Monday, June 07, 2010

Afghanistan: 104 months and counting

As of today, the U.S. war in Afghanistan will have been underway for 104 months (since October 7, 2001). This makes this war the longest foreign* conflict this country has ever fought, exceeding in length the war in Vietnam. One might have thought the richest, strongest power the world would have accomplished its purpose in one of the world's poorest countries in that time period, but apparently not.

Many Afghans are pretty sick of living in an American theater of war. From the Afghan Women's Writing Project, here's part of a letter that a woman who calls herself Shogofa has written to President Obama:

Dear President Barack Obama,

We want to live without fear.

I will never forget this war, what we have lost and how our lives have been destroyed as a result of an American policy that doesn't concern itself with innocent people. After you were elected, we hoped that everything would be all right. But it is worse than before.

One thing is clear: our people are tired of war. We have tried to explain our problems again and again, and yet the situation gets worse with every passing day. Why doesn't an Afghan life have value? What did we do that we are the victims of first the Taliban, and now the US?

It is destroying us -- especially women. Too many people die, or lose their homes. Too many children are homeless in our country. It may be the poorest country in the world, but who is responsible for this? Everyone thinks about politics, but no one thinks about human life.

Do you think that your army is useful here? Or that it will bring peace? You are wrong if you do. I witnessed a mother and son who lost their lives crossing the road. The American army thought they were terrorists, but they were trying to find money to support their family. This is how we lose members of our families. How many people will die? We don’t know.

Day by day, our country is destroyed. People can’t walk freely on the road or drive. The Kabul road is too difficult for passengers now. Everyone hates it when cars get stopped and people are prevented from going to work. We don’t feel comfortable in our own country. It is like we are strangers in our own home. ...

You can read the rest of her plea here.

* On what today is U.S. soil, it would probably be fair to say that the frontier wars to drive out and kill off native peoples extended far longer, but those took place in episodic bouts, rather than in one long slog.

1 comment:

libhom said...

It's not like our troops are trying to win a war or that our government is even trying to rebuild the country. Our troops and mercenaries are just being used to defend a natural gas pipeline that contributes to global warming.

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