Susan Stamper Brown is a motivational speaker and military advocate and can be reached at email@example.com or at www.susanstamperbrown.com
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Please permit me to elaborate;
Bush invading Afghanistan = BAD
Obama continuing to occupy Afghanistan = GOOD but America is bad
Oh my! Now wdngas and I agree. We all agree that going into Afghanistan on a mission of Nation Building [counter-insurgency] was fool hearty and that now the only mission capable of credible pursuit is counter-terrorism. It's long since past time to withdraw. Obama has sufficient courage [guts] to order the counter-terrorism strike force in on May 1st but now needs to muster sufficient courage to order Petraus's counter-insurgency troops out. Mark my words. When withdrawals commence late this summer McCain will begin hooping and hollering. Ms. Brown, why don't you enlist for Afthanistan? Slabside, are you joking? Staying in Afghanistan is good?
Obama continuing to occupy Afghanistan = BAD
at a cost of 2 billion per week...
Obama continuing to occupy Afghanistan = GOOD
Ms. Brown needs to ask herself the question "Why does the Taliban hate us?" then get some clues as to the multiple answers. 1st, we are an invading force, a foreign occupier, one who saw to the election of our hand picked president. 2nd, in our efforts to defeat the major political force in what has been, is and likely always will be a system of loosely affiliated tribes, we act as if we, not our hand picked president, is in charge. 3rd, we target the local Taliban forces very loosely, causing countless "collateral damage," the euphemism for deaths and injuries of innocent non-combatant civilians, many being women and children.
Her "good news from Afghanistan" just does not offset any of this bad news. And all of the good intentions in the world do not make it right! When Karzai finally does tell us to leave, he having to make his own arrangements to leave first, we had better cut and run. Those we leave behind will suffer. That will be our fault, too.
Ms. Brown is a naive "Nation builder." And Nation building is just another form of empire building. We get to choose what happens, not the nation we would build.
I believe the author is even more off the mark than usual. Disagreeing with a political system or the way a society treats its own people is not a good enough reason for invading it or we would have to invade half the countries we do business with. And, yes we did invade Afghanistan. People have been invading Afghanistan for centuries and Afghanis have always managed to resist. They consider us another uninvited guest. Some make money off of us. Some use us to keep them in power. All consider us invaders.
We originally invaded Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from providing safe haven to al Qaeda, then we got into nation building. Remember who got us there? Who thinks of this as a modern crusade? Who are our empire builders? Who wants to be sure China and Russia don’t get to the lithium deposits first?
If we’re not there to kill Taliban (the religious crusade reason) and not there to kill bin Laden (the completed political objective reason) and we’re not there to make our rich and powerful, richer and more powerful (the empire building reason), why are we there? We don’t need to keep 100,000 soldiers in a country just to ensure that our unwilling hosts have a supply of soda pop and a few token graduates. Susan Stamper Brown needs to look a little farther than selected survey results and listening to a taped pep talk from a previous first lady.
Ms. Brown quotes Tolkien: "By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are... It is only a passing thing, this shadow... A new day will come... There's some good in this world... and it's worth fighting for." What is it in Afghanistan that we’re still fighting (and dying) for?
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