Friday, March 27, 2009


Pres. Barack Obama is making a huge mistake committing troops to Afghanistan. Yes, that country is still mired in the 8th Century, with women rarely seen on the streets and with the rule of law practically non-existent in the face of Islamic

So what role does the U.S. have fighting over there. Obama says he wants to rid Afghanistan and Pakistan of members of Al Qaeda. But Al Qaeda is composed of ordinary Afghanis and Pakis, young men barely in their twenties who have committed to Islam in the most fundamental way. There is no possibility that the U.S. and Obama are going to defeat those guys by force of arms or warplanes or tanks or special forces raids.

That's what I don't understand about Obama's move. I thought he was more committed to the use of America's soft power. Apparently he still believes in force of arms. Hasn't anybody ever told him the dirty little secret? - that military action never works, unless to create hatred and animosity that will last many generations if not hundreds of years in the minds of the invaded and occupied towards the invader and occupier.

I agree with Obama on this, that the U.S. should help build Afghanistan's schools, roads, bridges, hospitals, highways. That the U.S. should help train and outfit a rule of law police force that will keep public peace and welfare.

But I disagree with seeing the Al Qaeda problem as solvable by military means. Killing Al Qaeda adherents will have no beneficial effect. Shooting Afghan women and children by mistake will not make the U.S. safer, but just the opposite. Conducting special forces raids at 2 AM just reinforces the notion already in the hearts and minds of most Afghanis that the U.S. is a cruel and dishonorable people and nation that Afghans of all ages must repel and destroy.

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