Mr. President – Concerning Afghanistan, Ask Someone Who Knows

I make absolutely no excuses for voting for the current President. I believe that if John McCain had become the top executive, we would be further embroiled in an inexcusable, unwinnable war.

The President is a learned man, which is why I thought we could trust him to correctly interpret what has occurred in Afghanistan over the last few hundred years, and get the U.S. forces out of there.

History tells us that this is a country so inhospitable that only those stuck there, with no other options, will live there, and that the indigenous peoples are very tough, made more so by the many wars that region has been involved in.

In short, the British could not subdue the area, the neighbors in Pakistan could not do it, and the mighty Soviet Army went home after a few years of being soundly trounced (much of it because of our weapons).

Unfortunately, lots of those weapons are still there, now being used against us. What’s more, when more weapons are needed there always seems to be money for them, and a willing seller.

This morning on Bloomberg.com, the last President of the Soviet union, Mikhail Gorbachev, stated that the best most efficacious thing to do would be to get the hell out now.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, drawing on his experience of military failure in Afghanistan in the 1980s, said the U.S. can’t win the conflict there and should begin pulling out its soldiers.

Afghanistan, where U.S. and NATO forces are battling a Taliban-led insurgency, is too fragmented between clans to be controlled militarily, Gorbachev, 78, said in an interview today in Berlin. While he said President Barack Obama would be unlikely to take his advice, Gorbachev said he saw no chance of success even with more U.S. troops.

“I believe that there is no prospect of a military solution,” Gorbachev said in Russian through a translator. “What we need is the reconciliation of Afghan society — and they should be preparing the ground for withdrawal rather than additional troops.”

Gorbachev, who became general secretary of the ruling Communist Party in 1985, at age 54, initiated a restructuring program known as perestroika that eventually led to the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. He spoke a day after he joined Chancellor Angela Merkel and current world leaders in the German capital to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago.

As Soviet leader, Gorbachev pursued a policy of detente with the U.S. while overseeing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 1989 after grappling with an unsuccessful decade- long presence in the country.

By sending in more troops, we are designing our own little 21st century Vietnam. The difference with Vietnam was that we went there because of allegiance to a treaty that was signed. In Afghanistan, we have no reason to be there, becuase, try as they might, the military can’t seem to find a nearly six-and-a-half foot Saudi, who needs dialysis frequently. Though this invites many jokes, it is not funny in the least.

We simply don’t need to be there. Trying to recruit and train these people to be a working military unit is getting to be like teaching a pig to sing. Worse still is the losses we are accruing without any real reason.

So, Mr. President, do some re-reading of history, talk to Mr. Gorbachev, and pray. I’m sure you will see the way out of this, and it does not include sending more troops to be shot at,  or supplies to be stolen by the bad guys.

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