I ran across an old email broadside that I wrote about a year ago. So the references to September, and to George Will, are based on the fall of 2009. The post may seem a little dated and clunky, but it does express my sentiments then and now. By the way, the link to truthout.org still works well as of today, November 3. Here it is. Comments always welcome.
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On Sunday, September 6, the Truthout website ran an article about how George Will has begun to change his mind about the mideast wars. You can read the details about George's thinking at this site. There are also links to his two articles in the Washington Post, "Time to Get Out of Afghanistan," and "Time to Leave Iraq."
This prompted me to write a comment, using the nom de web "Robert of Louisville." Here is what I said.
'There may, or may not, be "just wars," but neither the Afghanistan War nor Iraq War II ever actually had a moral basis -- both were conceived as parts of a strategic chess game, with the lives of ordinary people considered as pawns -- as expendable as a cheap line in a news article, or ten minutes of cheap prestige on a talk show. And that -- the lack of moral basis -- has always been the core problem, even when the "defend our freedoms" propaganda was running high. This was blindingly obvious to many of us as early as 2001, and earlier. If mature, adult people can't see and admit this -- and apparently George Will couldn't -- then they forfeit my trust and good will, whatever that is worth. I wouldn't trust George's judgment for advising members of my family on any important subject, and I don't trust him for the welfare of the nation or the world, then or now. And that goes for anybody else who tries to explain away, or spin, or "make nice" about what is happening in these killing fields, and has been happening for eight long years.'
By the way, I got to meet and talk to Cindy Sheehan (famous for Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas) on two occasions this week. She was in Louisville, speaking her usual anti-war talk (which I, for one, appreciate) in small venues -- once in a neighborhood meeting house with about 40 of us, and once in a neighborhood bar, with about 25 of us. I gave her a copy of Wendell Berry's book, Citizenship Papers, which had been of great encouragement to me.
Interestingly, there is a news article today informing us that our new top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, who has been charged by the President with developing a new strategy for "winning" there, has stated that
'he sees no signs of a major al-Qaida presence in the country'
nevertheless, he is apparently going to develop new plans and new requests for troops, logistics, etc., as the article goes on to say that the good general . . .
'said at the time that success in Afghanistan "is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort." '
Wasn't our supposed purpose in Afghanistan to find and defeat Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida?? Why are we trying to kill or subdue or control anybody else?
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I didn't get much comment. Well, actually, I got hardly any. Folks are busy these days, commenting about more important political stuff. Like deficits; bailouts; Wall Street; healthcare. You know: pocketbook issues.