Region 8-AA track meet
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History tells us that the war in Afghanistan is lost before it hardly begins. Not Alexander the Great, nor the Russians (with 120,000 troops), nor any foreign country has ever defeated and or established a unified government in Afganistan.
We didn't learn from the French defeat in Vietnam and again our arrogance is leading us into another defeat. By installing Hamid Karzai, a detribalized and westernized puppet who spend most of the war against the USSR abroad, the U.S. is foolishly trying to undo by force a 300-year tradition of Pashtun tribal rule.
The U.S. seems to have decided to remake Afghan society in America's image rather than the 2,000-year-old Afghan image.
Our modern weapons and modern technology will not defeat this tribal country that's fighting a guerrilla war against foreign occupiers. Million-dollar guided missiles will not protect us from thousands of causalities. Our presence there as foreign occupiers has only caused increasing numbers to yearn for the Taliban's harsh but effective security system. They have never accepted foreign occupiers and never will, especially Americans.
We seem to believe that the lessons of history do not apply to the U.S. How can we foolishly think we can do with 50,000 troops and civility what the Russians failed to do with 120,000 troops and the utmost barbarity? We are only going to sacrifice our young soldiers and billions in a loosing cause unless Winston Churchill was right in saying that "God always protects drunks and the United States."
Hopefully, the Iraq war was enough and we still don't know if anything good or lasting will result for their people or the U.S. in the long run. Let's keep out of foreign entanglements where we have uncertain national interests. I'm not willing to lose my son for such a war. Are you?
Darrell D. Newton
Guard officer's life, sacrifice always will be with us
I want to compliment The Times on the coverage of Maj. Kevin Jenrette's return, funeral services and burial. The coverage was accomplished in a dignified, restrained manner befitting the service rendered to this country by Maj. Kevin Jenrette and many others like him.
I would however, like to make a correction for the future reporting of such events. In the U.S. Army, the custom is that we refer to the individual, not to his or her "remains" or "body." By that I mean that the article should have read that "Maj. Kevin Jenrette arrived at the airport and was transported via motorcade to the funeral home," not that "Maj. Jenrette's ‘body (or remains)' arrived at the airport and were transported via motorcade to the funeral home."
Maj. Jenrette is still very real to us, even to us who never knew him personally. He is still an individual, loved and respected by many in this great country for whom he made the supreme sacrifice. Do we owe him any less than to refer to him as an individual, a true hero?
A.R. "Mac" McCahan
colonel, U.S. Army-retired, Gainesville