There is no greater failure on the part of Republicans and conservatives in the past decade and a half than to reach Americans with the explanation of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thousands of great men and women have given their lives and limbs — and our idiots in office (and in the conservative media) almost completely failed to fight and win the information war back at home. There is no excuse, and while forgiveness is a Christian virtue, it is not easy to accomplish.
I’ve written and linked to articles on both wars — and my series explaining the Iraq War shows how much information there was available. Yet our side failed to reach people. And when Obama pulled the troops out of Iraq prematurely, ISIS arose. While things in Afghanistan will always be complex, there is still no excuse for our side failing to make sure more Americans knew what we were, and are, doing there.
Tom Sileo is co-author of Fire in My Eyes and Brothers Forever, and recipient of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s 2016 General Oliver P. Smith Award for distinguished reporting. Here is Tom Sileo writing at TheStream.org:
A few days before the June 28, 2005, mission that would be immortalized in Lone Survivor, Jacob Centeno Healy had a phone conversation with his father, U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Dan Healy.
“That was a pretty harrowing phone call for me because they had been doing (reconnaissance) missions very similar to Lone Survivor in the mountains,” Jacob told me. “They had been getting in gunfights every day.”
Even though he was only 15, Jacob understood that his dad, who had been a Navy SEAL since the early nineties, faced grave danger in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. Still, something about this particular phone call was different.
“He was scared,” Jacob said. “It was the first time I’d ever heard something like that in my dad’s voice.”
As Jacob grew up in San Diego watching his father train for war and deploy around the world, he viewed him as “Mr. Invincible.” The rigors of military life made the time Jacob spent with his dad even more precious.
“Sometimes, we saw my dad two weeks out of the entire year,” he said.
Still, Jacob grasped why his father wasn’t usually around. “He wanted to be the best Navy SEAL he could possibly be,” Jacob explained. “That meant training between deployments.”
Read more: The Stream
Image credit: Jacob Centeno Healy/Stream.org.