Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Well, for once I agree. The Afghanistan situation is not one in which we can prevail in any other fashion. The enemy we are fighting is not the enemy we attacked in the first place, and is not the enemy who attacked us on 9/11.

We now present ourselves to Afghans and the world as an occupying army. They are reacting as we would, were the situation reversed.

So why risk the lives of more of our sons and daughters, fighting an unwinnable war and maintaining one of the most corrupt governments on the planet? Bring home our boys as quickly and safely as is possible, and let Karzai stand or fall on his own.

Steven Bradley

Lakewood, CO

Nov 30 2009 - 4:16pm

Web Letter

A speech like this letter from our president would exemplify the reason why so many Americans voted for Mr.Obama. This is what we thought he would say, this is how we thought he would treat Afghanistan, not turn around and send thousands more troops there.

A speech from the president with the points listed in this letter would tell the American people that he meant what he said while on the campaign trail and that he intended to uphold those promises.

It appears that in the short time that Mr. Obama has been president, he has totally changed his politics, that he has become part of the Washington establishment instead of changing it as he once proposed doing.

Patricia Myers

Bend, OR

Nov 30 2009 - 3:11pm

Web Letter

You're correct, he won't give this speech, because it's not his decision to make. Do you really think Obama's in charge? He and all of the other presidents, since 1910, have been told what to do by the international bankers who own the Federal Reserve and all the central banks around the globe.

Ask yourself why there's been absolutely no change in any policies from the Bush administration. He's even backed off of "don't ask, don't tell." Obama continued the bailout of the banks, he's reneged on the Patriot Act, he's continued the landmine policy of Bush. He's done absolutely nothing about creating jobs, and now with all the billions of dollars spent on the wars, he claims he wants to reduce the federal deficit. How does on do that?

Stop and think, for just one minute. Why would anyone with sincere intentions of fixing the economy appoint Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers to major posts in his cabinet? Those two guys, along with Robert Rubin and "the wizard," Alan Greenspan, started this snowball rolling in 1999, when they were under Clinton. Summers convinced Clinton to get Congress to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, and Geithner was the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The foxes are back in the henhouse.

The only change Obama has accomplished is to ramp up the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that's do to orders from his handlers. I don't mean his political handlers.

For the sake of this country, please wake up and realize this is not about politics, it's about the New World Order and the return to feudalism.

Charles Lingenfelser

Brandon, MS

Nov 30 2009 - 2:29pm

Web Letter

Sorry if I disrupt anyone's pipedream, but the reality of the situation is that liberal Democrats are offering things like a "war tax" (Congressman Obey) and military conscription (Congressman Rangel and Bill Moyers, no less!) as a way of "spreading the pain" of the immoral and unjust war foreign policy. And how will this kind of barrel-of-the-gun-America-is-always-right serve the people of Afghanistan and Iraq?

Well, it will probably ensure a much much longer war and occupation... Until the very foundations of these wars are challenged, there's no hope for policy reversal.

e. b. bortz

Pittsburgh, PA

Nov 30 2009 - 11:23am

Web Letter

What would such a speech do to the reputation (as a military expert) of his war-voting secretary of state?

J.E. Bernecky

Westover, PA

Nov 30 2009 - 9:43am

Web Letter

It is a nice speech, and it supports the obviously correct course of action, but must we always be so delicate? Afghanistan and Iraq are the last administration's wars. Why do we always have to pussyfoot around? Just say, "Sorry, the guys before us screwed up, and now we are going to try to right that wrong." I know, a lot of the people in Congress supported these wars, and the president has to choose his words carefully to avoid alienating them. Also, and perhaps most important, some people and companies have made a lot of dough off these wars, and a lot of that blood-soaked money keeps members of Congress in their comfortable positions. Alas, a president can never speak the truth without adding many spoonfuls of "sugar" to disguise its bitterness..

Last but not least, I really hate the "Good night, and God bless America" line. If any self-respecting president chose to be truly forthright and honest, that childish line would have to go. I would prefer a closing line like, "May you all enjoy peace and prosperity."

Robert Austin

Seminole, FL

Nov 30 2009 - 9:43am

Web Letter

Of course, President Obama should give a speech like that and, I might add, he should propose also to reduce the defense budget by half, since the US spends on defense what the entire world spends together! But it won't happen because the US is not governed by our president but by the military-industrial complex, the media which report their interests and politicians in Congress who were bought by special-interest groups. Proof? Who is shaping and determining the current healthcare debate? The American people who want reform and a public option or the insurance companies? Who will win this debate, Mr. Main Street or Mr. Lieberman?

Jurgen Kleist

Plattsburgh, NY

Nov 29 2009 - 9:35am

Web Letter

Tom Englehart's suggested speech would be a fantastic alternative to what we'll be hearing Tuesday: another Democratic President rolled by the Republicans, the Washington media and the defense establishment.

If you haven't already seen/heard Bill Moyers's Nov 20 broadcast of the LBJ tapes' secret Vietnam discussions, please do so. Johnson was not, as we lefties prefer to believe, a ruthless killer, delighting in the slaughter of Vietnamese babies and American "boys." But he let himself be rolled by Barry Goldwater and the rest of the Republicans, by the fear of impeachment if he didn't act sufficiently "tough" and by the generals, whose only interest then and now seems to be throwing more troops into the meat grinder.

Really, as Mr Englehart suggests, it's time for a Democratic president to try something different. Mr. Obama is "something different"--which ought to present an opportunity for a radical change in policy.

Even though, sadly, it won't.

Cheryl Haaker

Albuquerque, NM

Nov 28 2009 - 9:14pm

Web Letter

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. You could say that one of the good things about Vietnam is that it helped us avoid another horrific experience and get us out of Afghanistan. This would not only help us but help the people of Afghanistan, as we are doing them no favors at the moment.

As a Vietnam Vet who had friends in the White House who would not listen to his appeals to sanity, this letter has both a feeling of redemption for our past mistakes and a return of sanity among the leaders of our nation.

This is a superb proposal.

Ian Guard

San Francisco, CA

Nov 28 2009 - 2:55pm