Friday, May 28, 2010

Where would we be without her?

Yesterday when President Obama addressed questions about how the government is doing at protecting Gulf Coast states from BP's oil leaks, veteran pesky White House reporter Helen Thomas insisted he address the Afghanistan war.

Q -- Mr. President, when are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there? What is the real excuse? And don't give us this Bushism, "if we don't go there, they’ll all come here."

The President's answer was boilerplate: Osama bin Laden planned the 9/11 attacks under the Taliban regime and we had to go into Afghanistan in response and al-Qaeda still has "affiliates" there ... "network of extremists" ...

Thomas broke in:

Q -- a threat to us?

That question goes to the heart of the issues raised by the ongoing Afghanistan war.

Does sending more and more troops reduce or increase the number of terrorists who intelligence agencies seem to agree are not currently in Afghanistan? Can the apparently endless war in Afghanistan be "won"? What would that mean? Does prolonging stalemated fighting -- killing more Afghans, many of them only bystanders -- achieve anything except making more enemies? Not to mention killing more U.S. soldiers - the toll recently passed 1000 ...

Neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration has made the case that fighting a permanent Afghan war is winning anything for us or for Afghans. Eventually the U.S. will leave -- this imperial outpost will become too costly for a declining superpower. Which U.S. politicians will dare cut our losses?

Keep asking Helen!

2 comments:

naomi dagen bloom said...

Great post, Jan. How do we get it across, if we even can, that Americans want OUT...NOW. Tin ears rule in the seats of power.

Darlene said...

Bless Helen Thomas. She is a voice crying in the wilderness.

One of the things I despised about the Bush administration was that they made this truly great journalist sit in the back of the press room. She should have been in the front row, but they didn't want her probing questions that they were unable to answer.

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