Why We Must Leave Afghanistan
Wednesday - June 30, 2010
Editor’s note: For a rather different take on the war in Afghanistan, see Jerry Coffee’s column on page 10 and Patrick Buchanan’s on page 12.
So, Gen. Stanley McChrystal is out of Afghanistan. Gen. David Petraeus is in.
The war goes on.
I’m no Islam scholar and no military strategist. I’m pretty good at divining common sense and practicality as opposed to jingoism and unrealistic goals.
So that’s why I’d say nine years this October is much too long to wage war in Afghanistan, and 1,000 American deaths there are unacceptable.
I’d go home and let all the bad guys sort it out among themselves. I’d tell the Afghans it’s their country and their society. Just don’t harbor any people who will strike at America or we’ll be back to scour your earth from the skies, with most of the world’s blessings.
I’m not buying that we’re there to make sure children can go to school and women aren’t abused. Those are nice goals, but not realistic in that country and culture.
We can suggest American ideals, but we can’t export them.
The largest tribal group there is the Pashtun, and that’s also the main source of the radical Taliban, who feel we are imposing Christian principles on an Islamic population that cannot educate girls, equalize women and be religiously tolerant and still be Islamic.
Additionally, we’ve supported a very corrupt government, warlords and an abusive military establishment. People are arrested right and left and imprisoned or disappear.
Things are not going well, and I’ve not read anything by any expert that says we’re making headway, that the Taliban are disbanding or that anyone without a government contract loves President Hamid Karzai and his people.
Targeting and killing Taliban commanders isn’t making us popular.
Not all Afghans love the Taliban, but they don’t like to see Westerners with their weapon technology killing off their folks.
We Americans are constantly told: “Don’t compare this war with the one we lost in Vietnam.”
I do and I can’t help it. The more Viet Cong we killed the more villagers said, “Hey, those people are us.” Vietnamese who had government contracts liked us, but to the average citizen we were just another in a long line of occupiers that had to be pushed out. And we were.
I cannot see an end strategy in Afghanistan. It’s really open-ended. Our president has said we may have to be there a while. We were in Vietnam a good 15 years.
I know it hurts some of you to think of pulling out. Makes us look militarily weak. I guess, in some of these smaller cultural wars, we are. Our drones and bombs don’t seem to mean much or even intimidate much.
So how much treasure and blood will you tolerate just to say “America doesn’t back down”?
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