It is a good outcome that Bales has been held accountable for his deadly attacks on Afghan civilians. But his crimes are not the only heinous incidents involving U.S. personnel to have occurred in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.
The numbers of civilians killed in Syria is appalling. But the contrast to another war is striking. The U.S. invasion of Iraq prompted a civil war that took the lives of civilians by the hundreds of thousands. Our concern for these civilians was noticeably less generous than it is for the Syrians.
The war for hearts and minds is over. It's lost in Afghanistan, and it's lost at home. The president and Congress should do us all a favor and stop letting people get killed for it, and get our people out of there.
Let us call on President Obama to announce that on Dec. 24th and 25, the United States will observe an offensive ceasefire in Afghanistan, and urge others to join the ceasefire, as a goodwill gesture to promote peace talks.
The initial feelings that rushed over me after hearing the announcement that we're pulling out of Iraq were of deep relief. But then they turned to deep sadness over the terrible cost of a war that was always wrong: intellectually, politically, strategically and, above all, morally.
The latest Petraeus/Gates media tour is under way in preparation for the general's testimony to Congress next week, and they're trotting out the same, tired spin they've been using since McChrystal was replaced in disgrace last year.
Petraeus reportedly engaged in an attempt to deflect blame for an alleged civilian casualty event, suggesting Afghan parents burned their own children to incriminate international forces. Has he lost his mind?
In these heady days of the holiday season, while you're buying your niece or nephew that last stocking stuffer or cavorting with co-workers at the annual holiday party, keep this striking image of war in mind.