Generational Curse

Afghanistan looks like our new Vietnam. Forty years ago we listened to solemn generals and wise advisers tell us that our survival depended on victory. Countless survivors of that war, here in the US and all over Southeast Asia bear the scars.

I’m feeling grief. I’m not a pacifist, but I don’t see how 30,000 soldiers can subdue a country, and I don’t see any power in Afghanistan that can keep the peace.

Terrorism is a tactic, the Taliban is as much religious as political, and fundamentalist religions are only strengthened by war.

Truly there were no good options in Afghanistan. But every person killed in war or by ‘collateral damage’ has family and community, and they won’t forget. It looks like the Big Muddy. I hope not.

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One response

  1. I am not much of a supporter of the Afghan episode post-getting rid of the Taliban barbarians and efforts to destroy the terrorists that plotted to kill 3000 people in the Twin Towers. However, to confuse the Afghan effort with Viet Nam is rerroneous in most senses. The distinctions are very clear and the wars bear little or no relation to each other. Similarly, although no supporter of the Obama administration, and in my judgement this is perhaps the most failed administration since the Carter administration, the addition of at least a token force of 30,000 additional troops is correct in terms of the needs as described by the generals involved. It is incorrect to say that the 30,000 are intended to “subdue a country.” The error is manifold: Afghanistan is not a nation in any usual sense. The troops are needed to kill the bad guys, intent on relegating women to the 10 century; destroying any people not like themselves; destroying the ancient heritage of their nation; killing innocents in Pakistan and elsewhere; and plotting to kill Americans and others anywhere. In actuality, the 30,000 will join some 60,000 other American forces and another 40-50,000 NATO forces from Britain, Poland, Hungary, Italy, and elsewhere. The force will be in the 140,000 range and with another 40,000 Afghans under arms, is quite substantial. The generals in charge are likely the best any nation can claim, and they say we can accomplish our goals. They have done well in Iraq, and if supported think they can do well in Afghanistan. I am not sure if this is a war we need to fight and nation build at the same time. It is wise to rid the world of the terror that continues to destroy innocents and will reach out to kill Americans if left unchecked. One would wish that Mr. Obama, had more experience and skill as a leader. Unfortunately, he defined Afghanistan as the war to fight, and equally unfortunate is the fact that he may be more motivated by political needs than he is in real support for our objectives in a war that is now his.

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