Obama's Afghanistan plan is wrong

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It was really sad to see President Obama channeling George Bush the other night regarding another endless war.

War is wrong. Lives are destroyed; cities are demolished; relationships between countries are devastated. Killing people for strategic political purposes is wrong -- it doesn't matter if the president is a Democrat or a Republican.

The most frustrating thing for me is knowing there are other options besides violence that are being ignored. (What's the definition of delusion? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.) We have other tools at our disposal: development aid, diplomacy, and international cooperation. It's time for Obama to snap out of his delusion, put down the hammer and pick up something peaceful; pliers perhaps?

Yes, peaceful means are expensive, but they are still cheaper than the bombs we drop and the devastation we have to repair, both in human lives and infrastructure. Yes, peaceful means take a long time, but at least we get something positive at the end. The Bush-ama war, if it ever ends, will have negative repercussions for decades or longer.

The continued U.S. military occupation and war in Afghanistan will be a boon to the handful of violent extremists who exploit a flawed interpretation of Islam to build a global anti-American movement. It will almost certainly continue the destabilization of Central and South Asia. And it will leave a sour taste in the mouth of the millions of Muslims who initially welcomed Obama, thinking he was going to treat them with respect and integrity. (Obama's claims to have a new partnership with the Muslim world are a sham.)

Here at home, Obama's plan will grow the federal budget deficit -- at a time when we badly need resources to create jobs -- and will run up the U.S. debt. Worse, it will put tens of thousands of lives at risk to pay for a mistake made by others, others who will never pay the cost.

All in all, Obama's plan will result in failure. Failure to persuade the majority of Americans that this war is worth fighting for. Failure to bring peace to Afghanistan. Failure to control terrorists. Failure to win the hearts of Muslims. Failure to balance the budget in the U.S. Failure to get re-elected.

I can only hope for one more failure: the failure of Congress to fund Obama's delusion.

Annie Capestany
Walla Walla

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