In the awful days when the Bush regime was ensuring that the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks would be violent, ignorant and vile, San Francisco never felt as if it were quite as given over to jingoism as much of the country. We like our country a lot, but we usually retain some skepticism about its use of force in other peoples' lands.
One good reason why that skepticism held up in the early years of the last decade was that the fading San Francisco Chronicle was publishing stories from Afghanistan and later Iraq written by reporter Anna Badkhen. As one of her bios says,
Unlike many war reporters, by "people," she means civilians.
Currently on the Foreign Policy website, she writes about the "The Lost Villages" of northern Afghanistan.
Go read it all.
Then, as the Secretary of War Gates lobbies for endless troop deployments in Afghanistan and Obama weighs the policy and political consequences of that endless war, ponder whether we have any idea at all why we are still fighting in Afghanistan.
Just perhaps, if we have no idea why we conquer and kill, might we not just go home now?