On Topic: Afghanistan From the Left

December 2, 2009

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.