Joe Hepperle Letter To Codepink
Please remove me from all of your databases.
I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I consider myself anti-war, but realize sometimes war is unavoidable for Free People.
Iraq did not attack us, so that war was unjustified. Afghanistan also did not attack us, but they stood in the way of our counter-assault on Al Qaeda after 9-11. (More specifically, The Taliban-lead government of Afghanistan stood in our way). That is our only 'beef' with Afghanistan. George Bush Junior kept only a token force in-country after the Taliban was overthrown because his true main goal was the oil-fields of Iraq -- not Osama Bin Laden.
Our only legitimate purpose in Afghanistan is the capture or killing of Osama Bin Laden. The oppressed lives of Afghani women -- though deplorable in our modern time -- should not be mixed with the war issue. To do so is both foolish and inappropriate. We did not go to Afghanistan (Russia's "Viet-Nam") to defeat their country and bring freedom to their women. We went to Afghanistan to put Al Qaeda and their training camp out of business. We had initial success removing the Taliban-lead government of Afghanistan because at that time (2001) it was the only war we were fighting. The invasion of Iraq was still yet to come, a year and a half off in the future. We had further success in disrupting Al Qaeda and putting their known training camp out of business. Also, we had success at forcing Al Qaeda leaders into hiding -- in Afghanistan. All because Afghanistan was our only war, and our only priority-- in 2001 and 2002.
Fast-forward to spring of 2003. Bush's propaganda machine had whipped up enough hatred against Iraq by associating Iraq with the Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan -- a sort of guilt by proximity or skin color or religion or type of male headdress. Many of the cornfield-hoppers were by now rattling-on about how Iraq bombed the World trade Center, and how Iraqis were aay-rabs and we needed to invade because "Saddam's got Weapons of Mass Destruction"
So, although our war in Iraq was illegitimate and illegal, our war in Afghanistan is justified and remains justified as long as we remain focused on our legitimate purpose there. That purpose is to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden and to neuter his terrorist organization, Al Qaeda. Any other focus is illegitimate and improper. We are not in Afghanistan to free their women. We are not in Afghanistan to conquer their country. CodePink's current position (that we need to send more teachers and farmers, not more troops) is guaranteed to prolong the war in Afghanistan if carried out.
If Afghanistan had started a war with us, then our goal, focus and purpose might be different. But Afghanistan did not start a war with us. Their Taliban-lead government in 2001 stood in the way of our pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. Or, in other words, they truly believed their country was a sovereign territory and that they had the absolute and final say about what happened in their country. The United States is correctly viewed as unwanted and unwelcome invaders by the Afghanis. As long as we remain on-point and keep our focus on the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, we maintain the moral high ground and we are justified in our military presence in Afghanistan, even though the locals may not like it.
This is similar to our laws prohibiting trespassing. If a person has hundreds of 'No Trespassing' signs posted on the perimeter of his property, that normally will suffice to legally keep all persons off his property. But, if my Frisbee errantly floats onto his property, I have the legal right- regardless of the hundreds of 'No Trespassing' Signs-- to enter his property, grab my Frisbee and then exit his property. And no court of law will convict me of trespassing. Another similarity in existing law is in the laws prohibiting harboring of fugitives. If you or I harbor a fugitive and law enforcement authorities know as fact that we are harboring a fugitive, they have the legal right to enter our property - without a warrant - grab the fugitive and exit the property. That is all we are justifiably doing in Afghanistan.
Now if we go further and decide that, as long as we are there, we'll "free" their women from the God-given authority and control of their husbands because we here in the West don't 'believe' in that stuff, then we are in the wrong. We have no legal, moral or ethical right to diverge from our purpose in Afghanistan regardless of how right we think we are or how wrong we think they are. Here in the United States in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, we took a very dim view of Communist "missionaries" who came here to try to convert us to their "more correct" version of society. We took such a dim view that we actively chased after them with figurative "torches and pitchforks", and we definitely meant to do harm to them. The Afghanis will react the same and worse if we send our Capitalist "missionaries" to force them to convert to our more-perfect vision of a modern society.
CodePink's position that we should go into Afghanistan and actively teach their women that they can pole-dance in a local strip club if they want; walk down any street alone and half-naked if they want; defy their husband's authority if they want; initiate 'no fault' divorce proceeding against their husbands and take half of his stuff with the court's blessing if they want; and, have 'casual sex' with any man they want, married or not -- all because God is a liar and therefore men do not have a God-given authority over the women -- is both wrong and war-prolonging.
Anyway... I maintained an interest in CodePink with a hope of finding some value and good in the organization. The last straw to my patient waiting was broken when you exuberantly welcomed Hanoi Jane to your group. Any group that includes that traitor, Hanoi Jane Fonda, will not include me.
From: Justin Ruben @moveon.org
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 16:03:03 UT
Subject: Don't go!
Dear Joe Hepperle,
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