Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We Are So Misunderstood

Watching CBS News last night, I had difficulty knowing how to feel when I watched a clip of Karl Eikenberry, Ambassador to Afghanistan, speaking in that country and castigating their leadership for complaining about our conduct of the war there. Mostly I felt embarrassed for my country. The tone of voice that he used can only be described as whining when he said,

"When Americans who are serving in your country at great cost in terms of our lives and treasures, when they hear themselves compared with occupiers and told that they are only here to advance their own narrow interests and likened to the brutal enemies of the Afghan people," Eikenberry said, "my people in turn are filled with confusion and they grow weary of our effort here."

The homes that we have driven them out of and bombed may not seem like “treasures” to him, but it was the only treasure those people had, and they stood helplessly by and watched that home disappear in an explosion caused by Americans wearing boots, helmets and goggles and carrying weapons. How could they possibly not see us as “occupiers” of their country?

Those same booted, helmeted, goggled and armed troopers kick down the doors of their homes in the middle of the night and drive them out into the dark, hauling their sons and husbands off to indefinite detention on a whim. When their own leadership demands a halt to that practice, our military refuses. How could they possibly not see us as enemies and as occupiers of their country?

Eikenberry whines about the price we have paid, as if we were doing something noble in Afghanistan’s behalf, but they did not ask us to come there. We did, in fact, invade that country in behalf of our own interest and we are their for our own security. And he whines about the cost we pay, disregarding our destruction of entire villages in their country, and our disruption of their entire way of life.

When Afghans “compare us with occupiers, tell us that we are only there to advance our own narrow interests and liken us to the brutal enemies of the Afghan people” they speak the truth.

1 comment:

bartendercabbie said...

Interesting perspective. I personally think that we have (finally) killed Bin Laden so it is time to go. What bothers me a bit though is what will become of those that have supported us in our effort. There will be fatal consequences for many when we leave no doubt. I would not classify NATO as occupiers in the Soviet sense. We went there to defeat a killer group and for the most part, I suppose, succeeded.
Probably time to bring the troops home from that sad land.

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