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Conservative Views

A Baby’s Hug

I know this has made the rounds a few times, but I think it serves as a reminder to leave judgement to God and defines why the scriptures say we must be “as little children” to enter Heaven.

baby-hug


~ A Baby’s Hug ~

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed.  We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. 

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. ‘Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s ‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, ‘You take care of this baby. ‘ Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.  He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly as though he were in pain.  I received my baby, and the man said,  ‘God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’  I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.

With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car.  My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding  Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.  I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.  I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing to share your son for a moment?’; when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, ‘To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.’

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sharing it. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all;  it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

‘It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are…….’

December 29, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , , | Leave a comment

The 12 Days of Global Warming

hat tip to Hot Air, Jawa Report , and Dan Cleary

December 28, 2008 Posted by | Amusing Funnies | , , | Leave a comment

God’s Daily Word

Off The Throne

After the birth of Jesus, Magi (wise men) came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2). When King Herod heard about this he became greatly disturbed. Herod had been appointed King of the Jews by the Roman government; but he was only partially Jewish and not well accepted by the people.

King Herod knew of the Jewish scriptures and how the people were waiting for the Messiah; “The government will be on His shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6).  He heard the words of the prophet which told where the new ruler would be born; “Out of you {Bethlehem} will come for Me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Micah 5:2).  Herod viewed the news of this new ruler as a great threat.  How would this affect his right to be king? Would he lose power? prestige? control? …comfort!?

The potential harm was unbearable so Herod decided to take action.

Matthew 2:16
“He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under.”

Many people today are not much different than Herod.  Even when we recognize Jesus and clearly see our need, we fear the loss of our ability to direct our own path.  We may not actually take steps to destroy Christ, but the thought of releasing control seems unbearable.  Somehow, we’ve been taught that submission equates to failure. But the reality is that true “success” is only found in Christ, and true comfort is only obtained by being set free from the power of sin and the entanglement of this world.

Jesus was, and always will be, very threatening to those who insist on sitting on a throne.  It’s foolishness to think Jesus will accept the position of Co-King.  Those who attempt to enter a relationship with Jesus while trying to maintain their “right to rule” will never really know Him, and certainly never experience His peace.

Jesus will give Himself to “whoever believes in Him” (John 3:13).  But in return, He asks for our total devotion: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  We give Him proper worship – the worship He deserves – only as we submit and exalt Him above all else; “He must become greater, I must become less” (John 3:30).

During this season of celebration, let’s ensure our relationship with Jesus is aligned with God’s plan. He is the rightful Ruler and King – the Savior and Lord! Let’s trust and worship Him with all our heart, and refuse to be threatened by His right to lead.  Let’s decide once and for all to relinquish control and get our pride-filled self off the throne.

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

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Verses and Psalms: http://www.gdwm.org/verses

Scripture references: The Holy Bible: New International Version.
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | , | Leave a comment

Donors to the Presidential Inaugural Committee

My friend Bob sent me this link this morning with the following comment:

“You’d think these liberals would rather use all this money for the homeless, hungry, and ailing rather than for a party. But maybe it’s more important to TALK about helping people than actually doing it.”

Donors to the Presidential Inaugural Committee

With so many American citizens facing job loss and the rape of their retirement dreams with the economic issues, Bob’s comment poses a valid question.  Was the liberal agenda to help those who have the least in our society for real?  With all the talk about Hope and Change, what ever happened to setting an example first in the White House?  Just a logical question seeing that these organiztions and benefactors aren’t contributing these excessive dollars to green energy research or charities.  There seems to be a problem with what they claim to be the number one priority and what the agenda truly is.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, Government, In the News, Politics | , , | 4 Comments

New Years Angel!

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To all my readers and friends:

I hope this New Year’s Angel will watch over and guide you throughout the New Year. May she bless and point you in all the right directions…May God bless your life in the coming year and crown you with success and happiness.

God Bless All Throughout the New Year!

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries | , , | Leave a comment

A little enjoyment on Christmas Day!

Who doesn’t remember hearing this one as a child?  In fact one Christmas I wore out a 45 on my little record player.  My parents were overjoyed, I’m sure, when it was OVER!  LOL!!!

And for the contempory touch:

Those who know me well… the Johnny Depp photos in the selection did influence my choice!

