Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Afghanistan - The Forgotten War

A resurgent Al Qaeda is in Pakistan's western tribal region, alongside Afghanistan's Eastern boundary, apparently connected with the Taliban forces that are making trouble for us in Afghanistan (and possibly elsewhere - remember 9/11? These are the guys who actually attacked us).

So - I'm not for giving up on Afghanistan.

Admiral Mullen and others in the military say we are neglecting that fight because we have hocked everything to feed the surge in Iraq (where we are fighting people who had nothing to do with 9/11, by the way). The implication is that we might get better results in Afghanistan - and maybe in Pakistan - if we could pull our asses out of the deep hole we have been digging in Iraq.

Why isn't that worth trying?

Maybe Afghanistan is just another hole, but it seems to me we have never even tried to win that fight - and that was a fight worth winning.

Michelle Cottle at The New Republic just posted about polling that shows that 51% of Americans think the war in Afghanistan was not worth the cost.

Here's Cottle:

At this point, only 51% of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan to have been worth fighting. This despite the fact that that wretched, utterly dysfunctional country was home base for the Taliban, al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The bulk of the 9-11 butchers may have originally hailed from Saudi Arabia, but they took their orders and inspiration from the utterly reprehensible fundamentalist nutters running amok in Afghanistan.


By allowing itself to become distracted from Afghanistan--not to mention babbling on dishonestly and confusingly about the nonexistent connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda--the Bushies have managed to convince much of America that we never should have bothered in the first place. This is outrageous. Afghanistan should have sent a loud, definitive signal to hostile regimes worldwide about the power and commitment of American power. Instead, barely half of this country thinks we've done a decent enough job to justify the entire endeavor.
Obama needs to get out of Iraq fast, but we need to separate Iraq from Afghanistan in our minds - they are not one and the same.

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posted at 1:31:00 PM by Neil

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