Tuesday, December 1, 2009
When Nothing Works
I missed this original PBS broadcast Monday night on what various Colorado Springs communities thought of the Afghanistan troop expansion, but I participated in this downtown action Tuesday night. It's true that a simple cut and run sounds too much like the British and Russian leaders at the turn of the last century, when they abandoned their "Great Game" in Afghanistan and just let the Pashtun tribes alone. Obama was right in saying that the Pashtuns, left alone, already have demonstrated that they don't want to leave global Salafist practices behind.
But what is better? Joe Biden's counter-terror strategy, where troops are replaced by attack drones, and the U.S. perfects "death at a distance"? A McChrystal surge, which may have an expiration date of summer 2011, but feels like an open-ended police action? One thing we hear consistently from the likes of Medea Benjamin, Dahr Jamail, and Naomi Klein, is that the U.S. always overestimates its ability to determine the futures of others, in any event. As the soldier in the PBS video says, we have not yet perfected a way to force people to change their minds. And combat jihad will live on.