[By all reports, while Iraq seems poised like the calm in the middle of a hurricane -- ready to explode whenever the truce is called off between embittered competing factions -- the situation in Afghanistan continues to disintegrate.Â Afghanis who originally enjoyed their liberation from Taliban tyrannies are now increasingly welcoming their return to power as an alternative to governmental corruption and oppression and American killings from on high.
These sad people have suffered far too much over the past three decades of chaos in their country imposed by foreign powers.Â Our restoration of the rule of the warlords is no solution to their problems.Â We Westerners cannot seem to get it into our heads that the Middle East is divided among a host of tribal communities, rarely at peace with each other.Â In the case of both Pakistan and Afghanistan there are five separate tribal groups each -- they share only the Pastuns among which many of the radicals are situated and so the chaos on the borders between the two nations.Â When will our American leaders wake up to the chaos that we have created over there?Â One doubts that our Marines can make any significant difference. Ed Kent]
Gates Said to Oppose Force Shift to Afghanistan
By THOM SHANKER
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has decided against
shifting Marine Corps forces from Iraq to take the lead in
Afghanistan, officials said.
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed KentÂ 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]