John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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The Good War

Posted on March 12, 2012



            Presidential candidate Barack Obama distinguished between the good war (the one in Afghanistan) and the bad war (the one in Iraq).

 

It is time to end the good war.

 

The latest massacre, coupled with the bogus yet dangerous protests over the burning of the Koran, only underscore what a majority of the American people have been feeling for a while now.  Afghanistan is unfixable.

 

The problem in pulling out now, of course, comes with the perceptions.

 

If we leave, does it give the religious extremists a huge victory?  Does that perception bleed over into Pakistan, and threaten whatever moderate forces are left in that nuclear-armed country?

 

I don’t know.  I am not an expert.

 

But I do know that we have long passed the point of diminishing returns.  Every dollar we put into Afghanistan gains us less and less results.  I am pretty certain that folks on the ground would disagree with my assessment, based on political perception and conjecture.  But I don’t care.

 

We aren’t going to bring civilization to Afghanistan.  They don’t want western civilization.  They don’t want our brand of democracy.  They don’t want our lecturing.  They don’t want our culture.  They don’t want our troops.

 

They want our money, certainly, but doesn’t everybody?  And guess what, we don’t have as much as we used to.

 

I never thought Afghanistan was worth the time and effort we put into it.   If there was a rationale for staying, it might have been to finally, once and for all, get Osama Bin Laden.

 

And as I recall, we killed Bin Laden a while ago.

 

Which means that it is time to go.

 

Hamid Karzai wants us to go. At least, he doesn’t want us to stay.  Yes, he wants our money, but he doesn’t want us to burn Korans accidently, slaughter his people periodically, or bomb civilians accidently.  Nor does he want us to crack down on corruption that might implicate some members of his family.

 

We left Iraq too soon, and it is suffering as a result.  But, guess what?  No Americans are getting killed there these days, and in the narrow prism of our own self-interest, that is a pretty good indicator that it was the right decision, despite the instability.

 

Let’s get out of Afghanistan.  The American people want us out, the Afghani people want us out, and after that, who else matters?

 

It is time to end the good war.