The President will announce the findings of his yearly review of the war in Afghanistan today. I think he is lying to us. The report (all 5 pages of it) claims progress over the past year, but in the wake of a devastating intelligence report and the WikiLeaks documents, the word “progress” assumes an Orwellian connotation. If this is progress, then there is no end in sight.
Afghanistan is the longest war in American history and even the military admits that whatever progress has been made in the past 10 years, it remains “fragile and easily reversed”. “Progress” in the past year includes more Americans being killed and wounded than ever before. “Progress” means that the number of attacks on Coalition troops is greater than ever. “Progress” means more Taliban activity in more areas of the country. “Progress” means propping up a corrupt government that can control (barely) only the 3 largest cities and none of the countryside. “Progress” means spending $2 billion a week even as Karzai and his relatives are depositing millions into foreign bank accounts and shipping out more heroin than any other country in the world.
We’ve been through this before, folks, but even Viet Nam is beginning to pale in futility and lives wasted on a lie. When he was alive, Richard Holbrooke, our principal diplomat in the region regularly despaired over the corrupt and corrupting nature of the war in Afghanistan. His last words before Mr. Holbrooke died was to the effect of “end the war”. The President later claimed that Mr. Holbrooke was only “joking”, which (to me) demonstrated that he is not even making a pretense of honesty anymore.
Please write your representatives in Washington and demand an end to the war in Afghanistan.