Still asking why

During the last Presidential administration, I used the word “why” a lot. Now that the guy I supported is in office, it would be pretty ridiculous of me to stop asking.

So, when a friend of mine and I started discussing Afghanistan a few days ago, I was pleased that I wasn’t the only left-leaning person to wonder why–if we want to kill terrorists and potential terrorists–we’re doing it by occupying a country rather than employing the abilities of the CIA and some very talented tactical teams.

Then yesterday morning I read an article from the Washington Post that made me think I may not be too far off the reservation. It tells the story of a Marine captain turned Foreign Service officer who resigned from his position because, quoting him directly, “I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan.” (Read his whole letter here.)

I think that officer, Matthew Hoh, represents a man people on both sides of the aisle should meet. That is, we bleeding hearts didn’t hate the war in Iraq just because we disagreed with Bush. We hated it because we never saw any clear reason for so many people to die. Further, we didn’t support the idea of being in Afghanistan just because Obama said it was a good idea. We are people who that hate the idea of war but will accept it as a necessary evil.

Hoh is sort on other side. That is, he likes the idea of being a hawk. He’s spent his life doing it. Or as he put it:

“I’m not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love,” Hoh said. Although he said his time in Zabul was the “second-best job I’ve ever had,” his dominant experience is from the Marines, where many of his closest friends still serve.

“There are plenty of dudes who need to be killed,” he said of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. “I was never more happy than when our Iraq team whacked a bunch of guys.” –From the Washington Post’s U.S. official resigns over Afghan war

But, he’s a man with a conscience. He believes the people in Afghanistan are fighting largely because they have a target in the occupying Americans. If people don’t have to die, if the war can be fought effectively in another way, if there is no good reason to be at war, then why put American lives at risk?

So today, President Obama, it is your duty to tell us, your supporters, why we should support the U.S. Military’s continued efforts in Afghanistan. It’s crazy that I’m hearing louder arguments in your favor from your former opponent than from you.

You made me believe. You made me vote. Now make me understand.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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6 Responses

  1. CJ says:

    I’ve been asking this on Twitter.

    Obama has been “collecting information” over the past month or so after his commanders, the ones on the ground that Candidate Obama said should have been listened to, asked for a surge of troops to mount a counter-insurgency strategy similar to the one that was successful in Iraq.

    During this month of “consultation,” more US troops have died than in any other month in the history of the war in Afghanistan.

    It’s time to decide. How many more meetings does it take? Either tell us what it’s going to take to succeed… or get the hell out. But if you do get the hell out, you better tell us how we’re going to keep Afghanistan from again becoming a launching ground for attacks on America (i.e. USS Cole, African Embassy bombings, WTC I and WTC II).

  2. Little Willie says:

    As was likely the case in Iraq, we should probably just take a step back and look at one thing.

    Follow the money.

    Someone is making money off this current strategy. I don’t know who it is, but that’s the only thing that makes sense.

  3. I agree with Little Bill…this is all about money people. It has nothing to do with administrations. It has to do with money that is being made off this war and who is making it. I can go on and on about this…I hate to dash the hopes of my liberal friends who think that Obama is a change. Thus, I will stay silent.

  4. Johnny FlopBoot says:


    So where the hell has The Rooster landed? And when will he be blogging about his new city??


  5. dean says:

    “Congress — especially congressional Democrats — was outraged earlier this month (Sept) when it was disclosed that, apparently on orders from Vice President Dick Cheney, the CIA for eight years concealed from Congress a program to assassinate the leaders of Al Qaeda, starting with Osama bin Laden. ”

    Comes from this link, but is elsewhere as well –

    I am not an advocate of the USA sticking its nose in everywhere politicians think needs “policing” but if you are going to, there are two ways – small hit squads, or full out war! Enough of the messy nonsense that drags on forever.