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While right on policy, Obama needs to cool the rhetoric.
So, with Karzai's antics and the centuries of entrenched corruption. We also had the lame-brained idea that was floated by his office and a few of our own mush-headed diplomats a few months back, of granting the Taliban amnesty and giving them jobs in the government and military. Good grief. Talk about letting the fox in the hen-house! But hey, that typea 'Chieu Hoi' thing worked really well for us back in Vietnam, right? *snicker* But hey, I'm a Vet and as warhawk-bloodthirsty as anyone, ok. But getting ourselves enmeshed this particular way in Afghanistan and Iraq was a bad idea from the get-go. Trying to do all this "winning hearts & minds" crap ain't working too hot - AGAIN. And our hubris that we are "bringing democracy" to areas who've known nothing but tribal and sectarian violence and nothing but government corruption, is accomplishing little but keeping the demand up for body bags. Drop the bomb on Baghdad and Kabul and then walk away!
I don't know where US politicians get the idea that our presence in a country means that anyone there will automatically choose to follow the US models of government and economics. Afghanistani people have been resisting invaders for centuries, usually quite successfully. They've had a lot less success forming a working, effective government of their own. Nobody seems to know the solution, but these aren't the kind of people likely to see Americans as saviors.
AS if our current antics should be copied by anyone.
The Editor should know better than to mislabel this occupation a "war." There is no enemy state, there is no fixed objective. The military activities in Afghanistan and Iraw is are "occupations," and a professional newspaper editor ought to use the proper terminology rather than the politically correct phrases that help justify this unjustifiable imperialism.
I think you're hitting the nail on the head. This war/occupation might be without end by design.
It's a lot like Vietnam. First you "suspect" that something is wrong. Then you kind of know something is wrong. Then you start to look at the situation and analyze it again, and know it has a good possibility of being a fiasco. I knew we were in trouble in Afghanistan, when I saw that infamous picture of our troops wading through poppy fields and having a military commander rationalize the situation. Add to that how many useless years Russia spent there, and how many years we have already wasted there and you scratch your head and ask what our reason is for being there. Oh, I forgot, Osama Bin Laden. How many years and we have not got our man? We pride ourselves in killing several of his higher ranking people, only to find out that as soon as we kill one of these leaders, another takes him place. As other comments have pointed out, this country does not understand peace, has been fighting this way amongst each other for a long time, and our occupation is costing us dearly. By the way, did anyone else hear that we have a huge budget crisis in America? I feel for the families who have lost a son/daughter in Afghanistan. It should happen no more.
All of the smart people commenting above get it but the President doesn't?! In ordering the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, the President even went against the advice of his own ambassador, Carl Eikenberry, who previously served as a general in Afghanistan and told the President not to do it.
The people have seen this movie before. When the leader of a foreign country eventually thumbs his nose at his U.S. backers (i.e. Noriega, Saddam, and so forth), it destroys the myth of the "noble cause" of the foreign occupation and it usually isn't long before the foreign leader is replaced.
"Franken Peace Arrests" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk41m3TkqxM
Last night a group of over 50 “Minnesotans for Peace” essentially asked Al Franken “What Would Wellstone Do?” The response was extremely disappointing.
To be clear, Franken’s staff and the St. Paul police officers are to be commended for their patience, professionalism and willingness to listen. Al Franken is to be thanked for taking the time to respond with his views and to disclose his decision to support the Af-Pak escalation by voting for the upcoming $33 billion war supplemental. (There are probably not many elected leaders who would be so forthcoming.)
I've been there. They don't think like Americans. We can't force American ideals on them. Get out of everywhere, and stop meddling in their affairs, including Israel. Have no fear of "terrorist enclaves." Left to their own devices, the Middle East will first turn itself into glowing slag heaps, and the survivors will fight each other hand to hand back to the Middle Ages.
I'm not surprised that Al Franken supports the Afghan fiasco; he always has. We have to leave Afghanistan starting now. People on top tend to think they've got the best answer for everyone, not realizing they've only got the best answer for themselves, and their enthusiasm for helping others is better directed as supporting other's own efforts at self-improvement. It's true for people, and governments are made of people. What we are doing can only fail, even if we achieve "victory". I get the feeling they think they're playing a board game moving around little markers. I heard it in that Wikileaks video; I'm hearing it in the Administration's positions on these illegal wars we are in.
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