2009/10/08

Views on the Afghanistan occupation

The leaders of Code Pink say that they have ascertained the views of Afghan women concerning continued US occupation of that country and the women there say they would prefer that US troops stay until an Afghan army is trained and armed and ready to provide them with security.

Mark Weisbrot of CEPR only mentions Afghan popular opinion by noting that "Five years ago, 70 percent of eligible voters participated in the Afghan presidential election. This year it was down to 38 percent." Even if Afghanis wanted US troops to remain, five years of occupation have seen a serious deterioration of the security situation.

Concerning the primary reason for being in Afghanistan, i.e., US troops are acting as a bulwark against al Qaeda, we might wish to keep in mind that "...Taliban elements have free reign in many areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan, yet the administration is contending that there are only an estimated 100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan."

How's the Afghan drug trade doing? Wel-l-l-l... "...the 13 provinces reckoned by Afghan and foreign observers to be largely under insurgent control, where poppy cultivation often extends to the outskirts of the government-controlled administrative centers and opium is sold in bazaars within a stone's throw of the governor's compound."

But the government is legitimate, right? Wel-l-l-l... Nasrine Gross says: "I have just returned from Kabul. And I am shocked how little the extent of fraud in the presidential elections is understood outside Afghanistan."

As much as I sympathize with Afghan civilians who want US troops to remain in their country, our troops need to leave Afghanistan yesterday!

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