Why It's Stupid NOT to Get Out of Afghanistan
Joe Klein thinks you’re stupid for wanting to get U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
Here’s what he said on a recent CNN appearance:
“I was on Ed Schultz’ show to discuss Afghanistan…And the guy writes on a piece of paper, ‘Get out now,’ and holds it up on the screen. That’s so stupid and it’s so unworthy. And it really — it’s one of the reasons why people hold us in lower regard than they do lawyers.”
Klein may not have realized it, but in calling Schultz “stupid” for wanting to get out of Afghanistan, he’s insulted most Americans.
More than 60 percent of Americans oppose the Afghanistan War. In a recent poll, bringing troops home from Afghanistan ranked above concerns on the deficit. In fact, it was the #2 issue most important to Americans, just behind fixing the economy. Bringing troops home would save us $1 million per troop, per year, helping to fix our economy and cut the deficit.
But Joe Klein thinks you’re stupid for wanting to do that.
Let’s talk about stupid for a minute.
The U.S. has increased troop levels in Afghanistan every year since the initial invasion, and every year we’ve seen an increased level of violence in Afghanistan. President Obama and General Petraeus promised–twice!–that huge troop increases would help “protect the population” of Afghanistan and break Taliban momentum. Yet over the course of their major escalations, the heightened troop levels failed to protect Afghan civilians, who suffered more war-related deaths than the year before. And, according to NATO and the Pentagon’s own statistics and reporting, the estimated number of insurgents is exactly the same as last year, and they continue to grow in geographic and operational reach. After all this failure of troop increases to stem the violence, Secretary Gates just announced another troop increase.
That sounds pretty stupid to me.
American workers are drowning in an economic crisis. Huge numbers of us remain unemployed, and hundreds of thousands are giving up on finding work at all. States all over the country are slashing their social safety nets to shreds, cutting things like health care for kids in poverty, while at the same time the federal government is charging their state an amount larger than their states’ deficits to continue the Afghanistan War. While68 percent of Americans worry that the war’s costs affect our ability to fix problems here at home, we’re wasting $2 billion a week on a war that’s not making us safer.
That sounds pretty stupid to me.
Klein’s wrong about why people hold “journalists” like him in low regard. The reason people hold some talking heads in low regard is that we’re tired of being shoveled the same, tired “Very Serious People” drivel that’s kept us in a brutal, futile war for almost a decade. The Afghanistan War isn’t making us safer and it’s not worth the cost. The writing has been on the wall for years. Waiting even one more day to start bringing troops home is…well, you know.
Watch Brave New Foundation’s latest Rethink Afghanistan video to learn more about why keeping U.S. troops there is a stupid idea, and then leave a comment at Facebook.com/RethinkAfghanistan with your thoughts on Joe Klein’s “stupid” remark. We’ll make sure both he and Ed Schultz see your messages.