Honoring Those Who Served in Afghanistan

Posted by Mark Thornburg
May 29, 2012
Memorial Day 2012 Ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan

U.S. Embassy Kabul commemorated Memorial Day with a ceremony held in the flag-lined courtyard in front of the main chancery. The Kabul Marine Security Guard detachment lowered the flag to the "retreat" bugle call and then re-raised it, as tradition dictates, to the National Anthem.

Charge d'Affaires David Pearce gave the keynote address, recognizing the sacrifices of both men and women in uniform as well as those of us who choose to willingly serve beside them in areas of active combat. He called attention to the plaques at the base of the embassy that commemorate fallen Chief of Mission personnel, including Ambassador Adolphe "Spike" Dubs, who was abducted by terrorists and killed in 1979; Tom Stefani, who was killed in a roadside bombing in Ghazni Province in 2007; three DEA agents killed in a helicopter crash in Badghis Province in 2009; and seven mission employees killed in a suicide bombing in Khost province in 2009. The address was followed by a musical interlude led by the embassy's volunteer choir, the Star Spangled Singers.

The Memorial Day ceremony was a solemn and moving occasion.

Related Content: White House Blog -- Broadcasting a Message of Gratitude

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 29, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I'm not much of one to stand on ceremony to honor the fallen, as I think the best way to honor them is for the living to finish the job they gave their lives to see finished succesfully.

Here's a point blank assement of the way the war on terror has been conducted;

I don't view terrorism as a tactic, I view it as a mindset that practices terrorism as the perfered methodology of waging a world wide war on the infrastructire of civilization and civil society.

The last time we fought a world war, America along with a lesser number of allies than today, defeated both Hitler's armies and the Japanese empire's forces in half the time we've spent trying to defeat al-quaida and the Taliban.

I find this simply fact very telling in that we have yet to prosecute this war to our fullest abilities in order to force the laying down of arms and the enemiy walking the road to peace, or causing him to rest in peace, six feet underground.

And this my dear friends at the State dept, should be the only options we give them in any offer of unconditional surrender...non negotiable, and persued with all aspects of national power to the hilt.

Unconditional surrender will happen when they no longer have weapons and supplied flowing to them via state sponsors of terror, and this job won't be called anything like finished, until there are no state sponsors of terror left in power on this planet to persue such a vile mindset as embodied in people like bin laden, bashar al Assad, the ayatollah of Iran, Aminidijad, Al sheebab and others of like mind and methodology.

We seem to believe that this victory can come at the remote push of a button and a missile from drones when in fact the source of these problems has yet to be adequately addressed.

Unless we do, the next ten years are going to make the last ten years look like a cakewalk in the park!

And if you doubt me just wait for it, but you'll do so at America's and civilization's vast expense.

All you diplomats need to be reminded every once in awhile what the stakes are because not everything can be resolved through diplomacy the way you wish and hope it can be.

EJ

Ashim C.
|
India
May 30, 2012

Ashim C. in India writes:

@ Eric -- I agree with you when you say terrorism is a mindset and that a good tribute to martyrs is to bring to war against terrorism to it's ;ogical conclusion.

His reference to victory of US allied forces against Germany, Italy and Japan is interesting. Allied forces with US and Russia, my hunch is was nemerically stronger, and with US industrial capabilities behind them was probably technically superior also. But more importantly two things... US is technically still capable of destroying most war machineries anywhere but it is to her credit that US does not bring to use it's military might for various reasons which include strong anti war public opinion in USA and elsewhere... limited and proportionate use of force is a good diplomatic exercise too. See US has fought more wars post second world war but there still are no countries not seeking good relation with USA...i think US should make more efforts to enlist active support of important regional players around the theater of wars ... in as much as most regional players are affected by terrorism, regional players stay away because certain nuances of their foreign policy compulsions... imagine for instance if afghanistan war were declared as an effort to remove all state sponsored terrorism in central and south asia... many strong regional powers would like to join more so as member of UN peace-making forces...for that will solve many regional problems too...internal conditions of south asian countries are ripe for many policy changes...but offer has to be sugar coated..

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 30, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ashim,

"...but there still are no countries not seeking good relation with USA."

I've read most of your posts on this forum and I find that they are well thought out and fair minded as well as offering perspective, and I agree with you that working with "regional players" as you put it is important.

However, in regards to the quote above, there are exceptions to that rule...and you'll generally find that state sponsors of terror not only have no great wish to have good relations with the US, they habitually seek to cause problems for ourselves and other peace loving nations.

