Do Americans, even in anxious times, prefer an optimistic leader or an angry one?
This week marks a grisly milestone in Afghanistan: The 2,000th U.S. service member has now died there.
And the pace of those deaths has increased, with Obama’s surge bringing about a surge of U.S. deaths. As the New York Times notes, it took about nine years of war to claim the first 1,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines. And it took just a little more than two years to slay the second thousand.
Just in the last week alone, nine U.S. servicemen have died at the hands of Afghan security forces who are supposed to be our allies.
President Obama needs to ask himself, as I’m sure many of our servicemen and their families are asking themselves, “Why are we over there if even our so-called friends are killing us?”
There are now more than twice as many U.S. service members in Afghanistan today than on the day George W. Bush left office.
And the ostensible reasons for keeping them just get murkier and murkier.
Osama bin Laden, after all, is dead. And he was killed not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan.
Defenders of the war say we need to stay there to keep the Taliban from coming back to power. But Karzai himself has endorsed a code of conduct by the country’s Islamic council that approves of husbands beating their wives under Sharia law.
The United States is not at war with Afghanistan for humanitarian reasons.
It is there because Afghanistan borders Iran to the West and China to the East: two countries in the Pentagon’s sights. And it is there because Afghanistan is a transport route for oil from the stans of the former Soviet Union down to the Arabian Sea.
These are the real reasons the United States is at war with Afghanistan. But these are not decent reasons for letting 2,000 U.S. service members perish.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Todd Akin Puts Paul Ryan on the Spot."
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