Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Price of the Continuing War in Afghanistan...

Ed Note: This piece is actually taken from the comment string from the lisa Grey Winona360 Op-Ed that I posted on Friday, April 22d. It was written by Andrew Wilfahrt's father, Jeff, who has a healthy grasp on the causal aspects of our currently depressing national situation, including seeping loss of blood and treasure in foriegn sands . It is an especially poignant piece for families, but it is also a motivating piece for the rest of us, to do more to end our involvement in these illegal and/or unnecessary wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now; Libya. America has paid it's dues to the world community, now it is time to collect reimbursement of those dues from our own government, who have abandoned the principles of Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, at a horrible cost.WH
Who's Gonna Pay The Fiddler?
By Jeff Wilfahrt | Wed, 2011-03-30 09:19

I have something I want to say to every American willing to read.

“Who’s gonna’ pay the fiddler?”
The jig would seem to be up and it may be time to pay the fiddler.
Those of us born in the shadow of World War II feared the atomic end of life as we know it; it was to be quick and sudden like a heart attack. While we watched and waited trying to avert an untimely end to America and all of its ideals, a slow malicious cancer grew among us.
In the late 1800s corporations gained the same legal status as living, breathing humans enjoyed. It has become an insidious cancer to our collective being. While we watched for the heart attack the cancer grew. President Eisenhower warned us in stark terms but we failed to heed his caution. The cancer now owns our politics. We have ceded our political institutions to corporations.
The politics of the left often use the pronoun “we”, while on the right of politics we hear the pronoun “me”. The press is full of derision of each approach and it all comes down to money. Perhaps the Tea Party should be referred to as the TBaalParty as in the Golden Calf of the Moses story. A friend once pointed out that the only known time Jesus lost his temper was in the Temple among the money changers. Like me this friend was a product of a parochial education in New Ulm.
The wealth of America is finite. It has not gone away; it is here somewhere among us. Our state budgets are in debt, our social contracts with the needy brutalized, and yet don’t the Judeo-Christian texts tell us the poor and needy would always be among us? We must be our brother’s keepers; the message is clear, “Everyone does better when everyone does better,” it is not that hard to figure out. Minnesota Gov. Dayton is correct to cite his father, to those whom much is given, much is to be expected.
So where has the wealth gone? Who’s gonna’ pay the fiddler? The wealth is in our wars. We have allowed our financial largess to be used for war. This is such a waste on our parts. War is the jig; war is the devil’s tune. We have cloaked our blood lust in the flag, and it is well known that patriotism is sometimes the last refuge of the scoundrel.
It is a myth that soldiers die for honor, freedom, patriotism and the flag. Those notions may spur them to enlist but soldiers die for those to the right or left of them. They are little concerned with our politics back home and only long to be with us once again. Ask them yourself, as we did here in our home just a few weekends ago, two of them fresh from Afghanistan, one of them right off of a plane. To a man they see no progress.
Lt. Gen. John Kelly is quoted in the Washington Post as saying “I just think if you are against the war, you should somehow try to change it,” and adds later, “Fight to bring us home.” I think he is trying to tell us it is time to end the jig and pay the fiddler. Please contact your representatives, let us now fight to bring our soldiers home as we did over Viet Nam.
This family now has blood in Afghani soil; we have some skin in the game as they say. Please, on our behalf, start thinking in terms of “we”, sacrifice is something done for another, not the “me”. Our family, despite its loss, rededicates itself to do good for others every day; we have paid the fiddler our share.
Let us end the devil’s tune, the longer he plays the greater the price to the rest of you.
In honor of CPL Andrew C. Wilfahrt, 552nd MP Company, KIA 2-27-2011, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
(Photo: Lisa Grey)
Jeff Wilfahrt, father of Andrew.
 Lt. Gen. John Kelly’s article: