On Topic: Afghanistan From the Left

True cost of Afghanistan

Obama makes the announcement tonight. It looks like 30,000 more troops are being deployed to Afghanistan. I watched twitter as the “leaked news” hit and its fair to say every emotion is represented in the responses.

Here’s my bottom line: We all want out BUT how?

Maybe the more important question is WHY are we even there? I don’t ask this out of ignorance. I’ve heard the reasons, to protect the people from the Taliban, to stop Al Qaeda, to spread democracy…

Whatever reason you use to justify the last 8 years, by invading Iraq and Afghanistan, we entered 2 wars that go on and on and on with absolutely no end in sight (I’ll get to Obama’s deadline later)

No end because you can’t fight terrorism. Do you think that because we stationed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that terrorism has stopped? Do you think terrorists live exclusively in those countries? If 10 people from a certain country bomb a major building in the USA again, does it give us the right to take over that entire nation?

Worst of all, people unconnected to the Taliban or Al Qaeda pay.

Do you want to know the cost?

Military deaths in Iraq = over 4000

Military Deaths in Afghanistan= over 800

Iraqi and Afghan civilian deaths= unknown.

We don’t keep records of the people we accidentally kill maim or injure, like this little boy or people celebrating a wedding

Or you can watch this documentary about how we locked up an innocent journalist in Abu Ghraib.

And you may be out there saying, “death is bound to happen in war” maybe you should tell me what these people did to deserve an invasion, to lose the ones they love. They shared a country with hate-filled extremists who committed horrible crimes and I don’t think what we’ve done will inspire a lot of love for Americans (Side note: I have spoken to army personnel who say the people do love the troops, but what about the boy who lost his father or the girl who watched her brother die? Terrorism is rooted in hate, hate sometimes rooted in bitterness)

Maybe money moves you more than human lives. Before the end of the year nearly 1 TRILLION dollars, more than Viet Nam or WWII, (this is after inflation adjustments) will be spent on Iraq and Afghanistan.

All that said, I’m against this thing, but I don’t want to pull out all at once. I think we need a plan. The decision he’s made shows patience, cooperation and courage. Patience in dealing with a mess this country was in, cooperation with the generals who asked for more troops and courage to go against his own party.

I loved what he said tonight: America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying your country. We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens. And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect to isolate those who destroy, to strengthen those who build, to hasten the day when our troops will leave, and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner and never your patron.

God Bless the troops in their efforts to bring this war to a close. I can never repay your sacrifice and I’m praying for you all.

Be sure to check out Hanna’s post from the right.

6 Responses to On Topic: Afghanistan From the Left

  1. […] check out Andrea’s take on O’s speech while you’re here for a different perspective. Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

  2. Wan Kim says:

    Most often it’s the Left that always brings up “Vietnam”, “quagmire”, and the litany of associated ‘negative’ words associated with that war. And rightly so– Vietnam was a war that lost not in the jungles of southeast Asia, but on the streets of America through the far left’s antiwar movement. Generals from the North Vietnam army even admit today that they would have given surrendered had it not been for the unpopularity of America’s involvement from its own people.

    So to me it’s no surprise that “Vietnam” is brought up time and again as a scare tactic with the public. I agree that this can turn into “Vietnam”…but only the country lets the left wingers defeat us again.

    Let’s dissect the left’s ‘concerns’:

    Cost-$1 trillion is a lot of money; no doubt. However, consider what the cost of uncertainty would be–$1 trillion to eradicate or drastically reduce the risk of disruption to world peace/commerce through wiping al Qaeda off the map…or several trillions in potential cost via terrorist disruptions in the future from an emboldened terror network who will claim victory for ousting the “Great Satan” from Afghanistan. If Barack Obama within 10 months as President can drop his US-taxpayer issued credit card down and put another $1.3 TRILLION on it with the Left in agreement that it’s “necessary” for the health of the “worst” (really?) economic disaster(?) since the Great Depression, then surely $1 trillion is also necessary to secure America and the world is it not?

    Civilian Deaths, Torture (is it?), etc….
    Real war isn’t pretty. It’s not a video game where when shoot or blow up something, only the bad guys with the red indicator over their heads are the ones who are taken out. If the emotional/humanitarian concern is that we must take the “moral high ground” b/c, gosh darn it, we’re the USA, then I’d say that Europe and Asia would look very different today. If the moment we went into the European and Pacific theaters in WWII or into Korea and Vietnam afterwards, we had to rethink our need to defend freedom b/c we’re “razing villages reminiscent of Genghis Khan” as some may say… then I guess we should’ve never gotten involved in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. And what would’ve been their fate if we had left? Should we have then left all those innocents to die under a Hitler, Mussolini, or Kim Il Sung?

    Of course everyone wants the wars to end. The way to end it is not through waffling while thinking about what your radical left wing base wants. It’s about making decisive judgements on what it will take to WIN. George W. Bush learned this almost too late in the game by ordering the Iraqi surge later than it probably should have happened… Obama should’ve noted this and acted on McChrystal’s recommendation immediately to secure the peace.

    Number of deaths, etc. are like any other statistic…they can be used for or against an argument. 4,800+ death US deaths is a tragedy…but in comparison more people die in car accidents or from the flu than that also. Over 600,000 died in the US Civil War; should Lincoln have stopped the war and let the Southern states secede and continue with slavery then? What is the cost of freedom? I certainly can’t quantify it or justify it w/ an “acceptable” casualty figure. Once forces are committed, all we can do is support them 110% and not worry about what our political base thinks; at least then whatever the cost was, at least we will have supported the troops’ mission that they have volunteered for.

  3. secularist10 says:

    This post makes some great points.

    Wan Kim said: “If Barack Obama within 10 months as President can drop his US-taxpayer issued credit card down and put another $1.3 TRILLION on it…then surely $1 trillion is also necessary to secure America and the world is it not?”

    Sure it is, except that what the US is doing in Afghanistan is not securing America. It is ramping up the civilian Muslim casualties and making the US look even worse every day in the eyes of average people in those parts of the world.

    And on the issue of democratization and taking down tyrants like Hitler and Mussolini, a question: is it the US’ job to overthrow every repulsive dictator on this planet? Because if it is, the right better revamp its position on taxes toot-sweet, because our current levels of taxation can’t fund that kind of effort. Obviously, the US got into WWII because its own security was clearly at risk. What did the Taliban ever do to us?

  4. Wan Kim says:


    You took one statement, created another premise that I didn’t propose and then presented your own counter-argument to it. I think you’re missing the “big picture”…you know…the big picture that “hope and change” is supposed to rain down on all of us.

    You said we “obviously” got into WWII b/c our own security was at risk. If your litmus test to go to war is a “security risk” to the US, then the al Qaeda edicts of jihad on us either is or is not a risk… I’ll go with “risk”. President Obama even eloquently alluded to the 19 hijackers (he left out the radical Muslim part…but then again, Maj. Hasan was just some nut…not a terrorist so we’ll let that slide I guess) and the ATTACK on the US on 9/11. So I’d say there’s plenty “risk” to be had there.

    The discussion was in context of the current wars that are being fought. There was nothing in the original post or in my response saying let’s get out the map and find more countries to invade for fun.

    Thanks for a good laugh though. I needed one after that boring speech from West Point before I go to sleep.

  5. secularist10 says:

    To Wan Kim,
    You said: “Should we have then left all those innocents to die under a Hitler, Mussolini, or Kim Il Sung?”
    I don’t know, sounds to me like a justification for the US to take down those dictators and, by extension, all dictators. They may be horrible, but we don’t have endless money to spend killing all of them and democratizing their countries.

    Interestingly, you criticized me for reading into your statement, but you then read into mine, but correctly so: my implication was that the US should go to war only for a legitimate security risk.

    Now, you mentioned Al Qaeda and Sept 11th. Right. On a separate point, you haven’t answered my question: What did the Taliban ever do to us?

    Finally, on “getting out the map,” you must realize that if the logic runs “tyranny in country X is a legitimate reason for going to war there,” then it follows that any country that has tyranny necessarily should be invaded. The question arises: where does it end?

  6. greg says:

    ok…this is a response to all of these posts…YES we have a responsibility to go to the aid of all those nations that are dealing with the evil atrocities that leaders like saddam hussein committed.

    to answer andrea….our reasoning for going into afghanistan wasnt just because 19 terrorists were there…the entire governing body were aiding and harbering the leader of the group as well as providing political cover for the so-called organization. the taliban had to be removed from power. has it gone the way we wanted? no it hasn’t. but in no way can you make the comparison to vietnam….except for the fact that we now have a President who refuses to specifically spell out Victory!

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