As the dust starts to settle from the fallout of the Afghanistan fiasco, the image to scorch my being and burn my eyes with tears was of the 13 flag-draped coffins as they roll off the plane at Dover Airforce Base.
Now, I see what has to be an aberration, as I watch a family rally for the release of their son from a prison cell.
Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller has to sit in a cage while the generals sit in the hot seat on the Hill. He devotes 17 years to serve in our armed forces, but his time as a Marine comes to a head with a fateful error.
He had the nerve to speak out on the failure from the top. How dare he ask them to be accountable? He must have lost his marbles to be so bold. So, they answer his plea with a trip to the brig and a mental health evaluation.
The anchors and late-night guests try to plant a seed. It is as if they want to make us think his lockup stems from a fear of what he might say.
But a news source such as this has little insight into a world when it is on the outer rim of their own bubble.
Though to be fair, the military way of life is not the same as life is for those in the private sector, so it is a tough row for most of them to plough.
There is a chain of command for all who don the stripes, contrary to what Gen. Mark Milley might contend. The freedom of speech that we enjoy by and large stops at the gate for them, and it is a no-no to Tweet in uniform.
When Scheller calculated the risk to stand his ground — it is worth a demotion, a discharge or a reprimand — but could he foresee it might land him in the slammer.
Is it a crime to call the top dogs out on the mat? We circle back to the same impasse — there are some who make the law, some who break the law, then there are the rest of us.
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., probes Milley to find that he was the one to spill his guts to a handful of authors when he served the prior president, though he claims Bob Woodward would twist his words when he testified in front of the House the next day.
He polishes his brass for the cameras, to feign as though he does not play politics. Pay no mind to him, as he slides the rook and runs the chess board like an old pro.
The Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., opens testimony with a flashback to our 13 dead service members.
ISIS-K pulls the rip cord to bomb Abbey Gate, where hundreds gathered to enter the Kabul airport.
To retaliate, we launch a drone strike, which ends in what he calls a “tragic mistake” from faulty intelligence — we miss the mark in a fatal flaw and blow up 10 civilians.
The driver was an aid giver. He pulls up to his home and, as seven giddy kids pile in the car to greet him, it explodes.
Think of the horror on the face of those who rush out to gasp at the dismembered bodies strewn here and there — then for their loved ones to have to have a closed casket ceremony for them.
It will take more than a full sweep from top to bottom to revamp their image. The tools are there to nip a future calamity in the bud.
The quagmire is to swing the sickle to prune the vine and not chop off their own hand at the same time. In short, there is zero chance the folks at the top will climb down the ladder to give up their position of power.
U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., assesses the root cause for the crumble as “corruption” — to be blunt, we set up “a Potemkin Village,” which fell apart as soon as we left. From cradle to grave, it “was all about bribes.”
By the time we pulled out, the “state had grown so corrupt that governors were cutting deals with jihadists to switch sides, inflation was rampant because of the money we handed out, and it left ghost soldiers” on the payroll so the “commanders could steal the salaries.”
We cook the books and mani-pulate the players, then scratch our head in confusion when they cut and run with the cash.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin concedes “corruption was central” to the collapse.
So does Milley, but he takes it one step further — to him the government and dirty police force were “parasitic” in the eyes of the Afghan people.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump did not bring a crooked regime to the table to negotiate a deal with them and the Taliban. The fruit is rotten to core, so he opts to chop down the tree, and this is the root of why he is to blame.
Do these folks hear their own voices in their heads, or do they just blurt the words out and hope we won’t catch the fact that they defy common sense?
If there is a method to the madness, then it seems the madman is the only one who can see the template.
RAINA FISHER is a child activist, writer and psychologist writing a memoir on parental alienation. She lives on County Home Road near Paris; her email address is email@example.com.