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Liberal Opinion Blog. Boston, Massachusetts. Political Democrat, Independent. Debunk Republican Lies, Misinformation

Afghanistan Conundrum

The Soviets invaded and occupied Afghanistan but it was such a headache – they packed up and left. Well they didn’t pack up that much – they just left!

The Soviets started moving into Afghanistan December 24, 1979. The last Soviet troops started withdrawing in 1988 and by February 1989, they were all gone.

The U.S was best friends with the “resistance” then – the Mujahideen. The CIA armed/supplied and trained the Mujahideen to the tune of 600 million dollars per year. (Multiply that by 10 and tell me again why we can’t fund Health Care for Americans?).

Is yesterday’s Mujahideen today’s Taliban?

Over a million Afghans were killed in that war. Millions were displaced within their own country and millions more sought refuge in neighboring countries like Pakistan and Iran…

Millions more were maimed or wounded and according to Wikipedia: In the 1980s, one out of two refugees in the world was an Afghan.

Today, when we talk about the Afghan War, we’re not talking about the Soviet’s Viet Nam – we’re talking about our current quagmire.

In October 2001, a U.S. led invasion ousted Afghanistan’s Taliban government. The al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for the September Eleven terror attacks were Taliban protégés.

But instead of focusing on Afghanistan, President George W. Bush invaded Iraq.

That wild goose chase was a mistake, a distraction, a dead end, a regional destabilizer and anti-American incubator.

Now President Obama’s top Afghanistan commander is asking for as many as 40-thousand more soldiers. Congressional Republicans are also pushing for more troops. No surprise there – these people would send troops to fight Polar Bears in Iceland!

But there is division among the ranks. The Pentagon’s top three military commanders overseeing the war want to accept McChrystal’s recommendations. Others, like Vice President Joe Biden, want the U.S focus on counterterrorism. That would involve using unmanned drones and Special Forces to target top Taliban and al-Qaida leaders…without involving more troops.

So which can we afford or are willing to pay for? More troops and more war – or Health Care?

It would have been easier to decide if things were quiet. But a fierce Taliban attack over the October 4 weekend killed eight U.S. soldiers – and added to the pressure.

So what can America do? What can President Obama do?

There are at least three things that He/America CAN do.

1. He/we can pack up and leave.

Either tell the Afghans to heck with you…

I’ve had enough of your corruption, your flawed elections, your infighting and your traditions that don’t make sense to me. In short, I’ve had enough of you.

Or:

Thank you very much. But I don’t want any more dead soldiers. I don’t think Afghanistan will ever be “safe” and “secure” and “democratic” – whatever that means.

I/We tried. We really, really wanted to help. But this war is too expensive and we, regrettably, have to leave now.

To which the Afghans will say: You’re screwing us (would they say screwing? maybe not) deserting us again.

And we say: Sorry!

Or:

A combination of the above where we say: To heck with you. We tried and we
got nowhere.

2. He/We can say: I AM sending more troops. I am NOT leaving until I am sure that the elements of the Taliban I’m after are completely routed from Afghanistan AND Pakistan! Not only will I send more troops, if you kill those troops, I will keep on sending troops until that corner of The Axis of Evil is no longer evil!

Or:

He/We can keep the status quo – no new troops and limp along.

I’m just happy I’m not making that decision, but if I was, I’d pack up, call the Soviets, ask them the easiest way out of Afghanistan, then get the hell out! Fast!

Leaving would be sad. We’ve poured billions of dollars into that war and have little, if anything, to show for it. Yet we can’t afford health Care Reform.

America – are you listening – and deciding? Or are you too busy returning to your old shopping ways to bother about trivial things like the Afghan war or Health Care Reform? No demonstrations, no phone calls to representatives, no town-hall style denunciations – Nada?

According to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs:
I don’t think we have the option to leave. That’s quite clear.” Sometimes I wonder about Gibbs! You don’t have the option to leave? Why? We started off with it, I hope? So where did that option go?

When President Obama installed Stanley McChrystal as commander in Afghanistan earlier this year, Obama asked the general to assess the war. McChrystal told the President that if America did not significantly increase its troop strength in Afghanistan, the U.S. would NOT be able to gain the upper hand over the Taliban and Al-Qaida.

Supposing he’s right and we rout out current Taliban elements, what are the guarantees that future elements will not appear?

White House officials say the President is likely to take weeks before making a decision.

So here we are, back at Square One. President Obama could of course take the middle road and say: I don’t support sending more troops, but since the general is there on the ground and HE wants more troops, I’m going to send some more. If things don’t turn around by a set date, I’m pulling the plug.

Let us remember, though, that bombs are not necessarily the way to go, these days. The new century calls for a new kind of war. Schnitzel has become more potent than shrapnel. Détente is more embraced than detonations.

…..Meantime, A new poll finds 42-percent of Americans now think we made “a mistake” in sending military forces to Afghanistan”.

A similar poll in January 2002 found only 6-percent of Americans thought the Afghan war was “a mistake.

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