Saturday, November 13, 2010

Comments on War in Afganistan
Thoughtful comments on war in Afganistan

A quick review of the history: The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. The C.I.A. spent $2.1 billion to support an anti-Soviet resistance, composed predominantly of fundamentalist Muslims. One of those was Osama bin Laden. The Soviets withdrew in 1989. Per Wikipedia, "FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who has been fired from the agency for disclosing sensitive information, has claimed United States was on intimate terms with Taliban and Al-Qaeda, using them to further certain goals in Central Asia." In 1994, the Taliban had captured Kandahar; by 1996 it controlled the country.

Meanwhile, bin Laden had turned against his former patrons, and called upon the Saudis to drive the US out of the kingdom. He was the alleged mastermind behind attacks on U.S. interests. In 2001, after 9/11, the U.S. launched air strikes against Afghanistan, supposedly in order to get bin Laden. We have been at war in Afghanistan ever since.

Estimated Afghan civilian casualties due to our invasion of that country is 24,676. Estimate of casualties among Afghan combatants is 34,348. We do count our own dead meticulously: US, UK, and other coalition fatalities to date are 2204, plus 8164 seriously injured.

So, in order to avenge the deaths of 2966 Americans on 9/11, which were caused by a man our own C.I.A. financed, we have sacrificed 10,368 of our own people, and killed or seriously injured approximately 59,000 Afghans. Bin Laden is still at large. Heckuva job, my fellow countrymen

Martha Shelley
Portland, Ore.
November 13th, 2010

November 13th, 2010
2:03 am
War is a medieval anachronism that should be engaged in only when there is no alternative, when the enemy is at the gate, and the only option is to fight. War should not be a political option, waged to show that we’re unhappy with another nation’s behavior, or waged as a pretense to plunder another nation’s resources. The goals should be clear, and the objectives should be easily stated, so that we can determine if we’re “winning” or not. Fighting an amorphous enemy or some nebulous concept like “terrorism” is doomed to failure. It is remarkable that there are young people who are willing to sacrifice their lives for this country, and willing to withstand unimaginable physical and emotional pressures that may never leave them. What a waste to squander such devotion on pointless wars that have no end, or that we can’t even tell if we’re winning.

1 comment:

Anna Hampton said...

Appreciate your take on the numbers, but do take into account a more wholistic view. Try living under Shariah law - hell on earth. Righteousness was to remove the strength of Osama's network, which we've done,and break the back of the Taliban. The Afghans are a bright, beautiful, incredibly intelligent people - all of them.

Rachel, from