Editorial

Atrocities latest proof we should leave Afghanistan

Monday, March 12, 2012

The news was unbelievable.

U.S. officials were still trying to quell the riots over mistaken burning of defaced Qurans last month, when an American soldier apparently snapped, went from house to house in an Afghan village and killed 16 people, mostly women and children.

There are reports he entered three homes in all and set fire to some of the bodies. Eleven of the dead were from a single family and nine were children.

The attacker was an Army sergeant assigned to support a special operations unit of either Green Berets or Navy SEALS engaged in a village stability operation, according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity.

If the stories are true, there is certainly no excuse for his action, as there was none for the burning of the holy books, the U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban militants, or any of the other atrocities recently reported.

Neither, however, were there excuses for the six U.S. service members killed by the Afghan soldiers who were their supposed allies, nor a long list of atrocities leading back to, and beyond, the 9/11 attacks by terrorists trained and harbored by Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and even farther than that.

We need look no farther back in history than to the Soviet and British empires to rediscover that Afghanistan is a trap for invaders attempting to tame its rugged terrain and even more inhospitable culture.

Not that our service people haven't done an heroic job, given the impossible tasks they have been assigned. As one example, they've been forced to tolerate the widespread cultivation of poppies for heroin production as the country struggles to rebuild its economy, even as that benefits the Taliban.

No one can question the determination and loyalty of the young American men and women who answer the call to serve their country at the risk of their own lives.

But like the Soviets, the British, even the Mongols and Alexander the Great, we're learning that Afghanistan is a place we don't belong.

Not that we should have tolerated Afghanistan's role in the terror attacks on September 11. Those acts, and any like them in the future, demand a swift, decisive response. But such a response must be accomplished in a matter of months rather than the decade we have spent in Afghanistan.

President Obama has pledged to have American troops out of combat by mid-2013.

That date can't come soon enough.

Comments
View 2 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Daniel was only in the 'Lion Den' overnight, yet we expect our young troops to spend Months, never knowing who the Enemy is, nor, for that matter, knowing if the Afghani standing beside them, is friend or foe, as you cannot see what people think.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, Mar 12, 2012, at 3:50 PM
  • Since World War II our leaders have sent our young men to face injuries (physical and mental) and death in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan (and plenty of other places).

    Congress is supposed to declare war before we go, but they have neglected to obey that Constitutional mandate for the past 67 years, and the rest of us just went along, for the most part.

    In each instance, the goal was not to win a war that involved our nation's interests but to achieve what?

    Of all the presidential candidiates, only Ron Paul is opposing this stupidity.

    -- Posted by JohnGalt1968 on Mon, Mar 12, 2012, at 5:01 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: