Eight of our troops were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, the largest number of single-day American casualties in over a year.
It's time to get out of Afghanistan. President Obama needs to hear this message loudly and clearly every day from the Americans who elected him, most of whom were persuaded to vote for him (as opposed to Hillary or McCain) because he spoke of ending Bush's terror wars.
Now, according to CNN, there is a pitched debate inside the White House between those who want to escalate the war and those who want to end it.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has made no secret about his belief that the U.S. needs to send more troops now -- up to 40,000 more troops to carry out the mission in Afghanistan. Obama has yet to respond to McChrystal's report, prompting opponents to accuse him of indecisiveness.
Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and special Afghan and Pakistan envoy Richard Holbrooke also agree with McChrystal's recommendations.
Obama pressed key members of his national security team Wednesday for their views during an intense, three-hour session in a packed White House Situation Room.
CBS News reports that Vice President Biden, Rham Emanuel, and National Security Adviser Jim Jones stand in opposition to McChrystal's plan. Vice President Joe Biden supports a strategy that directly targets al Qaeda fighters who are believed to be hiding in Pakistan, rather than a general troop increase.
Which side has more influence with the President remains to be seen, but the tension between the Obama/Biden White House and the neoCon hawks in Congress and the military intensified when McChrystal spoke in London last week in harsh and hostile terms about his demand for additional troops.
McChrystal flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda. He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to "Chaos-istan". When asked whether he would support it, he said: "The short answer is: No." He then told Newsweek he was firmly against half measures in Afghanistan: "You can't hope to contain the fire by letting just half the building burn."
Somebody needs to remind McChrystal that Obama/Biden ain't Bush/Cheney. This White House will actually consider the pros and cons before throwing more of our brave young Americans into a killing machine. For a top military leader, McChrystal seems woefully ignorant about the history of Afghanistan. Have he and the chickenhawks in Congress decided to completely ignore the fact that no army in the entire pantheon of recorded history has ever defeated the Afghans? The Greeks, Indians, Persians, Mongolians, British and Russians all failed to conquer and hold Afghanistan. As famously noted -- it is where empires go to die.
And McChrystal should've learned from the Bush Crime Family's hideous failure in Iraq that you cannot win the hearts and minds of a population with carpet bombs and depleted uranium munitions. Or flesh-melting white phosphorus. The Taliban? There to stay. Given a choice the Afghans would rather accept executions under Sharia law than American occupation, terrorism, torture, rape, mutilation and devastation.
Bring the boys back home, President Obama. Do it now. Please do not send more innocents to the slaughter on either side of Bush's unwinnable terror war. It's one of the central reasons we elected you.