From Andie’s Isle: “The First Christmas Gift”

December 25, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries | , | 1 Comment

Carnival of Christmas on CatHouse Chat

christmas-stockings

Kat over at CatHouse Chat has put together the 2008 Carnival of Christmas on her blog, and I must say, if you haven’t been there before, it is simply amazing.  She provides the best of the best in Holiday Spirit and Heart from all over the conservative blogsphere, and it is a must read, mull over and enjoy piece.  Kat has managed to put a lot of work and time into finding delightful Christmas posts from all over the blogsphere, so it is worth scooting on over and checking out.  Thanks to Kat for honoring me with the the Pride of place this year along with Gayle at Dragon Lady’s Den.

Pride of place this year goes to Hoosier Army Mom, who reminds us of the men and women in our armed forces. These brave and unselfish citizens volunteered to serve our country in a time of war, and many are far away from home and family. Please remember them in your prayers, and go over to buy them some phone cards at the Online Military Exchange.Our second pride of place entry goes to Gayle, who writes of Christmas Lost and Found. Truly, this is a wonderful post about how God can – and does! – turn mourning into dancing, and works all things together for good to His called. Gayle is a perfect example of this year’s REJOICE! theme!

Thanks to Kat for a wonderful presentation on the theme Rejoice!

To everyone, have a wonderful, safe and memorable Christmas and joyous New Year.

December 25, 2008 Posted by | God / Jesus Christ | , , | Leave a comment

Cutting your teeth in battle – then getting them kicked out at home.

The Wall

Not to long ago, my son asked me a question. It got me thinking about every conversation I ever had with a Viet Nam Veteran over the years, in as much detail as I could remember. He wanted to know why so many of the Viet Nam era vets were so angry and frustrated, so son, I am dedicating this post to you.

My first experience with a Nam vet was my former brother-in-law, and the father of my nieces. He never spoke of any of his experiences, but I instinctively knew they were difficult, as his emotional lockdown in life truly bore the evidence. He mostly talked about his bitter hatred for Jane Fonda and the way the government had ignored the needs of the vets, after they returned home again.

Then at nineteen, when I married my first husband and my first neighbor turned out to be a drafted, Army vet, who spoke some, but only about the better aspects, such as his friendships with others who shared the experience. Dave was a wonderful friend, but over the years I saw him descend into drug and alcohol abuse, the symptoms of what has happened to so many who were never given the help dealing with the mindset and memories of an ugly war.

Dave was a good man, he did his “duty”, did not shirk from it, and he returned to a society that was not only ungrateful, but totally unprecedented in its expression of hatred and loathing for those who served.  I have heard many a veteran talk about returning home to strangers and even people they knew well, and being spit on at airports and being called “baby killers”.

Remembering VietNam

Our government many times left the “wounded vets”, who were physically and mentally scarred, to their own devices to  recover on their own.  The numbers of vets returning that were allowed to “self destruct” is a statistic we will never know exactly and mostly because of all the ways and means that the destruction of their lives occurred.   But I know of two cases where one vet died running his motorcycle into an embankment and it was called an accident, and another who broke his wife’s neck while sleeping (he had a nightmare / flashback) and ended up dying in a prison/ mental hospital, probably from a broken heart and spirit.  Those are the casualties of war that are never reported as such.

One thing I do know is that many of these vets were left alone to deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder, the severe depression, and the ordeal of constantly living with the physical pain from their wounds, without any rehabilitative aide available for their minds and bodies. We were the “mental health and therapy for awareness” generation, and yet, we could not see that these vets were struggling, just to get back into being able to live and work normally?  I think their struggles were infinitely more important than someone coming to grips with their “inner child, dysfunctional upbringing or sexuality”.

And thus, the “Me and I Generation” marched on over the bleeding souls of our vets, in my humble opinion.

VietNam Vet

While spending time with many of these vets, during my time with the PGR, I came to understand that many have found their own healing in making sure our military today knows that they are supported and honored here at home. The largest amount of support organizations for troops today have come from and been inspired by, our very same socially shamed, Viet Nam Veterans, as well as the family members of those currently serving and families of fallen troops in the War on Terror. The mantra I hear and see acted upon by my honored Nam Vet friends is “Never Again”.

Overall, there has been a great healing brought on by these hero’s of old by seeing to it that no returning vet today will feel what they felt or be treated the way they were treated, just because they answered their country’s call to duty and served selflessly and with honor. To these troops of the past, I salute you and vow to honor you and your service to my dying breath. Thank you all and Welcome Home to every soldier, sailor, marine and airman who ever served this country!

In the coming months, you will probably see a swing in my blog posts. It is all well and fine to debate politics, but for the most part, there are plenty of good reads on the web, done by people who know their facts and present them intelligently, and in some cases, on the extreme level. This is not where my heart is leading me.

VietNam Memorial

One of my dear blog friends, GM Roper has served, is from a military family, and has also been involved with psychiatry and counselling  for most of his adult life.   He has brought to my attention a service organization that is trying to fill in the gaps in mental health care for returning vets, by lining up professional volunteers to help,  by donating one hour a month to veterans returning today, and I want to get involved.

The Wounded Warriors Project, as well as,  other troop support organizations, have long been near and dear to my heart.  The only “Real Change” comes from work and dedication, not from arguing, insulting, and whining about things you are not empowered to alter. I will continue to honor my Savior here as well, since all I do and all that I’m capable of accomplishing in this life, I owe to Him, who gives me the resolve to get it done.

Coming from an environment where service to your country is honored and if one disagrees with a war, the blame is firmly placed where it belongs, with our leaders, not our troops, I’m sure my son had a hard time understanding this part of our history. I hope this post answers that question for him and many who were born after all this happened.

God bless this country and unite us all in peace and freedom always.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, God / Jesus Christ, Government, Our Military | , , | 10 Comments

The danger of taking things out of context.

All things being fair, I am going to explain why these people, in accordance with the Bible, are simply wrong.  This is from my perspective and I will go through the story and add my little notes and then comment at the end.  Forgive the color coding, but you are dealing with an ADHD blogger.  It’s the only way I could “disect” the story.  And note this is my humble opinion, and I’m open to other thoughts on the subject.

Woman Says Church Threatening To Make Sins Public

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2008 – Source:  Jacksonville News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A divorced Jacksonville woman said her former church has threatened to “go public with her sins” and tell the congregation about her sexual relationship with her new boyfriend.

Let’s look at Matthew 18:12

12″What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  14  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

How happy do you think Jesus would be about a church “persecuting the lamb that wandered off” rather than doing something to help her see the light and return restored?

Rebecca Hancock said harassment from Grace Community Church in Mandarin over her sex life caused her to leave, but she said that didn’t put an end to the problem. She said she received a letter from the church’s elders telling her the church plans to make her personal life very public.  “I’m basically run out.  I’m the church harlot,”  Hancock said.

1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

1 Corinthians 7:2
But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

Ephesians 5:3
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these
are improper for God’s holy people.

Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

These scriptures, and there are many more, refer to what Christ taught about how Christians are supposed to behave sexually.  God’s design is that sex should be part of marriage.  If you are having sex, even with someone you love, you are sinning.  Suck it up Rebecca, you are acting as a harlot and not a Christian when you engage in sex with a man who is not your husband.  But, I believe your sin is between you and God.

The 49-year-old said she has been dating a man for a while and she said members of the congregation at Grace Community Church haven’t been happy about the relationship.  “Because I have a boyfriend that I’m involved with … to not be married to that person is a sin,” Hancock said.

She said the issue caused her to leave the church. However, she said the church has not let go of her.  The letter Hancock received from the church states that because she has refused to end her sexual relationship with her boyfriend, “you leave us with no other choice but to carry out the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ” … “In accordance with Matthew 18:17 we intend to ‘tell it to the church.’”

“On January 4, my sins will be told to the church, publicly, with my children sitting in the church and my friends,” Hancock said.  The pastor of Grace Community Church, Dr. T. Scott Christmas, told Channel 4 he had no comment.

Pastors with whom Channel 4 spoke on Monday said announcing a sin to a congregation is not abnormal. They said it’s written in the Bible to punish sinners who continue to sin.  The difference in Hancock’s case is that she has left the church, and the pastors said that’s is usually where punishment ends.

Despite the church’s letter stating its biblical backing, Hancock said she has backed out of the church and they should leave her alone because she is no longer a member.  “I am a Christian, and that will never change.  My relationship with Jesus has to do with me and Jesus, and he knows my heart,”  Hancock said.

Yes Rebecca, he knows your heart, but you are engaging in sin.  You can’t be “Christlike” (Please note, I’m not saying a Christ clone, I am saying Christlike, which is what a Christian should strive for)  and break the fundamental rules of the God.  To Rebecca’s credit, she left the church in question and this is where I have issue with what this Church is doing.

The book of Matthew does have three steps that the church talked about in taking action against a member who is in sin.  Hancock said she is now attending a different church, and said she is planning to send a letter to Grace Community Church to make sure it’s understood that she no longer a member.

This is the passage in question:

A Brother Who Sins Against You

15″If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.18″I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be[d]bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.19″Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Please note that is says “if a brother sins against you”.  This is important, because it is not saying “if a member of the church sins against God”.  The entire passage is about public sin that hurts the body of Christ (members of the Church).  If she was having sex with a  man in the church who was married to someone else, that would be a public sin that would hurt the entire church once it was known.  Or members that engage in gossip about one another would be committing a public sin.  Those sort of sins are the petty bickering  and immoral behaviors that can destroy a church.  In this passage, Matthew is trying to give Christ’s instruction on how to defuse these situations so healing and forgiveness can take place or the offending sinner can be called out.  When this woman left the church, she is no longer a member, but more importantly, the nature of her sin is between her and God.  What she does in her own home is not a “sin against any person but herself”.  By not following God’s  plan and the laws he has given us through Christ, she drives a wedge between her and God.

The people in this church are taking this passage out of context to justify abusing a lost soul.  If she remained in the church, was participating in active roles and refused to repent and turn away from her sin, they would have the right to call her out on it, but that is not the case.  This is the kind of fundamentalism I have never cared for.  Having been a Christian in a state of sin for many years myself, I know how long it takes sometimes, for a some people to “get it”.  Running them out of the assembly is not the way to enlighten them and help them grow in faith.  This kind of treatment of people, even if they are “weak brothers/sisters”, is not part of the love our Savior exemplified.  We don’t become all knowing or mature in our faith within 24 hours of the commitment to the Lord, it takes time to grow in faith and mistakes sometimes have to be made to bring us where the Lord wants us. This is my personal opinion and I welcome any comment or thoughts on this.  God Bless.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, God / Jesus Christ, In the News | , , | 2 Comments

Congratulations Grandpa George!

The world is a better place due to the arrival of Cullen Gabriel Roper.  The much loved first grandchild of our dear friend and fellow blogger, GM Roper of GM’s Place arrived on December 13, 2008 at 9:14 pm in Austin, TX to a packed house!  May your grandson and you have many happy hours teaching each other all kinds of cool stuff.  Congratulations to GM and his entire family on their wonderful little blessing.

cullen-gabriel-roper2

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries | , , | 1 Comment

Blue Star Mothers Ask Hoosiers to Help Support the Troops

bluestar_logo

I recently met a military mom, Denise Young from Kokomo, who handed me her business card. On the back it read, “We military moms share a special bond that can’t be explained. When it happens to one of us, it happens to us all.” After one meeting with Denise and two other chapter presidents of Indiana Blue Star Mothers, I began to understand this bond and the reasons why they need Hoosiers’ help to support our troops.

Blue Star Mothers is a non-profit national organization of mostly mothers whose sons and daughters are serving, or have served, in the military. They provide support to families and mothers, so that their sons and daughters serving in the military can focus on the task at hand. With five chapters in Indiana, they work hard to ensure that our troops and their families receive the support that they deserve by connecting them to other families and mothers going through similar circumstances. We all understand the toll it takes on families when loved ones are absent from their daily lives. It’s a toll that I’m familiar with. I’ve got an Army wife, a Navy officer, an Air Guard Reservist and the girlfriend of a National Guardsman on staff in my office, and they all tell me that the support of their fellow Hoosiers is needed and appreciated.

We have more reasons than ever before to support our Hoosier military mothers and families. I recently attended the largest deployment our state has seen since WWII. 3,400 Indiana National Guardsmen and women were deployed. This brings the total of Hoosiers serving on active duty to 4,515, and no state, including large states like California, is represented more than Indiana.

Blue Star Mothers encourages everyone to care for the troops on active duty by sending letters of encouragement and care packages. They need our help with these letters and packages. Postage to send these items, especially overseas, can be costly, and donations are appreciated. Indiana Blue Star Mothers are also asking for toys for the troops to pass out to Iraqi children, who in return point out improvised explosive devices or IEDs.

Blue Star Mothers also actively support the needs of military families and veterans. Monthly meetings and one-on-one meetings provide a support network for military families. They also visit injured soldiers in hospitals and educate soldiers and their families about the signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Blue Star Mothers assist in veterans programs and connect veterans to needed services or items.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering, or if you have a loved one serving in the military and would like the support of this organization, please visit the Blue Star Mothers Web site at http://bluestarmothers.org/in.php for chapters in Indiana.

Sincerely,

lgov_sig

Naturally, being a Blue Star Mom, I feel compelled to get this message out to my fellow Hoosiers… HoosierArmyMom.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Our Military | , | Leave a comment

Gates: More brigades to Afghanistan by Summer

 I got a call from my soldier this morning… he didn’t want me to be surprised, but he has been reassigned from being with the XVIII Airborne Corps (his original unit) to being assigned as an auxillary to the 82nd Airborne.  What this means is the chances are pretty high he will be deployed as part of the 20,000 troops.  I asked him long ago about what “parachute riggers” do when on deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan?  Convoy Security… they man the guns on trucks and armored vehicles.  I am as proud of him as I can be, but that is not to say I won’t be sending up some serious prayers along with sending out care packages when and if he deploys.  Time to prepare myself mentally for this one.  And my youngest son is talking Air Force… there really is never any comfort zone for a Mom. 

 

Gen. McKiernan sits in his office at ISAF headquarters in Kabul. "I don't like to use the word 'surge' here because if we put these additional forces in here, it's going to be for the next few years," he said. "It's not a temporary increase of combat strength."

Gen. McKiernan sits in his office at ISAF headquarters in Kabul. "I don't like to use the word 'surge' here because if we put these additional forces in here, it's going to be for the next few years," he said. "It's not a temporary increase of combat strength."

Commander sees ‘tough fight’ in Afghan war

 

By Tom Vanden Brook USATODAY

KABUL — The top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan said Sunday that 2009 will be a “tough fight” in Afghanistan and the United States will need nearly twice as many troops for up to four years to stabilize the country.

 

In an interview with USA TODAY at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters, Gen. David McKiernan said increasing U.S. troop levels from about 32,000 to 55,000 or 60,000 is “needed until we get to this tipping point where the Afghan army and the Afghan police have both the capacity and capability to provide security for their people.”  “That is at least three or four more years away,” he added.  The Afghan army has 78,000 troops and is building to 134,000.

McKiernan said he has asked the Pentagon for more than 20,000 soldiers, Marines and airmen. He also called on NATO nations to increase their commitment of troops to Afghanistan and to remove restrictions on how and when they can fight. There are about 31,000 troops from other nations in Afghanistan.

 

U.S. troop levels probably will need to remain at elevated levels for “several years at a minimum,” depending on the stability of the Afghan government, the training of its troops, and cooperation from tribal leaders and neighboring Pakistan, according to Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

 

McKiernan said his request for more troops differs from the escalation in Iraq last year. The addition of more than 30,000 troops there, combined with a new strategy, helped improve security.

“I don’t like to use the word ‘surge’ here because if we put these additional forces in here, it’s going to be for the next few years,” he said. “It’s not a temporary increase of combat strength.”

McKiernan declined to say whether he expected next year to be more deadly for U.S. troops. Through October, 129 U.S. servicemembers were killed in Afghanistan this year, compared with 83 combat deaths in all of 2007.

 

He acknowledged the Pentagon’s ability to field more troops depends on reducing its forces in Iraq. There are 148,000 U.S. troops there. “There’s certainly a linkage,” he said. “The availability of the forces that we’ve asked for here — that’s directly connected to force flow in Iraq.”

 

Despite the challenges, McKiernan said he remained optimistic.

 

“I believe that over time, with the support of the international community, Afghan institutions will grow and develop and this insurgency will be contained and defeated,” he said. “I am firmly of the belief that the vast majority of the people in Afghanistan … don’t support the Taliban. They don’t support the other radical insurgent groups.”

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, Government, In the News, Our Military | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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