Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I don't know what to do about Afghanistan; do you?

I'm with James Fallows who is torn about the decision to stay. Well, I hope he's right is the headline of his entry.

I'm also with Andrew Sullivan who, the morning after, "thinks this strategy is doomed," but sees the strategy in it: "If McChrystal does his best and we still get nowhere, Obama will have demonstrated - not argued, demonstrated - that withdrawal is the least worst option."

I'm also cognizant that Afghan women leaders have asked for the troops to stay:

In a series of conversations with a dozen women leaders spanning a range of sectors, from health care to business to politics, some of whom rarely speak to journalists, the consensus was that existing troops must stay for now-if only because things would be far worse were they to leave. Insecurity would, the Taliban would gain power, and women and girls would immediately lose ground.

Should we not listen to them?

And then there's Thomas Friedman's very reasonable editorial in this morning's NY Times, saying our efforts in Afghanistan are "just too expensive." I would tend to agree with that.

But I also feel deep in my gut what fellow-blogger Rick put into words: "In all the sensible, well reasoned, apparently prudent words of the President's speech, every time it panned to the audience, all I could think over and over was, 'Dear God. They're just kids.'"

All I really know is that I'm glad I'm not president. I'm glad not to be put into a position where no decision is clearly and unequivocably good, where no matter what you do, people are going to be hurt or killed. I don't have the moral fortitude for that.

1 comment:

qoe said...

Most people don't remember that we have been in Afghanistan since the GULF WAR? Remember that one? that was Bush Seniors Achilles Heel. Our presence in Afghanistan has never been welcomed by Afghanis. Our presence there is all about US not them. Only in the Obama Administration is it even now finally called a WAR! But we have been there a long time and too, too, long. Same B.S. though, just a different day and a different President who, unfortunately, is NOT SO DIFFERENT.