THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
CASUALTIES OF WAR

Navy Seals’ tragedy throws light on our Afghan aimlessness

August 12, 2011

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JULIETTE KAYYEM is right in saying that the tragic death of the Navy Seals in Afghanistan demonstrates the “fallacy’’ of this war (“Afghan crash inflicts double blow on US psyche,’’ Op-ed, Aug. 8). Many of us have questioned the war’s goals and operation from the beginning. The so-called mission - “to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven’’ - was proved a fallacy after Osama bin Laden’s death in Pakistan, and after the spread of Al Qaeda to many other countries, including, thanks to our misguided war there, Iraq, where it never existed before.

The fact that the media resort to words like “insurgents’’ (anybody who wants the United States out?) and “bad guys’’ (a recent CNN report) to describe the people we are fighting shows how confused this effort is. Many Afghans oppose both the Taliban and the US troops wreaking havoc on their country, often on innocent civilians and children killed in drone attacks. They also hate the corrupt government we seem bent on supporting.

This is a war without a clear aim. It is cruel and unwinnable. Each child who is accidentally killed in a bombing only creates another potential so-called terrorist. Not to mention that these casualties are morally wrong.

Finally, the war in Afghanistan is costing taxpayers billions of dollars every week, while deficit cuts threaten fundamental programs such as Medicare and Social Security. It is long past time for the United States to bring its troops home from Afghanistan - now.

Susan Jhirad
Medford