A perfect example is the fact that one ayatollah or another in Iran has been leading chants of "death to America" every Friday at prayers for the last 32 years.

Never mind the fact that we really have no wish to go to war with Iran, it would seem they wish to start a war with us, by arming, aiding and abbetting those terrorists that we are at war with..al quaida and others associated.

One asks why America has so many friends and allies?...and how is it that America makes friends and partners of former enemies like Gemany and Japan?

Two reasons basicly;

One, we feed a heck of a lot of people around the world and assist when natural disaster strikes.

two; While hell has no fury like that of the US when attacked and we go kick butt, we don't war against a people, we war against governments and non-state actors who threaten the peace of nations.

Asa well as being magnanamous in victory, which was the mindset that created the Marshall plan.

The same mindset that set to work rebuilding Afghanistan to help the Afghan people get back on their feet after 30 years of Soviet occupation, war, and civil war.

We have what terrorists do not, which is empathy for the average human being caught up in conflict.

The other day the Russian foreign minister Lavrov described the Syrian crisis and the massacre of children as "taking two to tango" and went on to describe this as being multiple dancers in "a disco".

Well, When terrorists killed a bunch of Russian kids in Beslan, no one described that as a tango, or a disco dance here in America.

And such remarks from the Russian foreign minister are a pretty good indication why Russia does not enjoy the same kind of good relations with nations around the world as America does, simply because of the lack of empathy involved for the victims and their families in such remarks.

All the while they sell arms to Assad the terrorist and his thugs.

When has Russia taken it upon itself to feed the starving people of the world?

It's Foreign policy is self serving, hypocritical in the extreme, and with friends like Assad, they don't need enemies. They have no friends as a result of their own stupidity on the world stage, other than sponsors of terror.

Yety we work with them to try and keep the world from blowing itself up in a nuclear mayhem, and we call that a "reset" partnership.

Personally if the Russian Federation has aspirations of hegemony by the veto in the UNSC, I think they might as well forget about earning anyone's respect in that process, for lack of doing the right thing and removing Assad themselves, since he's their little "Frankenstein" monster they've helped to create and breast feed on the Russian diplomatic tit to this day.

Lavrov's living in the land of "nyet" and has his head filled with rocks apparently.

And you wonder why folks around the world look to the US to support their democratic aspirations?

We're almost the only game in town, because eventually we will get around to removing the roadblocks to humanity's progress when no one else has the political will nor the guts to remove dictators and sponsors of terror from power. And it's always best to do that with friends who are willing to stand with us if at all possible.

Best,

EJ

Ashim C.
|
India
May 30, 2012

Ashim C. in India writes:

@ Eric,

I agree with most of your positions. I am sure you know this if you have been following my comments.

I found the space you gave to Russia little out of proportions. I don't follow Russia much... i follow china and pakistan...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 31, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well Ashim, my comments on Russia were not directed towards you so much as they were to the Russian government who I'm guessing reads this blog too, and if they took my assesment to heart might just realize a great truth about how not to get stuck on stupid, in international fora....(chuckle).

As for Pakistan and China, they seem bound and determined to implode by their own unique brand of political stupidity in their own ways. One doesn't realize their own soveregnity has been completely compromised by terrorism, not by drone strikes. And the other couldn't do right by its people if they all came en mass and bit that government on its backside, as it's looking more like an evil corperate empire than a "people's republic".

I'm not sauggesting America's perfect...my point is that all nations at this point in time are dysfunctional and folks need to get over it.

Simple...the world would be a much better place to raise kids in if the political will to get a grip were alive and well in the minds of governments, but they seem all too stuck on themselves and thus stuck on stupid.

I guess it's up to those of us brave enough to call it like we see it to move them off that stuck place they've impaled the future of humanity upon.

Best,

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 1, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I should probably pose an alternative to the dysfuntional state of nations, since there should be no complaint without solution.

Let's start with the premis that there are some 7 billion solutions and counting on this planet, and about one one-ten thousandths of 1% of humanity causing most of the rest of humanity's problems and conflicts across the globe.

Afghanistan being the modern crucible for both the problems and the solutions, as what started there may end there, if people are willing and determined to live life rather than be in conflict begetting death.

What was it Mohammed said to a young man wanting to join jihad with his father?

Every time the boy asked, he told him to honor his mother until the boy wore Mohammed (pbh) out and he grined (I would imagine he probably had a sense of humor) and said, "Honor your father, now go home and take care of your mother."

(as best I remember the quote)

Now there's a solution!

One folks may possibly believe in.

EJ

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