Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lessons of History?

The war in Afghanistan is now the longest war fought in U.S. history. During the Cold war, the former Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan was their equivalent of the USA's war in Vietnam. Having made that analogy, it can be perplexing that a lesson was not leaned from history. Consider the following statement:

"Vietnam presumably taught us that the United States could not serve as the world's policeman; it should also have taught us the dangers of trying to be the world's midwife to democracy when the birth is scheduled to take place under conditions of guerrilla war."--Jeane Kirkpatrick, 1979

I understand the concept of the "War on Terrorism" and strongly support the prevention of terrorism. I do NOT believe that terrorism is an acceptable way to further any cause and have no sympathy for those who condone terrorist acts. On the other hand, I question the appropriateness of the USA staying in Afghanistan to create a democracy. Democracies are only successful when established through the initiative of those who will benefit from them. Until there is a majority movement to create one, an attempt at establishing a democracy will not succeed. I am not ready to put my life on the line for the democratization of Afghanistan, nor am I ready to send my family members , neighbors, or community members to do so.

I firmly believe that we should heed the lesson stated by Jean Kirkpatrick four years after our war in Vietnam ended. It is time to revisit and revise our foreign policy in Afghanistan. Support our troops, bring them home now.

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