Our nation is facing numerous dilemmas including, but not limited to:
-- how best to provide all our citizens health care while reducing the system's overall costs.
-- how best to extricate our nation's military troops from Afghanistan while successfully combating terrorism and reducing war's overall costs.
A lively discussion on these topics has been taking place at "Rainy Day Thoughts." I have periodically been contributing comments of my own there. A recent post there, "Health Care or Afghanistan" with the most recent one focused on the issue of U.S. military troops in Afghanistan. I wrote at such length as I sometimes am prone to do in comments on others blogs, I concluded I should probably just post these thoughts here.
The Taliban is not going away. They will regroup as they always have for generations. An American citizen former Afghan in our community explained the history of that group soon after we attacked Iraq.
I came to conclude he understood the situation better than any U.S. government officials, so-called experts and others that I've ever heard expound on the subject. He explained the history of the whole region and that of the Taliban's coming into being -- how their strength has always ebbed and flowed.
His grandfather was, reportedly, a highly respected War Lord compared to some of lesser repute. His father served in the Afghan government. When the Russians came into the country this now-former Afghan was allowed to attend the Afghan Air Force Academy, later trained in Russia. Then Russia was eventually replaced with the U.S. This now-pilot was brought to this country to train, then U.S. pulled out of Afghan. He stayed on becoming an American citizen, eventually successful businessman in our community.
He described how the Taliban has always stepped in to establish order with many Afghan people welcoming them as the lesser of evils -- when the country repeatedly disintegrates into chaos vs some sort of structure, and/or they are faced with "occupiers" of their country and they unite to eject them as they did the Russians.
This former-Afghan has just gone to Afghanistan for a year ostensibly to establish a business per a recent article in our local paper (available in the Claremont Courier recent archives with a fee or subscription.)
We can't undo the failure of the previous administration to aggressively go after Bin Laden in Afghanistan. They seemed too busy with avenging Saddam's years earlier attack on our then-President's daddy (who was our President during the Kuwait War.) They created a nightmare based on lies, betrayed this countries ideals based on the false premise of defending our nation, and have blood on their hands. Maybe we would ultimately have had to attack Iraq from Afghanistan, but we'll never know. We do know not enough focus was placed on capturing Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Pakistan was then and increasingly is now a problem.
Meanwhile, Bin Laden must be laughing in his lair at how our countries leaders fell into his trap and our nation has reaped greater inner destruction than his wildest dreams.
We have a true "catch 22" with Afghanistan and whatever choice we make will not be the correct one. Meanwhile the blood of our young people flows as does that of many innocent Afghanistan people.