Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Day After & The Butterfly Effect

Today, the day after the anniversary of 9-11 gave me the title of today's post. I was reminded of a 1983 movie. "The Day After" showing the after effects of a massive nuclear exchange with the former Soviet Union. No this post is not about nuclear war, but simply a look at where we are today following the attack on 9-11.

I recall the day in 2001 when the first bombs began to rain down on Afghanistan and the satisfaction I took as the Taliban were quickly routed and American forces went into Kubal. The morning I got the news that Saddam Hussein was rooted from his spider hole was great. And the many other events along the way, but good and bad. This post however is not one of reflection, but rather a look at where we are today.

The picture is not good. The war in Afghanistan has taken a turn for the worse at this time. The Taliban has learned well from the insurgences in Iraq and the use of the IED's is beginning to take a toll there. The improvements the Iranians have made on these devices has proved devastating to allied forces. And there seems to be little desire on the part of those in Washington to do anything about it. Support for the war effort is waning and unless progress can be shown soon this weakling we now have for a president will buckle and begin withdrawing American forces---I have little doubt of that. That said, let me say that having thousands more American troops killed and injured by these improved IED's is not acceptable to me either, and the only solution I see is to go after the factories in Iran turning out these devices. It is becoming increasingly clear that Iran, must be dealt with now and dealt with decisively. The IED's, the nuclear issue, its role in international terrorism---all these things must be stopped in order to have peace in the area. Should we abandon our efforts in Afghanistan, all the gains there will be lost as well as the gains in Iraq----the two are linked. They are linked by their common neighbor Iran and its there that victory must be won or all is lost in that region of the world. Should Afghanistan fall back under the control of the Taliban, then the way will be paved for the reemergence of Osama and his followers in that region and in that area where all this began will again be a spring board for more attacks on the homeland.

The outlook on this "Day After" is bleak, we have an administration that will not deal with Iran forcefully and it is Iran that holds the key to final victory in Iraq and for the ultimate victory or some type of favorable outcome in Afghanistan. This president will not, and I repeat will not put the necessary pressure on Iran to secure success in either Iraq or in Afghanistan. A pivotal point is quickly approaching and this weakling in the White House may soon lose what little control he has left over the situation, there is an increasing possibility that Israel may take action against the Iranian state and that would change everything. The deck would be reshuffled and the outcome for the entire region would be any ones guess.

One lesson that history teaches is that the smallest occurrences often have a profound effect on events(a freak gust of wind, exposing an IED on a road to Kubal; or even a dung beetle pushing his tiny ball across a field). Events I dubbed the "butterfly effect" many, many year ago---but alas, a name which was stolen as my classroom lectures were not copyrighted. So predicting or simply speculating on such things is merely folly for fools like me.
by Ron Russell

PFC Robert C. Thomas, a 19 year old from Detroit was amazed as he carefully watched the two large shining beetles push the almost perfectly round ball inch after inch and foot after foot across the rocky ground going around the larger stones and over the smaller ones. This young man from the inner city had never witness such a unique act. He was perplexed and amazed at their efforts and completely oblivious to anything else for the moment. And it was at this exact moment that the enemy slipped past his sharp, but distracted eyes. A huge explosion rocked the mountain valley, un-noticed by the two dung beetles, but jarring the young soldier from his trance and in an instant 22 American soldiers lay dead. This brought the causality total for the year to over 1000, a milestone and led congress to cut funding for the war in Afghanistan---The BUTTERFLY EFFECT!

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