Walking the Valley of Death. Is it Time to go Home?




The news of today fill my inbox. They say, It is time for me to bring our troops home -- right now. Not one more American needs to die. Their deaths do not make us safer and they do not bring democracy to Afghanistan.

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"I'm not doing 10 years," he told Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.
While Obama National Security Adviser Gen Jones is resigning, and the film from “the Valley of Death” is released, I take a journey into my early years of childhood, inspired by words, such as those said by Specialist Sterling Jones of the outpost, "Nobody's going to help you there - you're in no man's land."

When I was about 8 years old I was lost in a hotel. For a kid a hotel is a huge place to be in. It was then that I found a newspaper. On the cover of the newspaper the words WAR IN GULF! where printed. I was only 8 then so I did not know what war was. All I knew then was that I wanted to get it moving, as all kids want, and I wanted to explore. But I also knew I had in my hands a piece of history. So I kept it.

Today, the news I get still speak on the same conflict. The Washington Post says, Obama rejected the military's request for 40,000 troops as part of an expansive mission that had no foreseeable end. "I'm not doing 10 years," he told Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a meeting on Oct. 26, 2009. "I'm not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars."

I still think about my early years of childhood. I remember back then in that hotel when I was exploring I was approached by a man. I spoke to him and he showed me the way back to my family. My father then told very seriously “you should never speak to strangers”.

My father also used showed me how to set up a radio and tune into the international waves such as BBC radio. He said and I remember it clearly, “You can listen to people speaking in different languages from other countries”. I was fascinated with that, or maybe I was just fascinated with my father, who was a fascinating person.

These and many other personal details, which I now keep to myself are the reasons why I decided to take on journalism.

The words I hear today, some are transcripts, others are disclosures, other are news stories. The Washington Post says, “A new capability developed by the National Security Agency has dramatically increased the speed at which intercepted communications can be turned around into useful information for intelligence analysts and covert operators. "They talk, we listen. They move, we observe. Given the opportunity, we react operationally," then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell explained to Obama at a briefing two days after he was elected president.”

Michael Moore wrote, “It is not our mission to defeat the Taliban. That is the job of the Afghan people -- if that is what they choose to do. There are many groups and leaders of countries in this world who are despicable. We are not going to invade 30 countries and remove their regimes. That is not our job.”

I was a child when I collected newspaper articles on the war, I still collect news on all issues. Sometimes, and most times I write my own stories. I specially like to write those stories that I can report from the ground, however, I get my hands busy and make means with what I have. There is one newspaper article which was a turn over for me. Can you guess which one it is? Tell you one thing about it, it was not a 5 buck page. What was the newspaper article that turned your life over?