Let poppies grow; bring troops home

Posted: September 6th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian

by Al Neuharth, USA Today founder

August was the deadliest month ever for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Yet press releases this week bragged that U.S. and NATO soldiers have reduced the opium poppies being raised there to make the drug heroin.

That’s poppycock!

We properly invaded Afghanistan eight years ago to try to get Osama bin Laden after he engineered the 9/11 attack. He got away to Pakistan.

So, instead of going after him there as we should have, we shifted our troops to Iraq because President George W. Bush wanted to get Saddam Hussein. He did.

Now, with an agreement to get out of Iraq, we’re shifting more troops back to Afghanistan.

Afghans are unstable, ungovernable and unconquerable. Great Britain tried it in the 19th century and failed. The Soviet Union (now Russia) tried in the 20th century and failed. We will fail now.

The solution is to let Afghans grow their poppies and get out.

If you’re not sure, here are facts about our Iraq-Afghanistan misadventure.

• We have lost 4,340 military lives in Iraq.

• We have lost 738 in Afghanistan, 51 in August.

The Iraq fiasco is Bush’s biggest blunder. Unless he gets it and gets out, Afghanistan will be President Obama’s albatross.

The lesson we all should learn is bigger than Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. The world has many countries where leaders (and many people) really don’t understand or want democracy. Hopefully, more will get it.

But to risk the lives of our military men and women to teach them about it is hopeless nonsense. We should keep our troops at home to protect us from disaster here, rather than send them on silly misadventures abroad.

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