Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Dear Barack,

I read today in The New York Times a report by Helene Cooper and Thom Shanker saying that your administration is elevating war over diplomacy in Afghanistan.

This is a major mistake. Don't do it! To extend American involvement in war in Afghanistan is to commit the United States to an intractable problem that cannot be solved by tanks and guns. Many others including Senator McGovern have urged you to declare a moratorium on war for at least five years. This is the right path.

There is no American interest in pacifying the Taliban with American military might. It was not the Taliban who flew commercial jets into American buildings in 2001. Taliban are not planning to attack the U.S. If they choose to pursue their own life style that is drawn wholesale from the Middle Ages, it clashes with American modern culture, but so be it. Don't enlarge the war or send in another 30,000 American troops to try to effect cultural change.

Talk with Taliban leaders. Use diplomacy to try to prevent Taliban from supporting jihadist Arab anti-Western insurgents. Make any attempt to capture Al Qaeda adherents a police action, not an objective of war.

Roberto Antonio Hussein in Utah

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