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Web Letter

Nothing persuasive is being offered by Obama or anyone else regards our increasing the security of the United States via upping or even continuing our war in Afghanistan; "just walking away" sounds like one very good idea to me.

We will of course continue to be "threatened" by Muslim extremists, but at least we won't be pretending to be doing something about that via a method that has shown itself without merit in achieving a "victory" against those offering that threat.

We must continue to ask ourselves, since this war isn't really about making the United States more secure, what are our government's goals in fighting it? Many have offered suggestions of what those might be... all of those that seem somewhat believable look pretty awful in any public light, and it is easy to imagine why they would not be offered as reasons for continuing the fight.

What we are currently up to certainly isn't good for the long-term interests of the people in Afghanistan. Either we will eventually leave after a false start of "nation building" or we will be there so long and in such numbers that any reasonable person would have to call it an occupation extended to a "takeover."

Towards what goals?

Terry Allen Baker

Norman, OK

Dec 6 2009 - 7:06pm

Web Letter

Many thanks for this wonderful piece. It's time for this generation's Eugene McCarthy to step forward with the alternative to Bush/Obama. The alternative is not just withdrawal. The alternative is a public commitment to stop pointing the finger at other people. The solution to America's problems isn't a change in how other people behave. It's a change in how Americans behave. Use less oil, invest in education, condemn corrupt regimes, stop subsidizing corporations that use their pricing power to destroy Third World competition.

Paul Abbott

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Dec 3 2009 - 3:04pm

Web Letter

This has been a war; all wars are ended by a peace treaty. President Obama, make one happen.

This is just a starter kit, but you put the pieces together. Step by step. How does one put together a treaty in Afghanistan?

The outline is obvious for the most part. The details are simply built upon their preceding outcomes.

In content, this treaty needs to be set up as an example of honor in the eyes of the world as well. Any breakage will need accountability, any injustice will need justice. The world will need to care about the honor of this treaty.

Negotiations: send envoys, NATO allies or just yourselves, whatever is agreed upon--but the simpler, the better. Meet with Taliban leaders. Secretly at first, as you are not ready to play.

Find out what can be played. Negotiate, upon agreement, bring in the Karzai government and openly confirm the treaty as official. Heck, call in Charlie Wilson if it'd help. He knows them. And they in turn can show Charlie the maimed that our country has created. (Had to throw that last one in to allow you to realize that all victims are the same--we do it, they do it. We should all want to stop seeing our children become victims of war.)

2. Now the hard facts. These negotiations will probably be brutal. Threats will be made. e.g.: "With due warning for evacuations, we'll raze any of your villages deemed an enemy stronghold, thus creating a nation of refugees during winter. If you'd like, we can demonstrate. This is war and you are the enemy, as are we to you. But is it worth a winter as refugees?" Would you be willing to say that to them? You may have to, as they will offer their own threats.

Although such may not be outside the realm of proper conduct in war: destruction of an enemy stronghold. In fact, less brutal, as you would warn them to leave their village, but this is what a war is--attrition--until a treaty is signed to stop it; or do as all preceding imperialistic nations before have, simply slip away in defeat. So, get your best Afghan negotiators.

But most of all promote "country building" (anyone but Haliburton). "Yes, we can bomb, but we can also build and rebuild." Offer hospitals, electricity, clean water--life! "We only ask for a ceasefire, a truce, and fairness for all." And ask that you also be allowed to hunt any Al Qaeda forces in your country by whatever means, as they have murdered our citizens. Let's not forget that necessary clause.

If they refuse to adhere to any such treaty, then expose your efforts and show the world that you had tried with the best of intent to rebuild that nation under peace, but they refused us.

3. Verification: UN, NATO troops or both (for numbers) assigned to outposts to guard against retribution, as this is inevitable along with warring infighting. (The UN should someday be restructured and comprised of peace-making and peace-keeping forces, but that's for someday.) There will be the threat of civil war; therefore, also written into this treaty will be a clause that any such factional fighting will be met with... (fill in the blanks)--a clause agreed upon by all signees and all members of NATO/UN under their (newly defined?) charter (whatever is applicable).

Anything short of an official treaty will swallow you up. Sign a treaty by spring or leave, that's your timetable.

bohdan yuri

Kennebunk, ME

Dec 3 2009 - 11:39am

Web Letter

Why does our dying middle class have to support billions for endless wars, draining both our economy and our children? And for what? Put that money into taking our children off the streets, feeding and educating jobless veterans of the endless war machine, providing healthcare to our sick, housing our homeless...Where's the Bloody Change, Mr. Obama?! (Sorry, old Vietnam era vet venting.)

William C. Vaughan

Austin, TX

Dec 2 2009 - 3:36pm

Web Letter

Your first paragraph states it best. The Afghanistan surge doesn't make any sense. So, why is Obama doing this? It's because it's not his decision.

The real "deciders" are the men of the international banking cartel; they're the real power behind the throne. All of the presidents, since 1910, have been nothing but puppets of these greedy bastards.

Obama's speech, last night, was nothing more than a regurgitation of what the people who really run this country, and the world, told him to say. Obama doesn't call the shots; the real owners of this country tell him what to do. They want a surge, they get a surge.

These wars, and the impending war with Iran, are not meant to be won; they're meant to be sustained. War is good for business. American and indigenous casualties mean nothing to these greedy monsters. It's nothing personal, it's just good business.

Until you and the rest of America wake up to the fact that the New World Order is enveloping this country, and the globe, we'll never be free. We're heading toward feudalism.

Charles Lingenfelser

Brandon, MS

Dec 2 2009 - 1:57pm

Web Letter

Impeach. We owe Barack Obama nothing. We've already given him more than we had a right to give anyone: all of the soldiers who died after the deadline that Obama himself, as a Senator and a presidential candidate, set for the return of our troops.

He owes us. Who better than another senator to have said of Hillary Clinton that the evidence upon which she'd based her prowar vote was the same pile of nothing that Bush-Cheney tried to get us to accept? Yellowcake. Yellowcake, my ass.

"Magical thinking" isn't the term for what's been taking place in our names in DC.

Hillary Clinton could not have impeached Bush-Cheney without first impeaching herself. Hillary Clinton, of her own volition, made herself unable to represent those of her constituents who'd have had her move to impeach Bush-Cheney. Hillary Clinton's constituents were, for a very long time, without representation in Congress. And journalists, some of them employed by The Nation, have believed that they were mocking the idea of tea parties.

J.E. Bernecky

Westover, PA

Dec 2 2009 - 1:13pm

Web Letter

Mr. Scheer offers much critique of the president's Afghanistan plan but fails to provide an alternative mission or strategy Does Mr. Scheer consider walking away a strategy? I would love to hear how walking away benefits our long-term national security interests.

Pamela Upsher

Chicago, IL

Dec 2 2009 - 12:22pm