Afghanistan is the war that America doesn’t want, but will never end. So why aren’t more people outraged? Where are the protests? Where is the heated debate in Congress? Americans should be as frustrated with the lack of organized dissent as they are with the war that never ends. I know they are frustrated with the war: Polls show two-thirds of Americans want the troops to come home now. So where is their voice?
On cable news, all we hear is a debate over whether President Obama’s trip to Afghanistan was just a glorified campaign stop. WHO CARES? Let it go. Every President uses the poet of the office in a campaign. The argument over this silliness just masks the real issue.
When I watched the President’s address from the Bagram Air Base, this is all I heard: “Blah, blah, blah, blah … We are in Afghanistan for 10 more years.”
Candidate Barack Obama promised we would be out of Afghanistan by last summer. That didn’t happen. Then, we were promised by President Obama we would be out by the end of 2014. Now we are told that isn’t going to happen either.
The President did say that the “war” would still be over by the end of next year, with an undetermined number of American troops still in Afghanistan for support. But the caveats he listed make even the semantics of that promise improbable if not impossible.
The Afghan security forces would need to be ready to stand on their own; America would have to negotiate a peace agreement with the Taliban; and we would need to get support from Pakistan. Yeah, good luck with that.
The truth is no president, including President Obama, wants to watch (on CNN) the carnage that will happen when we withdraw, as terrorists and insurgents fill the vacuum.
We are never leaving. That’s the hard truth. That’s why the President was ambiguous about troop levels at the end of next year, because we will be there in force. When the President was sworn in to office, there were 33,000 American troops in Afghanistan; there will be more than that when and if “the war ends” at the end of next year.
Even more infuriating is that we will have to pay for the privilege of keeping Afghanistan from collapsing into civil war and keeping Afghan President Hamid Karzai from being beheaded. We will pay Karzai and his corrupt government billions. We will pay the Pakistan government billions. We will continue to pay the Afghan warlords who run the poppy fields and really run the country. And, you can bet, we will pay the Taliban as part of the peace accord. At a time of record deficits in this country and a faltering economy in this country, the policy is, in a word, insane.
So why are their no anti-war protestors? Because they are all Democrats and don’t want to embarrass the President. Why aren’t the Republicans bashing the President over this policy? Because most are defense hawks and agree with him. In fact, many would like to see more troops. Why isn’t the media all over this? Because it is spoon-fed the issues of the day by the political parties, and when both parties agree, there is no coverage. It matters not that Americans are suffering and dying, the media, for the most part, has devolved into covering what the political parties tell them to cover.
It is frustrating that few in the media heard what I heard the President say the other night. My son Michael is eight years old and in second grade. When he is in college, we will still be in Afghanistan. That’s what I heard.