Sunday, November 15, 2009

Morning Headlines

"The budget implications of President Obama's decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan are adding pressure to limit the commitment, senior administration officials say."

And well they should. Doesn't anyone read history anymore? Even recent history would reveal the fact that the Soviet breakup was fueled by the immense costs of their attempt to pacify and rule Afghanistan. No, it wasn't Ronnie yelling, 'Tear down this wall!' that broke the Soviet hold, it was the economics that did them in. As it did to all who have ventured into the Afghan lands with war on their minds.

Has anyone tried to peacefully help the Afghans? We did this once by helping them convert the poppy crops into cotton crops. And then when they went to sell their cotton on the world market, they couldn't compete against American cotton because it is subsidized to a point where no one else can compete against American growers. The Afghan cotton was plowed under the poppies merged once again. And a lesson was learned by Afghan farmers. Don't trust America.

Why can't we try again? And do it right this time. It costs a $1 million dollars a year per soldier to keep him or her in Afghanistan. One million dollars. How many Afghan schools could we build and supply for that one million? And then with the next million, or one soldiers worth, we could help a school right here. General Chrystal wants forty to fifty thousand more soldiers to go to Afghanistan, at a cost of one million per. (You do the math…I'm tired of these numbers) How many schools do we have in the US? Forty or fifty thousand? No. We would have money left over if we used that million at each of our schools. Perhaps we could use the extra $$$ for healthcare? And let's not forget, that's a cost per year. We could do it all over again next year! And I haven't even counted the soldiers that are already there and could be pulled back home. Let's use that money we saved to educate Afghans. That is what they want. They've said it a million times and yet we bring them war.

I've already heard the Republicans, who have never seen a war they couldn't love, are beating the drums to escalate this one. They want to win! Win what? And how? They can't tell you, they just love a parade. They are warning that the Taliban will rush across the border from Pakistan if we leave and they will bring Al-Qaida with them. Well, the Taliban is already there and in power. It is their country and they know it well. Al-Qaida can operate anywhere and have for years. It's like Whack-A-Mole and we cannot outspend these people because they don't use money as much as they use ideology and we have to be able to show the people a better ideology with education. Sadly, our departments of Education and Health don't have anywhere near the budget that the Department of War has.

1 comment:

  1. How prophetic! You probably should have just rerun this post today, December 2, in light of Obama's speech announcing 30,000 additional troops.

    I really enjoy your clear, and passionate ruminations on the world around us. Keep up the good work.

    I see you and I both read TGB and cab drollery. You might want to visit my blog someday, too, although it's not as political as yours.

    Also, thanks for introducing me to Kiva. What a wonderful idea! I've added link on my own blog for my readers, too. I've got a few ex-Peace Corps people reading it who might be very interested in participating.