Jul 22, 2010

Where Are Protests of Obama's Wars?

Joseph FarahBy Joseph Farah

A record 60 Americans were killed in Afghanistan in June – the most ever in the nearly decade-long war that is not winding down, but rather intensifying under the leadership of Barack Obama, the "peace candidate" in 2008.

Worse yet, U.S. soldiers, no doubt demoralized by seemingly interminable wars on two fronts, neither of which has any clear definition of victory, are taking their own lives in record numbers – 32 just last month and 145 since Jan. 1.

My question: Where are the anti-war protests? What happened to them? Do those protesters from earlier this decade think the wars are over? Or did they really not care about these conflicts in the first place? Were they only truly interested in protesting the old leadership in the White House?

For the life of me, I cannot begin to understand our objectives in either Iraq or Afghanistan any more.

Because I appreciate the sacrifice our men and women are making over there, it is with a heavy heart that I make this proclamation. But enough is enough. We have spent over $1 trillion on these two wars and spilled far too much American blood. We are obviously unwilling as a country to do what is necessary to kill the bad guys in either place, so what is the point? Isn't it time to declare victory and get out? What is the point? Can someone, anyone, tell me?

If the tragic deaths of Americans doesn't get to you, how about the financial costs?

Barack Obama is asking for $33 billion more to fund 30,000 additional soldiers in Afghanistan. He also wants $4.5 billion for more foreign aid in Iraq and Afghanistan. How much would it take to just put the entire populations of Iraq and Afghanistan on the U.S. payroll?

This request, by the way, comes after reports showing Afghan officials are opening up foreign bank accounts with U.S. money. Is there no end to the madness?

So far, U.S. taxpayers have spent $345 billion on the Afghan war. This year alone there was already $72.3 billion committed to Afghanistan and another $64.5 billion committed to Iraq.

It costs us between $500,000 and $1 million a year for every American deployed to Afghanistan. Suffice it to say, very little of that is going into the pockets of U.S. soldiers.

I'm just stunned by how little debate is raging in America over these quagmires.

Where is the anti-war movement when we really need them?

I admit I was a supporter of both of these campaigns. I was obviously wrong.

The Taliban is as active today as it was in 2001. We know where they are, but we are seemingly unwilling to use U.S. military technology to destroy them. Instead, Obama wants to capture them, read them their Miranda rights and then create jobs for them. Based on his success at creating jobs in America, I don't think this approach is very promising.

Why are these wars out of the headlines after all this time? Where are those Democratic politicians, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who were so determined to pull the plug on these wars during the previous administration? Where are the street protests?

The latest poll shows the number of Americans who say the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting has declined from 52 percent in December to 43 percent now. Obama's approval rating for handling it has gone down from 56 percent in April to 45 percent in July. Only 42 percent say the war in Iraq has been worth fighting, essentially the same as for Afghanistan.

I know most of the U.S. troops in Iraq are scheduled to leave at the end of August. But will they come home? Will they go to Afghanistan, where the war is escalating? Will they leave as scheduled at all?

No one seems to know. No one seems to care.

I care. I say bring the troops home now.

Related Links

Army reports record number of suicides for June - USA Today
Afghan Deadline Is Cutting Two Ways - New York Times
US-Iranian combat looms in Iraq as US plans UN role for US troop remnant - DEBKAfile
Congress' confidence in Obama's war strategy slides - Los Angeles Times
The Tea Party Manifesto - Joseph Farah (Book)