Boys drink tea on a roadside as it snows in Kabul in this February 19, 2009 file photo. The Taliban is intensifying an insurgency across the south and east of Afghanistan. Yet in the relatively peaceful north, Afghans face a different struggle. Severe drought and soaring food prices have left hundreds of thousands of people facing a daily battle to survive the winter. REUTERS
I find myself once again the position of wanting to grab America by it’s collective shoulders and shouting “What the hell is wrong with you? Pay attention!” Of course we all have a lot on our minds, but that is no excuse for blithely skimming over the news that our President has announced he is sending 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
Let me stop you before you say it: bin Laden and the Taliban. Well let me ask you this: If we already have 38,000 troops in place in Afghanistan and we can’t find bin Laden or subdue the Taliban, what on earth is sending 17,000 more troops going to do?
With President Obama’s order for more troops, he is simply continuing the Bush policies of bypassing Congress and attempting to solve the world’s problems through a show of our superior military might. This is the policy that sees the volunteer army as a never ending source of troops. Why stop at 17,000, President Obama? Why not 117,000?
President Obama never campaigned as the Peace President, it’s true. But he did campaign on the platform of change. And I don’t think it’s too much for America to demand that he change the militaristic policies of the Bush Administration. The Taliban will never be subdued militarily, and to think it can be is to show an ignorance of the history of the Middle East. “Afghanistan” is not Canada. (Sorry, Canada, no offense intended.) “Afghanistan” is a nation only because of arbitrary border lines. The true rulers of Afghanistan are the tribal warlords throughout the countryside, whose allegiances shift with time and circumstance. The more troops we send into their villages, the more their allegiances swing toward the Taliban.
What is the long-term goal for the U.S. in Afghanistan? Please consider signing this petition demanding that Congress hold oversight hearings on this issue. We deserve to know, our solders deserve to know, and the Afghan people — including those boys in the photo above — deserve to know.