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Wrong On Afghanistan

By The Reverend Published: November 25, 2009

If you read the AB Journal's Afghanistan editorial today, I suggest you also read this from The Nation, for perspective.

First, let me say that I have been very appreciative of the Beacon's editorials recently. I also appreciate it that I no longer have to look at the ridiculously ignorant "political" cartoons of Chip Bok.... they were embarassing.

Having said that.....let me be clear.....when it comes to the Iraq crime, it's corollary crime, the Valerie Plame outing by Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush's involvement in both of those crimes.....the Beacon has been less than stellar in it's evaluations.

And again today.

"Worth recalling is that the one decision the Bush team got right in Iraq, the commitment to the ''surge,'' arrived after much deliberation. President Bush the younger recognized that he had one last shot. Gen. David Petraeus operated on more than his gut."

I don't know whether one of the editorial writers at the Beacon still has a Bush crush, a Petraeus crush, or what.....but that paragraph is ridiculous. If the "surge" worked in Iraq and Bush's team got it right....why do we still have over 100,000 of our military inside Iraq some 4 years after the announcement of the "surge?"

How is it that an objective editorialist can write that..."President Bush the younger recognized that he had one last shot." How does the writer know what Bush recognized? Why couldn't it have been that Bush recognized that Iraq had become unpopular in America, just as Bush himself had become unpopular....and if he didn't do something to change the subject......the Cheney contrived fraud-caper might be fully uncovered while George was still president?

Additionally, the "surge" "worked" to reduce violence because Sunnis got tired of the al-Qaeda types blowing everything up and started taking monthly bags of money from the good ole' U.S.A. to refrain from killing American soldiers. Ditto, the Shi'a.

Bribery, payoffs...that's what "worked."

Moving on.....here's the ABJ writer again....this time about Afghanistan....

"What is the job?

The president stressed the need to dismantle the al-Qaida operation rooted in Afghanistan. That translates into an elected Afghan government capable of gaining public confidence and sustaining order. The American interest resides in Afghanistan, and the border region in neighboring Pakistan, no longer serving as a haven for terrorists. Thus, the Obama description of this fight as a ''war of necessity,'' the Taliban now resurgent, echoing the dangerous mix that held sway in the 1990s."

No.

Our military officials have testified that there are less than 100 al-Qaeda fighters inside Afghanistan, that the al-Qaeda leadership has been decimated...AND....that the Taliban have already returned to prominence in a majority of Afghanistan's provinces.

If "serving as a haven for terrorists" is the determining factor for sending in U.S. occupation forces....then Germany, Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, and the U.S. should be occupied by millions of U.S. soldiers. All of those countries have served as a haven for terrorists.

The Beacon writer, possibly recognizing the weakness of his own argument, throws this in for empathetic value....

"In this instance, the mission is worthy. Read, for instance, the recent dispatch by Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer about Afghan women looking to American troops for help in preserving their gains and moving forward in the quality of their lives."

Once again, if women's rights are part of the reason why Obama is going to go along with the mistaken Gen. McChrystal, sending 34,000 more U.S. soldiers into Afghanistan (not 20,000-30,000 as reported in the editorial)....then why stop with Afghanistan women? Many African women are being abused on a wholesale basis...should we occupy African countries too?

And then immediately, possibly anticipating criticism similar to mine over the weakness stacked on top of weakness in justifying escalating the American military presence inside Afghanistan after already being there NINE years.....the editorialist writes....

"War leaves no room for the sentimental. Press the cause of Afghan women because it coincides with American interests. The tough choice comes when progress falters."

All I can say is...that is gibberish.

In summary: There is no military "mission" left inside Afghanistan. That's the truth that the Beacon dodges concerning Ambassador Eikenberry's clear warning to NOT send anymore U.S. troops into Afghanistan...none. The Soviets learned the hard way about Afghanistan.....the Soviets are no more. America, now with Obama making the mistakes, will learn the hard way too, and perhaps like the Soviets, America will cause irreparable and irreversible damage to it's Empire.

The Beacon editorialist insists he recognizes the U.S. mistakes in Vietnam, while simultaneously critiquing Obama's Afghanistan escalation. Yet, just as 60's and 70's establishment editorialists insisted that the Vietnam "mission" must go forward when there really was no "mission", so, too, today's establishment editorial writers are insisting that there is a "mission" in Afghanistan. There isn't. We need to get out.

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