It's pictures and stories like this that make me second guess our Iraq and Afghan wars....
Not long after a soldier was killed in Afghanistan, his platoon returned home. In his honor, they stood in formation, as they always did, only this time there was a gap where he normally stood; his 2 year-old daughter taking his place in formation.
It is complete folly and fantasy to think we can create even a shadow of a functioning democracy in Iraq or Afghanistan. The moment we leave, things will return to exactly what they were before we got there....a God-forsaken wasteland of tribal warfare, fundamentalism, and terrorism. No matter how much blood and treasure we waste there, it won't change anything. It's how they live. It's how they've lived for generations. It's arrogant to think we can change them.
If we want to stamp out the terrorism that threatens the US, we need to invade Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria(these countries are the head of the snake). Name one American politician who has the guts to do that? Iraq and Afghanistan are simply tactical staging grounds. Our efforts there aren't worth the orphaned children that it creates. We could stay there for 100 years and things will go back to normal within 3 months of when we leave.
If anybody can make a well-reasoned, convincing argument as to why we need to continue to sacrifice the lives of Americans in either country, I'd like to hear it.
NOTE: I supported the invasion of Iraq in '03 because we hadn't tested our military weaponry in live combat since the first Iraq war in '91. And we need to test our hardware and get rid of aging ordinance on some unsuspecting, third-world hell-hole every ten years or so. I don't have a problem with that, but we accomplished that in the first 6 months. Enough already.