Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Is Afghanistan A 'Good War?' Topic On Paltalk
When he was campaigning and even after he was elected I was with President Obama on the wars. Iraq: Bad. Afghanistan: Good. But now, I'm not so sure.
I liked his promise to pull out of Iraq, "Mission Accomplished" as declared by President Bush on an aircraft carrier or not. I also agreed that Afghanistan was just because we were in pursuit of Osama bin Laden. And as one who watched as the Twin Towers collapsed before my very eyes snuffing out so many lives - I wanted bin Laden brought to justice.
There has been a reduction of troops in Iraq - but a leisurely one - one that follows the timetable set by President Bush.
And the mission in Afghanistan seems to be changing all the time. I see us no closer to catching bin Laden (who probably is in Pakistan anyway). And I'm hearing the commanders in Afghanistan saying they need more troops. I get flashbacks to President Bush entrenching us deeper into Iraq long after the mission - or missions or current mission at that moment - was done.
I know that some Republicans who blindly followed Bush believe that Obama is the Devil incarnate and that many Democrats believe Obama is the anti-Bush. But I've got to say that - when it comes to being commander-in-chief - I'm not seeing much difference between the two.
And what's with this symbiotic relationship with bin Laden?
Before you say I've gone off the deep end - let me suggest that it could be that bin Laden actually relishes the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Why else would he taunt the president as he did on the eighth anniversary of 9/11. It's almost as though he was calling him out to fight. You know, the way middle school students do before meeting at the bike racks to duke it out after school. And with about the same degree of maturity.
Bin Laden needs America as a sworn enemy to keep his devout believers in line. America needs bin Laden as one to justify the military action in Afghanistan which - if the truth were really told - probably has little really to do with catching bin Laden.
Joining me on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com at 5 PM New York time this Friday September 18 to discuss all this will be award-winning foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer. A former New York Times bureau chief in Nicaragua, Bonn and Istanbul, Kinzer is featured in Rethink Afghanistan, a video project of Brave New Films.