October 7th will mark the beginning of the 12th year of our war in Afghanistan. Some call it the forgotten war. Many of us haven’t thought about it in a long time. I suggest it’s time to rethink Afghanistan. If you thought it was a war on the cheap, think again.
Our “direct” expenditures have been $565 Billion, and we continue to spend at the rate of $300 million per day. If you think it’s been done with minimal casualties, think again. Over 2000 members of the US armed services have been killed in Afghanistan, and the suicide rate of US troops exceeds the rate of combat deaths. And in addition to the official count of over 15,000 wounded, add at least 200,000 more US Afghan-war vets with PTSD and/or TBI. If you think we must fight this war for humanitarian reasons, think again. After all our expenditure there in the past 11 years, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with one out of five children dying before the age of five and one out of eleven women dying in childbirth. One million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished. If you think we must continue the war to make the US more secure, think again. With every US raid which kills civilians, anger at the US increases along with the will to drive out the foreign occupier.
If we have not been successful in 11 years, maybe it’s time to rethink it all and give peace a chance.
By coincidence, there is a free film, Rethinking Afghanistan, showing at the Coralville Public Library in conjunctiion with Windows & Mirrors on Tuesday, Sept 25th @ 6:30 PM.
Most importantly, if you think there is nothing you can do, think again. In addition to writing to the President, Senators, and Congressmen, you may become one of 2million friends, calling for a UN-brokered cease fire in Afghanistan by Dec. 10, 2012. A look at 2millionfriends.org explains this straight-forward effort by ordinary Afghans.