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Judge H. Lee Sarokin Headshot

Why the Massacre in Afghanistan Should Cause Us to Leave

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Remember the uproar over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero? People were opposed to it for a variety of reasons: its proximity to the World Trade Center; it symbolized victory for the terrorists; it offended the victims' families; it insulted those who lost their lives. The Muslim community and many of its supporters (myself included) quite properly argued that an entire group should not be punished or maligned for the acts of a few. The 9/11 terrorists were radicals and did not represent the Muslim religion or people. Despite some very strong opposition to the mosque, no mobs took to the street; no one was killed; no lives or beheadings were threatened. It exists today without incident.

Contrast that reaction to what has happened in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world. A nutty pastor threatens to burn the Koran; American soldiers inadvertently actually burn some Korans; and now a single American soldier tragically massacres innocent adults and children. Persons are killed in retaliation. Mobs take to the street. The American army is blamed. The American people are blamed. More killings and beheadings are threatened. "Death to America" is heard every night on television.

What happened to the unfairness of judging all based upon the acts of a few? No one could reasonably believe that burning the Koran or massacring these innocent people was American policy or directed by our government. But it is apparent that the resentment against us is so great that the slightest provocation, no matter how unrealistic or unreasonable the basis, will release that resentment and anger. Nothing else can explain the response to these isolated and unauthorized acts either by civilians or soldiers. We have not won the hearts and minds of the Afghan people and it is unlikely that we ever will. Not another dollar should be spent; not another life or limb should be lost. Bring them home!