Afghanistan: Why Don’t We Care About This?

OK. I had an enjoyable Thanksgiving: belly full of bird and booze. And I guess since I’m up at 3 a.m. I should be doing something righteous for the economy — like working my way into the queue for the mad dash into the stores on Black Friday.

Instead, I’m sitting here — a pajama-clad citizen journalist — fretting about the war in Afghanisan. Admittedly, I’m losing it. And is this war something that anyone in this country cares about or even thinks about these days?

We should. The adventure in Afghanistan is now the longest war in American history. And there ain’t no light at the end of the tunnel — despite the heroic efforts of our men and women in the military.

Here’s from an interesting and insightful NYT Op-Ed by Robert Wright, “Worse Than Vietnam“:

You have to give the people at Al Qaeda this much: They plan ahead. And they stick with their goals. If bombing the U.S.S. Cole failed to get American troops mired in Afghanistan, maybe 9/11 would do the trick?

You might say. Last week at the NATO summit President Obama pushed the light at the end of the tunnel further down the tracks. By the end of 2014, he now tells us, American combat operations in Afghanistan will cease.

It’s not as if we need those four years to set any records. At just over nine years of age, this war is already the longest in American history. And this Saturday we’ll eclipse the Soviet Union’s misadventure in Afghanistan; the Soviets brought their own personal Vietnam to an end after nine years and seven weeks.

Is Afghanistan, as some people say, America’s second Vietnam? Actually, a point-by-point comparison of the two wars suggests that it’s worse than that.

The Soviets, like every other country in history that has invaded Afghanistan, eventually got its lunch eaten. Shouldn’t we be worried — or at least care — that we are now standing in line at the same delicatessen?

By the way, I gained this perspective on Afghanistan by reading Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile, a writer and producer with CBS News. Read the book and you’ll understand why no country — including the Soviet Union — goes into Afghanistan and comes out a winner.

That’s reality.

And don’t rent the movie by the same name and starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The reality facing our military — men, women and their families — isn’t as funny as that movie made it out to be.

By the way, as promised here a few posts ago, I managed to irritate and agitate everyone during Thanksgiving dinner with my endorsement of Sarah Palin and my lament that Bristol got the shaft on Dancing With the Stars.

Probably would have been better off and saved considerable emotional angst and personal attacks that questioned my sanity by talking about the war in Afghanistan.

Nobody cares about that.


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