This Independence Day, pause for Iraq, Afghanistan

With much of the news this past week focused on the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death and Mark Sanford’s mea culpa, it wouldn’t take much to overlook the milestone developments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The withdrawal of American troops from Iraqi cities was met with public celebrations and concerns about the ability of the domestic military and police forces’ ability to consistently maintain order.

Simultaneously, U.S. forces have engaged in a large new offensive against the Taliban sweeping through the mountains of southern Afghanistan.

It would be easy to click off the political missteps and controversy in Iraq from “Mission Accomplished” on down or remind us again why Afghanistan has been uncontrollable by foreign powers for centuries. That’s not the point here.

Particularly with the fun of Independence Day with fireworks and barbecues upon us once more, glancing past what has happened this week is a mistake. Every time I hear stories of soldiers going back for third and fourth tours overseas I can’t help but be moved by their commitment to duty.

It’s OK to be interested in what happens next with Michael Jackson. I am too. Just don’t forget the important sacrifices being made today that help make July 4th what it is.


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