Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Afghanistan Question

Our politicians, military officers, media and others are debating ad nausea about what steps to take to solve the riddle of this poor country that has centuries of history of being conquered by other nations. The United States with support from a few NATO countries being the latest.
I find this tragic not only for them, but also ourselves, as we continue to be trapped by an ideology that demands that we never surrender but must always be victorious. What this means is that when our current president makes his decision it will be to remain and in all likelihood involve increasing our forces. He can make no other decision. If he did he would be accused of being a coward, and a betrayer of all those who have given their lives in that country.
There is no getting away from it we are a militaristic country. We see the world conforming to our viewpoint or risk our wrath. Being a super power means only that we have the capability of destroying any and all that do not conform. Under the Republicans it was called Pax Americana. Obama was elected partly because of his disagreement with the war in Iraq. So far we still have substantial forces there with no clear cut decision to end our occupation any time soon.
Americans are divided on what course to take in both countries mainly I insist because they have no personal stake in it. Their sons and daughters do not have to die as there is not a draft which would equalize the equation between rich and poor. That is the fundamental difference when compared to Vietnam.
I started writing this article to bring to light something that I have not heard or read about. To refresh your memory, the invasion of Afghanistan was a direct result 9/11/2001 and our desire to punish the Taliban because of them allowing terrorist training camps in their country. In addition all decent persons were appalled at their stern treatment of the people. Women, in particular, were denied dignity. They could not be educated, nor could they work outside the home as nurses, teachers or anything else.
Now here is the punch line. We joined forces with a group already fighting the Taliban. They were called, “The Northern Alliance”. It worked to our advantage. We gave them support including heavy weapons and air support. Our troops acted as advisors minimizing loss of American lives. It was brilliant. Why then must we now go it alone? I realize training of Afghans is in process but what happened to the Alliance? They should be fighting for their country as they did at the beginning.
It is after all, their country not ours. I am not soft on the need to control radical Muslim terrorists and the threat they pose to us, but continuing to fight and die here, if anything just enrages more to join with them to drive out foreigners as they did the Soviets.
One final point, the downfall of the Soviet Union was caused to a large degree because of the cost of fighting in this country. We face the same situation. We are nearing bankruptcy just as they were. For this reason alone we must leave this tragic part of the world and let them settle matters as they choose. Perhaps we would no longer be the object of their wrath.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
October 7, 2009

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