June Deadliest Month for Afghanistan

Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010 03:43 PM

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The month of June was the deadliest yet with 102 deaths, the highest since the war began nine years ago.

The war is supported by the Republican leadership, with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the lead. They denounced the Republican National Chairman, Michael Steele, for referring to the war as “not winnable” and a war of “Obama’s choosing.”

President Obama, by increasing the number of our troops in Afghanistan and making it clear that we are not committed to withdrawing beginning with July 2011, is deepening our involvement in a war we can’t win. If the Taliban were to surrender today, President Karzai would welcome them into his cabinet, just as he is doing now while we are losing.

Dexter Filkins of The New York Times reported on July 5, “Almost every phase of the war is going badly. In June, 102 Americans and NATO troops lost their lives, more than any month since the war began. The major offensive in Kandahar, the most important city in the Taliban heartland, has been slowed because of worries over the lack of local support.

The Afghan government and army show few signs of being able or even willing to take over. In the United States, public opinion polls show that a majority of Americans have turned against the war.”

General Petraeus, on assuming command, told “Afghan leaders and American and NATO officers at a ceremony here . . . we are in this to win.” He also told them, according to the Times, “success here would be likely to take much longer than the July 2011 date set by President Obama to begin a withdrawal of American forces.”

If we wait for the Karzai Afghan army to be ready to take over the security of their own country, we are waiting for Godot, and we will never leave.

Surely, at this point, we have given enough blood, lives, and treasure to achieve the unachievable. Our soldiers have suffered enough for that unattainable goal, which some American military experts have estimated would take 10 to 15 more years of war to achieve.

I believe it cannot be achieved because when we leave, whether now or 15 years from now, Afghanistan will become a satellite of Iran, which has a Shiite majority.

When we leave Iraq next year as promised, its Shiite majority will ensure that it, too, will become a satellite of Iran.

The Shiites and Sunnis — divisions of Islam — have been killing one another from time immemorial. Since we invaded Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Shiite and Sunni civilians have been blown up by one another as a result of their 1,300-year-old religious war.

Are we to sacrifice our young soldiers in a fruitless effort to restrain this religious warfare? Mr. President, admit error or declare victory and bring our troops home.

Those Americans who have concluded the war is undermining our security rather than protecting it, raise your voices so Washington hears them. The antiwar activists should focus their efforts on a march on Washington.

We have sacrificed enough dead, wounded, and treasure in a failed cause. Enough is enough.



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