"A film Joe Biden should see right away."
- Arianna Huffington
"An indispensable guide to what’s really going on in Afghanistan."
- Oliver Stone
"A wakeup call for those who still believe our military should be in Afghanistan."
- Michael Moore
The Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington gets it. Conservative columnist George Will gets it. Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) gets it. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) gets it. U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) gets it. Judge Napolitano of FOX News’ “Freedom Watch” gets it.
All of these people understand that it’s time to rethink the Afghanistan war.
It’s long past time for President Barack Obama to get it.
The deep costs of the Afghanistan war are not a matter of partisan bickering, which is remarkable given the climate in America’s politics today. When the health care reform debate degenerates into cries of “death panels” and “baby killer!” it’s incredible that a war that’s gone on for 9 years and cost us almost a thousand U.S. troops and hundreds of billions of dollars hasn’t seen similar bipartisan bickering.
But in place of the partisanship that often characterized the foreign policy debates of the previous years, we’ve seen a strange dynamic take hold. While the president’s personal popularity and great rhetorical skill keeps war support afloat, people who’ve seldom sat together on the same side of a table on a Sunday morning talk show are suddenly finding that they are not alone in their opposition to the war. In fact, they’re looking to their left and right and discovering that as they take a principled stand against a war that’s not making us safer and that’s eating away at economic health of our country, they’re joined by people they’ve often considered political opponents.
This morning on ABC News’ “This Week,” Arianna sat next to George and argued forcefully against two ABC commentators, Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson, that this war doesn’t make us safer, especially given the fact that we don’t have a reliable local partner in Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Karzai, you recall, recently pondered aloud whether the time was coming when he would join the Taliban.
We are on the brink of another major escalation of the war effort, with Congress set to fund a $30-billion-plus troop increase and assault on Taliban strongholds in Kandahar. Last week, Kandahar’s elders told President Karzai they don’t want U.S. and Afghan troops to infiltrate their homeland. Sending more troops into areas where they’re not welcome is a recipe for another season of intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan.
We need to rethink this escalation before more U.S. troops die, before more hundreds of billions of tax dollars disappear into the black hole of the Afghanistan war.
Arianna gets it. George gets it. I get it. You get it.
Does the president get it?