To Afghanistan War Veterans
By Laurence Vance
Used With Permission
To Afghanistan war veterans—
You thought it was necessary to fight in Afghanistan.
You thought you were being patriotic.
You thought you were fighting for freedom.
You thought you were protecting Americans from terrorists.
You thought your cause was just.
You thought you were avenging 9/11.
You thought you were doing the right thing.
You thought you should fight “over there” so others would not have to fight “over here.”
You thought you were being heroic.
You thought your country needed you.
You thought you were fighting a just war.
You thought you were defending our freedoms.
You thought that military recruiters were being honest.
You thought you were keeping Americans safe.
You thought you were not responsible for the death and destruction you caused.
You thought it was right to obey orders without question.
You thought that wearing a uniform gave you a license to kill.
You thought you could trust the president.
You thought it would be fun to kill Muslims.
You thought they hated us for our freedoms.
You thought you were engaging in defense.
You thought you were a global force for good.
You thought you were serving the country.
You thought that Muslims were all terrorists.
You thought you were protecting Americans from credible threats.
You thought that dying in combat would be noble.
You thought you were supporting and defending the Constitution.
You thought you were fighting against bad guys.
You thought you were liberating Afghanistan.
You thought you were bombing terrorists.
You thought it was right to kill Afghans.
You thought the military would take care of you.
You thought Uncle Sam had your back.
You thought you were doing God’s will.
You thought you were fighting to safeguard the American way of life.
You thought you were retaliating for 9/11.
If you didn’t think a number of these things, then what were you doing in Afghanistan?
Now that you have seen twenty years of senseless war in Afghanistan and witnessed the debacle that was the U.S. withdrawal, it is time to face the facts.
Everything you thought (was) wrong. Everything you did was wrong. Every place you went was wrong. Every bomb you dropped was wrong. Every bullet you fired was wrong. Everyone you killed was wrong. Every good deed you thought you did was wrong. Every sacrifice you thought you made was wrong.
Every U.S. soldier who died in Afghanistan died:
for a lie
for the U.S. empire
for the military/industrial complex
in service to the state
as a pawn in the hands of Uncle Sam
for a deeply flawed U.S. foreign policy
in a place he had no business going
for absolutely nothing that was worth dying for
Not one drop of American blood had to be shed or should have been shed on the soil of Afghanistan. In descending order of culpability, Presidents Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden have blood on their hands. And so do you. Own up to it. Stop focusing on Biden’s botched withdrawal. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was a crime against the Afghan people.
You may have lost friends in Afghanistan. You may have lost your arms and legs in Afghanistan. You may have lost your health in Afghanistan. You may have lost your family in Afghanistan. You may have lost your manhood in Afghanistan. You may have lost your sanity in Afghanistan. But one thing is for certain, you had no business going to Afghanistan in the first place. You were used and abused by your government and its military. You should be among the most vocal anti-war advocates in the country.