Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | OCTOBER 06, 2009 7:20 AM

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Reduce Afghanistan occupation

Wednesday marks the beginning of the ninth year of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. (In March 2010, the war in Afghanistan will exceed in length of time the Vietnam War, making it the longest war in US history). Question: What was the reason for this war in the first place? Answer: to capture Osama bin Laden and all those responsible for the treachery carried out on 9/11.

It’s now eight years later, one rarely even hears the name Osama bin Laden anymore, and no one can give a straight simple answer about why we have 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with a pending request from the military for 40,000 more. We should capture Osama bin Laden and his Qaeda associates, but we have not done it and cannot do it by occupying and attempting to remake Afghanistan.

President Obama is under intense pressure to go along with the request for more troops, and it will take more courage for him to say “no” than to say “yes.” If he listens to the people, he will not only say “no” to an increase, he will refocus on our only legitimate reason for being there and reduce our military occupation.

Congress should say right now that no funds will be authorized for additional troops. Let us act now to avoid the following scenario in three years. “We have to send more troops to Afghanistan, or the deaths of the 5,000 Americans will have been for naught. And we must authorize another $150 billion for the war to support our troops in the field.” We, the undersigned veterans, have heard that song before.

Ed Flaherty
Paul Deaton
Roscoe Porch
Thomas Kelly
John Jadraev
Iowa City residents

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