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Web Letters | The Nation

A semi-farcical look at saving Pakistan and winning in Afghanistan—which just might work

We'll never win in Afghanistan by fighting. But why is that? Well, it's complicated. But one thing we can do to help our cause is save Pakistan. It is the real problem, at least for now. And right now, a quarter of the country is underwater. Yet the citizens trust the Taliban more than they trust us. So we should be there providing rescue, aid, security and protection.

I figure. We'd look better in the eyes of the Pakistani civilians, who as I said don't trust us, due to the fact the we are so buddy-buddy with India. The end result of this equation is a citizenry and a government who give aid to the Taliban.

Well, we need an answer. Fix Pakistan, which makes the Taliban look like big jerks for not saving lives. And that helps cut the money flow to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Hooray for us.

If the president wanted to do it in one of those dramatic "Great American Idealism Speeches," he could call a temporary armistice, and send in troops as relief workers to Afghanistan. And say something like, "Sometimes the call to save lives trumps the call to fight over a nation. Today we are brothers and sister united for the common good." And everyone waves little American flags as we save lives with our superior technology and organizational skills. (That is, if we still have them.)

And then we build a government based on our glorious influence as rescuers. Okay, we win. Let's put on big Teddy Roosevelt smiles and go back to feeling good about ourselves.

Matthew K. Seibert

Newtown, PA

Aug 21 2010 - 12:26pm