Sunday, November 29, 2009

Escalate in Afghanistan?

I have been a great fan of author James Michener since I was about fourteen -- that's fifty years of reading and re-reading but who's counting? I loved the wonderful, well-researched lessons in history, culture, and geography that he taught in his novels as he wove "can't put it down" story after story of people and places both here and abroad.

And it's one of his novels that is very much on my mind these days and it causes me to look askance -- to put it mildly -- at President Obama's plan to increase our presence in Afghanistan.

Published in 1962, Caravans gives an excellent perspective of post WWII Afghanistan. It is, even now, a nation that holds tightly to its old ways. Change comes at a snail's pace. Tribal infighting and haggling for power among the varied Islamic sects are the norm and women and children are still chattels. The 21st century hasn't taken a foothold there.

This country has been in a state of civil war since the 1970s. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and and spent nearly 10 years fighting there to no avail.
I would think that there would be a lesson for our leaders in that. These people don't appear to want change or freedom.

So why are we investing our money and our sons' and daughters' lives there? Ask your Congressman. I may be over-simplifying but the bottom line is that we can't afford to keep playing policeman to the world when there are pressing issues here at home.

Just my take.

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!



  1. I agree so totally. And Afghanistan was the one place over there where we had even a semblance of a reason since that is where Al Qaeda was based and where the government of the time, the Taliban, protected them. But I have thought that we should have decapitated the Taliban and Al Qaeda and then left them to clean up the mess. Instead we stuck around and became embroiled (with much less (read that NO) legitimacy, in Iraq as well. We should ask our elected leaders, especially the Republican sort, a question on character in one of my favorite fluff movies asked another: Is your head up your ass for the warmth??

  2. What angers me about Afghanistan is the support to the bankrupt and corrupt leader that Karzai is.

    It looks like there was a huge blunder in 2001 when Bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora. If more troops had been used then maybe Bin Laden may have been caught or killed. I wonder how things would have turned out

    We will never know

  3. I agree with you 100%

    This is so much like 'nam. Our experts said don't go, that even the french couldn't defeat these guys but we went. Now, its the same story only a differant country!

    Something else is behind this and I for one, do not like it!

    So, I will step down from my soap box for now :) and wish you a happy week. Forgot to say, Good Post!

  4. Right on Kay! Afghanistan has always been the graveyard of armies .Just ask the Moguls, the British, the Russians and soon NATO and the Americans. Ol Alex the Great was the only foreigner to make any impression on the tribes so they named the city of Kandahar in his honor.

  5. "The 21st century hasn't taken a foothold there."

    I'm not even sure they are in the 20th century!

    I strongly believe we should end our involvement there as fast as we can put our troops on the planes.

    And think of all the good we could be doing here at home with the BILLIONS we spend every week in a country that we have no hope of seeing be a democracy (seems we've totally forgotten that a democracy needs to come from the people of the country itself!)

    as for the whole administration, I am very disappointed --- Obama's failure to bring those troops home makes it HIS war in my mind --- this is not change I can believe in

  6. From what I've read, we can't get out easily. I wish we could though. Iraq and Afghanistan has been so mismanaged. When you think about the amount of money and lives that have been lost in this cause it's really depressing.

  7. I agree totally! It makes me sick to think of how many more billions we'll spend and how many more lives will be lost and we'll wind up leaving eventually anyway. But nobody asks me. I suspect lots of people feel the same way.

  8. Morally I agree with you, Kay, but having just watched Obama, I think he's between a rock and hard place. Sigh.


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