I am talking about Afghanistan, a subject many people might be sick of hearing about in recent days. As a New Yorker when our icons were attacked and destroyed I was devastated; how could this happen here? I was one of the lucky ones, I, nor anyone I knew died. We were living in Battery Park City at the time and weren’t able to go home for 2 weeks; a minor inconvenience – although extremely unsettling. When President Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum to turn over Osama bin Laden or face the consequences we were all behind the President 100%. When we went to war and over threw the Taliban and sent Osama et al into their caves it was a proud moment for America. We had been brutally attacked and now we were showing the world don’t ever mess with us. This is where things started going terribly wrong. We took our eyes off of Afghanistan and headed to Iraq. Between 2003 and 2009, when Obama came into office no one really knows what was going on in Afghanistan, most of the reporting was on Iraq.
Fast forward to present day, we are told we are staying in Afghanistan until its military is able to protect its citizens (2014) and until we are sure al Qaeda can never come back. Both of these conditions are preposterous. I don’t believe the Afghan army will every be able to protect its country; and al Qaeda is everywhere, even in the United States. As an American the outrage over the burnings of the Koran’s enraged me. All of that energy used for the protest, all of that momentum, all of the standing together to unite against us – seeing that made me ask, why aren’t they this passionate about their own country, their own government, living life the way they want to? As I recently said, we can’t want freedom and democracy for the them more than they want it for themselves.
Our goals are unattainable unless we want to be there another 50 years. We have an unwilling partner in the Afghan people to stand up for themselves. Vice President Joe Biden, from reports I have heard, not personal conversations, was right. We should change our mission there, the mission should be counter terrorism only. If al Qaeda comes back use the drones to defeat them. Its time this decade long endeavor comes to an end.