Well, I haven’t taken my tree down yet. It’s not laziness. I really love the beauty of this season, and I’m not ready to let it slip away just yet. Of course, there are other indications of Christmas lingering around my house that aren’t quite as pretty. I have several partially completed Lego projects decorating my dining room table. There’s a model helicopter that hasn’t even been tackled yet. It’s next on the list. And then there are those mysterious stretches of time where my boys have disappeared trying to conquer new Xbox games.
But one of the biggest evidences of the holiday is the wars that are being fought around the house. No, the kids aren’t fighting. Well, at least not that much. I’m talking about all the plastic army guys set up in a variety of battle scenes across our home. Isaiah is obsessed with the little figures so, of course, he got more of them as part of his bounty of gifts. Under his guidance the enemy has been driven back from the ottoman in our family room. The coffee table in our living room was conquered for the greater good of all mankind. There was a particularly brutal battle in the foyer but, I’m happy to report, evil was vanquished and forced out our front door. What a relief.
I love watching his little imagination hard at work. In his mind warriors have a clearly defined mission, and nothing stands in their way. While observing him the other day I couldn’t help but notice how much his play differs from reality. I’ve never once seen him pause in the middle of a battle because he was denied permission from leadership to lay down some pre-assault fire for his approaching chopper headed into the thick of things. I have yet to watch him stage one of his little men in a sitting position simply watching as an insurgent walks away from an IED device he just planted. Any and all raids conducted on the floors and furniture in our home have taken place without any advance warning to the enemy. Isaiah thinks it’s silly to give the bad guys notice.
Unfortunately, here in the real world these kinds of scenarios take place all of the time—often with devastating results. It would appear our esteemed leaders are playing games of war as well…with flesh and blood soldiers. They’ve created a battle strategy that is designed to “win the hearts and minds” of the enemy. No pre-assault fire or raids on villages without giving them notice. Those kinds of behaviors don’t win popularity contests. Because we all know the Taliban is going to one day lay down their arms and say, “I’m sorry. This has all just been a horrible misunderstanding. We didn’t realize how nice all you Americans really were.”
Call me crazy, but I thought all of the training our men and women in uniform received to go out and fight meant they would actually be—wait for it—allowed to go out and fight. Imagine that. I didn’t realize they were a part of the most expensive public relations campaign in the history of the world. Something tells me most of them weren’t privy to this little nugget of information either. Not until they got dropped in the middle of hostile country and were told to play nice with the natives. Or else. Because our leaders are so intent on protecting our image they’re willing to imprison soldiers who don’t follow all their ridiculous, and oftentimes ambiguous, rules of engagement to the letter.
That’s right, America. There are people sitting in Leavenworth right now who, in the midst of the heat of battle, had the audacity to make a judgment call that didn’t coincide with a rule that was made far away, in a safe space, by pompous leadership sipping on their coffee.
All of these things are infuriating enough on their own. But there is something that makes it all even worse. Has it escaped your notice that our current president is a big fan of drone warfare? And he’s downright proud of all the attacks he’s launched, as evidenced by his recent brag that he’s “really good at killing people.”
In other words the same president who has no problem sending soldiers off to fight in a foreign country with their hands tied by extremely restrictive ROE, because they are supposed to be “winning hearts and minds,” whiles away time in the comfort of the White House launching drones. Drones, I might add, that have killed many innocent civilians. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that all of the family and friends of those annihilated during these attacks weren’t exactly happy with the United States when they were burying their loved ones. But, apparently, the only hearts and minds that matter are the ones that real soldiers encounter in the real theater of war. Our president is magically immune from this mandate. Just as he is magically immune from that atrocity we all know as ObamaCare. I’m starting to sense a pattern here.
The stench of his hypocrisy is so thick in the air it’s becoming difficult to breathe. Either we are at war or we aren’t. There is a certain kind of peace that can only be experienced when you’ve fought the battle all the way to the bitter end, and there is a clearly defined victor. If we want that peace then, for the love of all that’s right, give our soldiers a fighting chance. Stop trying to make war pretty and palatable to the world. It’s not. It never will be. It’s ugly. It’s brutal.
If we don’t want that peace—if we prefer to play nice with those who despise us—then bring our soldiers home. They weren’t trained to play nice. Make a choice. Stand behind it. No more demanding something from others that you are not willing to give. These aren’t plastic people. Stop playing games, Mr. President. Just stop.