As President Obama gears up, again, to determine what he is trying to do about (or with?) the Afghanistan war, what's needed is not some deep analysis of complex options, but simply the application of some down-home common sense. The essential questions that have not been answered since the Bushies let Osama bin Laden slip away at Tora Bora are still the real questions:
- What is the U.S. trying to accomplish in Afghanistan?
- How many Afghans, U.S. soldiers and allied troops are we willing to kill to do whatever it is?
- Are the U.S. people willing to continue throwing men and money into a faraway place where we've already been at war for eight years for no discernible purpose?
I just want to highlight perspectives from a couple of knowledgeable people who've shared some home truths about the mess. Patricia Lee Sharpe is a retired foreign service officer who has worked in Pakistan. She pleads with the President to withdraw now.
She goes on to point out that the Pakistani army has proved it can and will control the Taliban -- when Pakistanis support that effort and this proud army is not seen as acting as a U.S. stand-in. Moreover she points to polls showing the declining approval for aggressive Islamists throughout the Muslim world. Her entire argument is well worth reading.
Ann Jones recently observed U.S. soldiers "training" Afghan army recruits and she too thinks she is seeing a charade, just self-deceiving foolery. Here's an excerpt:
Go read all of Jones' article.
It's not only crazy that Washington policy makers are engaging in this charade, but it verges on criminal to send troops to get killed for something so essentially fraudulent.
President Obama, you can still begin to get out of this insanity. This month is the time to start. Just say no to ambitious generals and neocon armchair "strategists" who never saw a war for empire they didn't want someone else to fight.