Why are we in Afghanistan?
By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator
FEB. 18, 2009 -- I keep asking the question: "Why are we in Afghanistan?" No one has a good answer. A few without television respond, "To get Osama." But everyone agrees that he is somewhere in Pakistan.
Then the answer is: "As President George W. Bush said, 'to spread democracy.'" The Brits tried to spread democracy for years. The Russians tried to spread communism for years. But democracy must come from within. I helped liberate Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, sixty-eight years ago and they have yet to opt for democracy. We liberated Kuwait eighteen years ago and they have yet to opt for democracy.
Muslim world more important than freedom and democracy is tribe and religion.
We have made the good college try for over seven years and now should
realize that we are not going to teach warlords to like democracy and
grow cotton instead of poppies.
Yesterday I read an article that it won't be long before charging President George W. Bush with war crimes for killing civilians in Pakistan with drones. Now the same charge could be made against President Obama. Five years ago, I was in Pakistan to learn that Osama bin Laden had a sixty percent approval rating and President Bush was at ten percent. I wouldn't advise an America to walk the streets of any city in Pakistan today.
ruining Pakistan. Finally, I'm given the answer, "to stabilize Afghanistan."
The best way to stabilize is to get out. It became a matter of conscience
for me years ago. I always remember the Wartime Prayer found in Eleanor
Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of the newly published book, Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).
© 2009, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.
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