Where will your 8-year-old be 9 years from now?

Nine years ago the U.S invasion of Afghanistan began. Unbeknownst to most Americans, the U.S would still be in Afghanistan nine years later — struggling politically and operationally, to “win.” Unbeknownst to most Americans at the time, we would fight a parallel war in Iraq two years into that nine-year stretch, cycling more than 2.1 million servicemen and women through three million tours of duty in both countries.

Today, more than a dozen members of Iraq Veterans Against the War stood on the steps of the Russell Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington to call for an end to the deployment of mentally traumatized troops into these seemingly endless conflicts. Studies suggest that upwards of 35 percent of troops come home from war with some degree of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, yet recent reports indicate that men and women are being redeployed zonked out on painkillers and psychotropic drugs, and in a growing number of documented cases, suicidal.

Veteran Zack Choate at Thursday's IVAW press conference

I spoke with Ethan McCord, a former Army infantry soldier who was present the day of the civilian killings made infamous by the Wikileaks’ Collateral Murder video. He actually pulled the wounded children out of the car that had been attacked by a U.S Apache helicopter. He said that event traumatized him so much he had asked for counseling that night. He said his commander told him to shove it.

Today, McCord is a single dad with three children — the youngest, 3, had been born while he was deployed. He pointed out that the children here in the U.S who were eight years old when we first invaded Afghanistan would be nearly eligible to join the military today. Sadly, both of us wondered aloud about our own eight-year-olds at home today, nine years from now. Where would they be?

More on McCord, the IVAW campaign, and the antiwar veterans’ ongoing struggle to be heard,  in my Tuesday column.

19 thoughts on “Where will your 8-year-old be 9 years from now?”

  1. Sadly, both of us wondered aloud about our own eight-year-olds at home today, nine years from now. Where would they be?

    Not in the uniform of the Amerikan Empire, that's for damned sure!

    1. Given the billions of people at their disposal and the wealth they've accumulated as a result of our own profligacy, that would be one of the shortest wars in human history.

      1. Probably the CIA or someone will promote wars of independence in Tibet, Xinjiang, et al. It'll hurt mostly Tibetans and Xinjiang people, but Neo-cons can bloviate about supporting freedom, etc.

      2. Chinese people are not particularly belligerant. The PLA mostly does civil defense and runs factories. Army overcoats are real warm in the winter!

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  3. Wherever they are they will be safe because the TSA is going to spend those years keeping them save by taking semi-naked pictures of them at the airport and sending them to a room somewhere to be viewed by anonymous strangers.

  4. Nine years from now the US will not exist, having gone the way of the USSR. In its place will be perhaps a dozen alliances or confederations of states or sections of states, along with a few independent states and former colonies. Nor will the UN, OECD, IMF, WTO, GATT, World Bank or any of the other "New World Order" abominations exist, since Uncle Sam was their #1 sugar daddy.

    A wonderful 4-word phrase — "the former United States."

    1. More likely something like warlord era China or Bosnia in the '90s. Rival "militias" raping, robbing, torturing in the name of revenge for what other "militias" have done. Expect lots of rhetoric about Xty, libertardianism, etc.

  5. [1979-1989] is the magic behind the disintegration of the USSR. They ventured to the graveyard of empires thinking that they were going out for a cakewalk.

    [2001-2011] seems to bear the same meaning for another empire who went out for a cakewalk 9 years ago and still cannot even know why its troops are deployed in the desert. Are 150,000 troops in Afghanistan to go after 100 Al-Quaida operatives? Are they there for the Taliban? In any case, the return on investment makes no sense. How can 150,000 troops with the most soffisticated hardware be deployed to fight 100 gangsters or even to fight 5000-10000 Taliban and after 9 years there is nothing to show?

  6. Where? Not in afnamistan. Churchill made it pretty clear over 100 years ago "illiterate and poverty-stricken tribesmen possessed of the finest Martini-Henry rifles…" Those hillbillies have never been beaten by anybody.

  7. "Where will your 8-year-old be 9 years from now?" At the rate things are going at present? Living in a cave and fighting like hell to liberate America from a totalitarian fascist dictatorship.

    "What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" – Patrick Henry

  8. My son is 17 and will NOT be serving in any capacity this war machine WHATEVER it takes. I just wish they would stop. I have lost 2 friends already and sympathize with all that are bereaved, Foreign occupation is WRONG.

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