Rudyard Kipling wrote, "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains/ And the women come out to clean up the remains/ Just roll on your rifle and blow out your brains/ And go to your god like a soldier." He was writing, of course, about Britain's ultimately unsuccessful effort to colonize Afghanistan. Some generations later, the Soviets failed too. And now are we? I think so.
Afghani President Hamid Karzai attacked the West, including the United States this week. He rejected accusations that his government--widely regarded as among the world's most corrupt--was involved in election fraud. "There is no doubt that the fraud was very widespread," Karzai said, "but this fraud was not committed by Afghans--it was committed by foreigners." This, mind you, coming from the guy who won. As for the American and other NATO troops fighting for his government, he said, "There is a thin curtain between invasion and cooperation...." Okay, Mr. President, I get it. We've been in Afghanistan for eight years. More than a thousand of us have died there. Enough? You bet. Bob Herbert in today's New York Times, recalls the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's speech on April 4, 1967, urging the United States to leave Vietnam instead if increasing its commitment "in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support." Good call then. And now. As they used to shout in all those Vietnam protest marches, "Out now."
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