principles... of American freedom and... capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies...Gee, I wonder what kind of government they would like to see in Afghanistan? I wonder if it would involve Walmart and McDonald's, not to mention Shell Oil? I wonder why the Times does not identify it as a "conservative" think tank? In fact, the only person who did not say something overly Hawkish was Merrill McPeak, chief of staff of the Air Force from 1991-1994, who pointed out:
In time, democracies tire of war, as well they should. Thus, the single most important factor... (for) the outcome in Afghanistan may be determined already, simply because we’ve been there for eight years. The strategic center of gravity is American public opinion, which will tell us when we’ve run out of time. If you want to know how we are doing in Afghanistan, read the polls in America.Op-Ed Contributors - 10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com. The super hawk Op-Ed editors print this utter and complete war propaganda even as the NY Times reporters in Afghanistan tell us of another bold attack by the Taliban that left US soldiers (and Afghan police) dead. They print their hawkish positions even as polls show the majority of Americans do not support continuing the war in Afghanistan and oppose any increase in US troops there. Of course, President Obama, despite campaign promises, is no longer considering withdrawal from Afghanistan as an option either. According to an AP story,
full, immediate withdrawal of American forces does not appear to be in the cards... Obama said: "If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al-Qaida would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people."What Obama isn't saying, what the Times refuses to print in the pages of its Op-Ed section, is that many "experts" not only support ending the war, but believe only by the US withdrawing from the region is stability possible. Stephen Holmes at NYU Law recently published a piece arguing that a close look at General McChrystal's call for more troops reveals that in fact more troops won't solve the problems that McChrystal himself outlines (i.e. corruption, lack of trust in government, etc.). Even ultra-conservative George Will is arguing for fewer troops, not more. So why can't the Times imagine that the best strategy is an exit strategy? Why are we fed the same lies from the right-wing Fox News and the supposedly liberal Times? Why do they continue to insist that we have "no choice" and that we must "win." Why can't they imagine a US policy based on peace rather than war? A variety of peace groups, including Peace and Justice and CodePINK, are asking Congress to support HR 2404, a bill that would require the Obama administration to submit an exit strategy for Afghanistan by December 31, 2009. In addition to a timely exit, these groups are calling on Congress to redirect funding to humanitarian projects for access to clean water and literacy and health, projects to be led by the Afghan people. Imagine that. Imagine peace.