The Pentagon has published pictures of the 30 Navy SEALs killed in the chopper shoot-down in Afghanistan along with short bio’s of most of them. Given the classified nature of the SEALs, I had hoped the Navy wouldn’t have allowed the publicity.

Our nation went into a major tizzy when the Bush people “outed” one CIA agent. To me, being a SEAL falls into the same shadowy world. In both programs, participants want anonymity as they go about dangerous and deadly missions most of us never hear about. To throw 30 of these silent warriors into the media pool – even in death – seems a counterproductive precedent.

But now that we know a little about these 30, aside from sympathy felt for their survivors, my most overwhelming emotion is anger. Just plain anger. The more their story is told and their pictures are flashed by – especially the pictures – the angrier I become.

The root of my angst is summed up in one question – one word. A question aimed directly at the president, the congress and the military. WHY?

Why did these men have to die in Afghanistan? What have we gained by the loss of 30 superbly trained, highly conditioned young people? What improvement in the world can be traced directly to their murders?

I’ve heard all the flag-waving excuses about “democracy and freedom for the Afghan people.” Pure B.S. If, somehow, we force those folks into some form of free elections and a strong central government, it will mean nothing to them. Not a thing! For more than 2,500 years they – and the nearly impossible terrain of their country – have defeated all other nations. All. Their history – all of it – is subjugation and internal strife. Most of them can’t define “democracy” without a dictionary – if they could read it – and, even then, it’s an abstract principle.

When we leave that country – and we will leave – our huge sacrifice of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars will be no more apparent than the ripples five seconds after you’ve thrown a softball-sized rock into the Columbia River. We will leave and the normalcy of thousands of years of Afghan life will resume.

No one can make a legitimate case to me why those 30 SEALs died. No one. We have gained nothing in their sacrifice. And we are without them and their talents and whatever contributions this nation may have had from their continued living.

We should add a new duty to the job descriptions of the president and leaders of congress. Every time an American military member dies in Afghanistan – and Iraq – the president and each congressman should have to go to the front door of each mother, father or widow and answer these questions “Why?” “Why did my brother/husband/father/sister/daughter/wife have to die in that far off land?” “Why is America a better nation for the sacrifice of the one we loved?”

No grieving parent is going to be satisfied with any answer to those questions except the truth. There are no reasons, no excuses, no patriotic rhetoric, no trumped-up flag waving that will ring true. We have wasted the lives of those they love as someone expendable in the defense of nothing.

Political careers and political egos are being tended to by American families paying a terrible price.

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