There is no way we can ‘win’ a war in Afghanistan. The Taliban has far too many ways to elude our troops; there is no plausible government likely there. Some military have suggested that it would take hundreds of thousands of troops to subdue the Taliban and they are neither available nor would be tolerated by nations supposed to provide them.

The only reason for us remaining in Afghanistan for a time is to support Pakistan and keep it from bearing the full burden of Taliban attacks. I am not sure that even that can work. And I can’t imagine what Obama can possibly do now to make anything work there. Bush & Co. lost it when they diverted to Iraq — which is having its own troubles now as a nation divided three ways.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, revenge is the name of the game that is being played over there. Each attack generates a counter-attack and women and children are not spared in the process. We have stirred up the hostilities and I see no way for us to calm them down. Our colonizing predecessors learned this lesson the hard way. Each of them eventually gave it up and turned to more subtle means to extract resources from these nations. Eisenhower permitted himself to be conned by our oil interests along with British ones to destroy the first signs of a democracy in Iran.

Rarely is this grim fact of life and our restoration of the cruel Shah ever mentioned by our media which dates the beginning of Iranian history with the Revolution in 1979 that drove out the Shah:

Needless to say Iranian suspicions of us have a solid basis and now with the report that the C.I.A. is again at work in Afghanistan, running Karzai’s brother . . .

Help. I don’t envy Obama trying to sort our these messes.

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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