President Obama has ordered a surge of 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. This is such a crushing disappointment to those of us who voted for him in part because we thought he would stop this sort of madness. Yes, he always said the real war was in Afghanistan, not Iraq. And he was correct about that. But this "war" in Afghanistan is not winnable, and it is folly to go down this path.In his column in this morning's New York Times, Bob Herbert makes an argument that I strongly endorse. He says that with this troop surge, Obama has taken the easy way out.
It would have been much more difficult for Mr. Obama to look this troubled nation in the eye and explain why it is in our best interest to begin winding down the permanent state of warfare left to us by the Bush and Cheney regime. It would have taken real courage for the commander in chief to stop feeding our young troops into the relentless meat grinder of Afghanistan, to face up to the terrible toll the war is taking — on the troops themselves and in very insidious ways on the nation as a whole.Herbert is correct. This is lunacy. Obama is following the path of cowardice that has seduced so many of our presidents before him. Herbert quotes Dwight Eisenhower:
I hate war, as only a soldier who has lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. . . . Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.That was a Republican president talking!
What is Obama doing?! What a shame. What a loss. What a disappointment. Read Herbert's column.
And it seems like a good time to listen to Phil Ochs: "I Ain't Marching Any More"