“Why Are We Killing Kids That Don’t Need to Die?”

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-(rafflaw)- Guest Blogger

A short time ago, our country and its military reached a sad milestone in the war in Afghanistan. We have now lost 2,000 members of our military during our almost 12 year war in Afghanistan.  In light of that sad news, a Republican Congressman, Rep. Bill Young of Florida, received a letter from an Army soldier on his third tour in Afghanistan that caused him to change his mind about our continuing involvement in Afghanistan.  That soldier, Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton wrote the letter to the congressman, shortly before he and a comrade were killed by an IED that journalist Bill Moyers recently discussed.

“BILL MOYERS: Matt Sitton knew the war in Afghanistan was going badly. He knew because he was fighting it. 26 years old, with a wife and child back home, Staff Sergeant Sitton was on his third combat tour there. His third.  Time and again, he and his men were sent through what he called “A minefield on a daily basis.” His comrades were being blown apart. At least one amputee a day, he said, “Because we are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives.”

Morale was low. The men struggled to remain alert. Sitton said he asked his officers to give them a break but was told to stop complaining. “I am all for getting on the ground and fighting for my country when there is a desired end state and we have clear guidance of what needs to be done,” he wrote. “but when we are told basically to just walk around for a certain amount of time…not sitting well with me.”  At home in Florida, Matt Sitton had attended a Christian school run by the Baptist church attended by Congressman Bill Young. He wrote Congressman Young and told him what was happening. “I’m concerned about the well-being of my soldiers,” he said. “… I just want to return my guys home to their families healthy.” He ended, “If anything, please pray for us over here. God bless.”  Crooks and Liars

As a father of a Marine Captain that served in Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011 and was embedded with Afghan National Army units, I can understand Sgt. Sitton’s concerns.  To Rep. Young’s credit, I commend him for breaking with his party’s and many in the Democratic Party’s steadfast policy of maintaining our troops in Afghanistan.  The recent surge in killings of our military members and the personnel of Allied nations by Afghan National Army and Afghan Police officers along with the constant IED attacks should be enough to convince anyone that we can no longer do much good for the Afghan people.

Rep. Bill Young has long advocated and voted for increasing our military presence in Afghanistan and he now thinks we should get out of the country as soon as feasible. “On Aug. 2, less than two months after he sent the email, Sitton, 26, was killed by an IED blast. He left behind a wife, a 9-month-old son — and an 81-year-old Congressman with a new perspective on Afghanistan.  Young is the longest-serving Republican member of Congress, and he has continuously voted against troop drawbacks from Afghanistan, or even for setting a timetable for troop withdrawal. But after Sitton’s death, Young noted a change of heart.  “I think we should remove ourselves from Afghanistan as quickly as we can,” Young told the Tampa Bay Times this week. “I just think we’re killing kids that don’t need to die.”  ABC News

It is sad that politicians have to wait until 2,000 of our finest have died, and thousands more maimed and injured, before they decide that enough is enough.  However, in light of Rep. Young’s prominent place in his party, I am hopeful that a bipartisan effort can now be made to leave Afghanistan even prior to the deadline initiated by President Obama.  How many more have to die or be injured before politics is no longer important?

I am saddened by the 2,000 deaths and the many injuries and I offer my prayers and condolences to the family of Sgt. Sitton and all the other families who have lost loved ones, but I also pray that Rep. Young can be the start of a movement to extricate our men and women from Afghanistan well before the announced timetable.  How can we wait when the people who we are trying to help are killing us?

The Republican nominee for President has backed the Obama withdrawal timetable, but his Vice Presidential pick has criticized President Obama’s withdrawal timetable including the decision to withdraw 22,000 more troops in September as endangering the troops that are there and as a political shell game.  Paul Ryan

Do you think that a prominent Republican Congressman can help move his party and the hawks in the Democratic Party to get behind an even quicker withdrawal from Afghanistan?  Do you agree that we need to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible?  Savings the lives of our brave military men and women should be a non-partisan issue, shouldn’t it?

91 thoughts on ““Why Are We Killing Kids That Don’t Need to Die?””

  1. Well said Justice Holmes.
    jim2, you are correct, but it is not just old people who tart these wars or keep them going.

  2. What is really sad is that congressman voted to send strangers to their deaths for years before a face he recognized caused his change of heart.
    Make the old people who start the wars fight the wars.

  3. Dear Matt, if we bring our treasure home, we could repair our infrastructure rather than the infrastructure of other countries for starters. Just to make myself clear as I am only referring to tax dollars that are spent on these wars. Wouldn’t we be better off as a country if we did not waste our money on the destruction and rebuilding of countries and focused on the needs of our own people instead?

  4. How about some Harry Belefonte from the Smothers’ Brothers Comedy show. First song is nice. Second is the one that CBS censored.

  5. “Why Are We Killing Kids That Don’t Need to Die?”

    Because that is what empires do.

  6. It’s time to get out, bring the troops back and put them on the borders and in the ports to protect us aganist terrorist attacks. Stop the foreign aid to the ingrates and let them shift for themselves.

  7. We should have LEFT years ago; however, the Military Industrial Complex is making too much money over there and will continue to lobby to stay indefinitely.

  8. Well, one thing is for sure, it is a difficult task to put an end to war, and in some aspects it is mystical.

    I do know one thing, I would be proud to protest the endless wars that are bankrupting us with any JT bloggers, whether it means prison for refusing to participate again, or marching the streets against it again.

  9. It’s Long Past Time to Admit: The Military Solution in Afghanistan Has Failed
    By Robert Greenwald & John Amick
    Posted: 10/05/2012

    Sunday, October 7, marks the 11th anniversary of the Afghanistan war, now the longest war in U.S. history. This date provides an opportunity to take stock of what a tragic calamity this war is over a decade after its start, and to examine, once again, why military solutions are not effective in solving deep, systemic complexities of a country like Afghanistan.

    Most immediately, the conditions look more dire than ever. The failed troop surge that started in 2009 is over. America officials are giving up hope for reconciliation with the Taliban. More Americans and NATO soldiers are dying from rising insider attacks at the hands of Afghan soldiers, leading to talk of a possible early NATO withdrawal. The arbitrary exit date from Afghanistan is still set for the end of 2014, though no one in Washington can explain the plan for a gradual drawdown or really any strategy for ending the war at this point.

    Long term, the numbers of dead, wounded and dollars allocated as a result of this war are staggering:

    – An estimated 20,000-plus dead Afghan civilians

    – 2,000 dead American troops, and over 1,000 more coalition troop fatalities

    – 18,000 wounded NATO troops

    – 1,600 American amputees (from Afghanistan and Iraq wars)

    – Hundreds of thousands of vets dealing post-traumatic stress disorder

    – $1.2 trillion — $2 billion per week – spent

    – At least $55 billion in estimated veteran health care costs ahead, as thousands of vets continue to wait for benefits to materialize

    President Obama, members of Congress and Pentagon officials can posture about the sacrifices of troops in this war and how we all must support them now more than ever. Such declarations are an insult to anyone who was sent to this quagmire and now must deal with what is too often the shattered wreckage that is post-war life. What do veterans get when they come back from war? The backend of a 800,000-plus backlog of other veterans waiting for disability benefits; the average wait for a response to a disability claim is about 260 days. In addition, the rates of military suicides, homelessness and unemployment are all at or near record highs. It’s tragic what many veterans face upon return. If government officials put as much effort into caring for troops’ well-being after returning from wars as they do for exploiting them before and during combat, these problems may not be so monumental.

    As Americans, now is the time to drive home the point with our elected and military officials that throwing troops and cash at historically complicated, troubled areas of the world, like Afghanistan, is not the answer. It has failed time and again.

  10. rafflaw
    October 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm


    Without the country wide protests and sit ins, the politicians would have had little pressure to end the debacle in Vietnam. People are wishy washy because very few of them have family in harms way.


    You’re right. We had the draft during the Vietnam War. Many more familiies suffered the loss of their sons, brothers, uncles, husbands, nephews… I lost some good friends. If we still had the draft today–we’d have had/have a lot more anti-war protests.

  11. bettykath 1, October 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Viet Nam also had many soldiers openly disobeying orders. Fragging of officers was fairly common. With the ever larger demonstrations there was also concern that there was no sufficient military continent left to deal with them if they turned violent, as some of the protesters were doing.
    Do you want to be an Officer? Be careful what you ask for.

    What happens if they decide they don’t want to show you the movies anymore? I didn’t have a problem with it because it wasn’t any big deal. I’m not sure I was in the majority.

    Electrical resistance is measured in ohms. Do you know how to test the resistance of the wiring in a motor or generator?

  12. Viet Nam also had many soldiers openly disobeying orders. Fragging of officers was fairly common. With the ever larger demonstrations there was also concern that there was no sufficient military continent left to deal with them if they turned violent, as some of the protesters were doing.

    Bill McW

    The troops were poised to go into Afghanistan before Bush took office. The war was about the Caspian Sea oil pipeline that the oilmen had been trying to get for over a decade. You’re right, it needed a false flag to make it happen.

  13. Matt Johnson 1, October 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    leejcaroll 1, October 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I daresay we would see the end of this war.
    How much prison space is there?
    And there it is.

    Our good fellow bloggers leejcaroll and rafflaw argue that street protests a la Occupy arising because of a military draft will do the deed.

    But I think it is more likely that we would have to fill the prisons with inductees who refuse and are therefore sent to jail til there is no more space, AND as they say protest in the streets, online, and anywhere else.

    But without the citizenry “refusing to go to war” until they get the point, the street protests and the other are not enough.

    IMO anyway.

  14. “No distant Trojan ever injured me.” — Homer

    Ditto for the Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Russians, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Lebanese, and Iranians.

    Or, as an ungrateful victim of America’s Humanitarian Death Machine might put it in verse: Thanks for Nothing

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