Where is the Honest Debate on Afghanistan?

I know that the MSM can’t walk and chew gum at the same time despite having a 24/7 news cycle and I know that most Americans really don’t know or care all that much about foreign policy, but given that on Saturday the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in the history of the Afghan War took place, one would think that perhaps now would be a good time to ask “what are we still doing in Afghanistan?”

Nineteen elite special forces soldiers from the Navy SEALS were killed, in addition to support troops and Afghan commandos. We are now 10 years into the war and not only is there no improvement in the situation in Afghanistan, things have arguably become worse. And yet, the response from the Obama administration is that we are going to “stay the course.” I am not suggesting that because the U.S. experienced a significant loss of life, that we leave. I’m suggesting that we review the entire 10 years and demand that our leaders articulate an actual policy, including an end-game. Not once has the White House, Defense Department or State Dept. offered anything other than useless soundbites about “stabilizing the country” and “letting Al Qaeda know they have no where to hide.”

Then this past Sunday, John McCain, who seems to be a permanent resident on Meet the Press, said we really should count the first 10 years of the Afghan War:

“But the reality is,” Gregory said, “we have been at it over a decade now. The sanctuary problem has been with us the entire time.” Gregory told McCain that “there are going to be people who are watching who’ll say why are we still there?” But the Arizona Republican dismissed this, saying the war there is only really just getting started:

MCCAIN: First of all, on the ten-year thing, the fact is we have only had a surge for a couple of years now since the President announced it, as you know, at West Point. So we have had a very short time. There’s no doubt that we have had significant success particularly in the southern part of Afghanistan. The reason why I worry a lot is I’m not sure we have a sufficient number of troops for another fighting season so we can gain control in the eastern side of the country.

So, in other words, the war is only two years old and we get a do-over? What an asshole.

And as for media coverage of Afghanistan, take a look at CNN– for analysis on Afghanistan they interview a Bush official and a guy who writes terrorism thriller novels, both of whom decided to blame Iran for the Saturday attack on U.S. special forces, despite not one shred of evidence existing in support of that claim. And we wonder why Americans are so uninformed and thought that Saddam was responsible for 9/11, a misunderstanding that helped provide crucial support for Bush to initiate the Iraq War? Americans don’t know jack about foreign policy because the media interviews ideological nutcases who spout the latest neoconservative conspiracy theories.

Do yourself a favor, don’t watch the news. Instead, research the issues online and avoid the corporate media.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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One Comment on “Where is the Honest Debate on Afghanistan?”

  1. Steve Says:

    Where is an honest debate on anything in Washington DC?

    It’s funny because I was watching the news last night and they quoted a state department spokesperson saying guess what? “stay the course”- I’m not joking. They just regurgitate talking points and it’s really condescending.


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