It is a well known fact that our leading newspapers are laying off reporters who are qualified to do in depth research. The news that reaches most Americans comes from TV and radio channels focused on advertising catching stuff — the latest child murder, serial killers, and occasional news flashes or largely brief and interrupted interviews with some knowledgeable and other intentionally deceiving commentators.

Personally I scan a series of net sources each day that I can trust and listen to a few in depth interview programs and then do my blogs. The knowledgeable people have made it clear that Afghanistan is not Iraq. Afghans for the most part distrust and resist the notion of a national government and have driven out every external ‘colonizer’ or even well intentioned influences such as that of the Obama people. But one has to doubt that there is any way to accomplish our goals of a unified and peace-oriented country there. This is not a country. It is a melange of conflicting forces — tribal to village dominated. The landscape might have been designed to protect such as the murderous Taliban and put our troops at risk.

Obama is now being accused by the right wingers — who seem to have pretty well taken over the Republican Party — of delaying sending yet more troops there as cannon folder for the resisters. It has obviously come clear to them that the more of ours they can kill or maim, the greater will be the American public’s resistance to our continuing on there. As of today we have had 911 of ours killed and many of our allies:

http://www.icasualties.org/OEF/

As of 9/1/09 2,914 had been gravely wounded:

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/09/01/wounded-gis-in-afghanistan-survivors-more-seriously-than-in-ira/

It no surprise that our troops there wonder whether Americans have forgotten these losses:

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/2009/09/12/0912warwounded.html

Obama was criticized for wasting time joining families whose dead were being returned the other night. Bush had forbidden any picturing of coffins coming home. Obama lifted that cover-up which prevented Americans from taking seriously the costs of our misbegotten ‘wars’.

I would not want to be Obama trying to figure where we go from here. I see no way to win the ‘game’ there. Perhaps Americans need to be diverted by sports to keep our sanity.

Help! What do you think?

“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 Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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