So when did we start speaking of Afghanistan as though it were Iraq?
I seem to recall that the people who wanted us out of Iraq, until very recently were saying:
- Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan is the must-win war.
- Afghanistan is the place that harbored Osama bin Laden and others responsible for 9/11.
- It’s horrible the way we have neglected our commitments there (to spend resources on Iraq).
I mean, Barack Obama, who during the campaign would tell anyone who would listen how HE was the guy who had been against our involvement in Iraq from the beginning, was also one of the most aggressively belligerent U.S. politicians when it came to Afghanistan, and to the al Qaeda hideouts across the border in Pakistan.
And when he came into office, it looked like he was going to follow through. Not only that, it appeared that he was going to be sensible about our Iraq commitments, which was very reassuring.
Now, I read with horror this piece today in The State:
On Monday, McChrystal sent his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan to the Pentagon, the U.S. Central Command, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and NATO. Although the assessment didn’t include any request for more troops, senior military officials said they expect McChrystal later in September to seek between 21,000 and 45,000 more troops. There currently are 62,000 American troops in Afghanistan.
However, administration officials said that amid rising violence and casualties, polls that show a majority of Americans now think the war in Afghanistan isn’t worth fighting. With tough battles ahead on health care, the budget and other issues, Vice President Joe Biden and other officials are increasingly anxious about how the American public would respond to sending additional troops…
Say what? We’ve got our finger in the wind on Afghanistan now? We’re checking the polls to see if we’re going to fight the freaking Taliban, the guys who coddled Osama while he was dreaming up the Big One?
What is wrong with this country? And does a country that would let things come to this pass deserve to survive, in evolutionary terms? Apart from standing up and fighting for what is right and against what is demonstrably not only wrong but horrifically so, are we truly not willing to fight against those who would like to see us dead? What sort of organism, or social structure, gives up to that extent?