe. I supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Libya, not so much. But the time has come to find an exit strategy from all three wars. Our current strategy in Afghanistan appears to commit us to a never ending commitment. Iraq has an elected government and needs to start working out its own problems. The engagement in Libya is illegal, as I have previously discussed. Once the humanitarian crisis ended, Libya was no longer any of our business.

I am not proposing, immediate unilateral withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan, but a clear vision of what the conditions for withdrawal would look like and a plan to get there. Those who have given there lives in the service of their country risked their lives in the belief that they were advancing the ideals of our nation. The sacrifice of blood and treasure that war entails requires clear thinking about the ends intended to be achieved. I know that the Tea Party has famously stayed away from foreign policy issues, but we can all agree that open ended military commitments drain the treasury and burden the tax payer and cause us to pay the greatest price of all, the loss of incredible young men and women who die in their country's service.

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