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BLITZER’S BLOG: Negotiating with the Taliban
June 23rd, 2011
02:13 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: Negotiating with the Taliban

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama says he wants to negotiate a peace settlement with the Taliban, the group in Afghanistan that harbored al Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11. “So as we strengthen the Afghan government and security forces, America will join initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban,” he said in his Wednesday evening White House address.

He then spelled out these conditions for such negotiations: “They must be led by the Afghan government, and those who want to be part of a peaceful Afghanistan must break from al Qaeda, abandon violence, and abide by the Afghan constitution.”

President Obama said he thought progress on this front can be made.

For my part, I am not so sure.

Even if the Taliban leadership were to break from al Qaeda and abandon violence - they certainly have not done that yet - I suspect they will never accept Article 22 of the Afghan constitution which says: “Any kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan shall be forbidden. The citizens of Afghanistan, man and woman, have equal rights and duties before the law.”

All of us remember what life for women in Afghanistan was like before U.S. forces removed the Taliban from power after 9/11. Afghan women and girls now have rights they did not have before.

Based on what Afghan women must still endure in those areas under Taliban control, I have no reason to believe the Taliban have changed their views. I suspect the hard-core true believers in the Taliban probably never will.

I hope I’m wrong and the President is right.

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • President Obama • Taliban • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Chad

    Negotiating a peace settlement as your retreating? Sun Tzu is spinning in his grave. Obviously, the Taliban will regain control of Afghanistan. What is it they say. 'Afghanistan is where Empires go to die.' Still the U.S. is finally reversing what is dismal, bankrupting policy. Too little, too late, however, the U.S. is still doomed economically and is still a bullet train speeding towards a cliff

    June 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Fred

      Come on, we all knew that Afghanistan was a punative invasion. It wasn't meant to nation build. If by some chance it worked great, but it wasn't the primary goal. It was akin to kicking in someone's door messing up the place, and saying "if you screw up we'll be back". And it was absolutely necessary. We lost some good men but we had to respond. Stop perpetuating the myth that it was our intention to occupy and rearchitect the country. It wasn't.

      June 24, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  2. les

    This could be very much like Vietnam. Declare victory, leave, and dthen all hell breaks lose.
    i HOPE I AM WRONG, BUT IT SURE LOOKS THAT WAY.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  3. Orb4

    I continue to hope Wolf will be right about something – anything!! He and all the CNN "experts" and the Dumya-era has-been experts that frequent CNN, are still trying to figure out how President Obama got Bin Laden. You are going to have to get used to the fact that unlike the past and current Republiscum cretins – President Obama knows what he is doing.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  4. Reflecting_Pools

    Believing the Taliban can be trusted and rehabilitated is like believing that Hitler could have been reformed by requiring him to attend Sunday School every week. What I think Blitzer is missing is the fact that Obama doesn't, for a minute, believe there is any realistic possibility that the Taliban are negotiable or capable of reform. But he knows there's one hell of a lot of brain-dead idiots out there who are ready to believe anything that is presently politically 'convenient' to believe. And if believing in the Tooth Fairy is politically expedient right now, "Let's go with it."

    In politics, 'reality' is largely irrelevant. Bush, Cheney and their ilk are still peddling the fairy tale spin that Iraq is now "A Success Story" – a living testament proving how 'right' they were to invade Iraq. Of course, everyone who has any connection whatsoever to 'reality' knows that what is left of Iraq is an unmitigated, horrific disaster – a utterly dismal failure – something infinitely worse and more dysfunctional than what was there when the Hussein regime ruled. If we abandon Afghanistan as we did Iraq, that would mean two enormously costly wars were fought and LOST by the US in the past 10 years - two wars which the US will have abandoned leaving those countries in utter chaos - two wars which the US fought and abandoned leaving those countries utterly decimated and in much, much worse condition than they were in before the wars. The Iraq War deserved to be abandoned, as it was based on fraudulent pretenses to begin with. But the Afghanistan War is the "legitimate" war – the war that absolutely must be waged and won – the war that was utterly neglected by the US because of its preoccupation with the "Iraq Mistake" – the war that is taking place in what the whole World knows and acknowledges is the spawning grounds for Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists. But we'll abandon it; lie about how much we accomplished, and then Pakistan will no longer be such a problem for us, because the Taliban and Al Qaeda will simply return to Afghanistan. Politics in the US looks and smells like a dead corpse, no matter what side of the isle you view it from. And that scenery is much the same in the countries we abandon after our 'war machines' have left.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  5. hih

    The talks go like this...We keep opium you go home

    June 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  6. Charles Bowen

    Don Worry Bout it ! Nobody's Right until Everybodies Wrong ! Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    June 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  7. Amrullah Yousafzai in Mingora,Swat, Pakiland

    Why couldn't all Afghan girls be like this Swati girl?
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JfggTjKmUk&w=640&h=360]
    The war would be over if they could be.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  8. Ferdinand

    Quarantine is the only solution with a regular supply of clubs and stone picks tossed over the border fence. The only time nation building worked for Americans was The Philippines more than 100 years ago. Ckeck out the Thomasites,etc.The Moro Insurrection,etc.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  9. Dan

    Wolf is starting to look like one.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  10. Daryl M

    If Obama seriously thinks this will happen, he is delusional beyond words. The Taliban must be laughing their heads off. The Karzai government is rotten to the core and it will be brought down by the Taliban as soon as the US pulls out. Afghanistan will return to the stone age from whence it came. I feel sorry for the children who have no hope for the future in that hell-hole.

    June 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  11. deeman

    I hope I'm wrong and the President is right- we are doomed if Pelosi and Reid get elected again!

    June 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Fred

      Yeah, what we need is another Bush (Jed?) and one or two more wars to fill the pockets of his election supporters. That'll make everything right again.

      June 24, 2011 at 7:59 am |
  12. Teresa*

    ROTHSCHILDS WANT WORLD WAR 111 PLEASE LOOK UP AGENDA 21 IT WANTS TO WIPE OUT 98% OF THE WORLDS POPULATION ..... WAKE UP AMERICA WE HAVE BEEN DECEIVED BY THE DEVIL INTO A FALSE WAR
    KEEP YOUR WEAPONS READY BE PREPARED FOR IN ENSLAVEMENT ....... MAKE LOTS OF BABIES STAY AWAY FROM FLU SHOT AND HAVE YOUR OWN ORGANIC GARDEN ................ LOVE THY BROTHER ...... THE DEMONS ARE LAUGHING WHILE WE FIGHT AMONGST OUR SELF .... SPREAD GODS LOVE .......OBAMA IS THE QUEENS REPTILIAN PUPPET ........... PLEASE WAKE UP THERE ARE DEMONS EVERYWHERE .......

    June 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  13. Rhymeskeema

    Afghanistan has Afghanistan problems. USA has American problems. And Afghanistan problems. And Iraq problems. And North Korea problems. And Iran problems. And Lybia problems. And Yemen problems. And Syria problems. And...

    CUT AND RUN. LET'S BE DONE. No more bankrupting the nation with false military pride. It's damaging all of us.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  14. Frangible

    The Taliban are from Pakistan. They are opportunists who in the post-Red Army invasion vacuum seized power in Afghanistan as an alien force to use it as a proxy against India. As long as Afghanistan has weak security, they will always remain a threat, no matter what we do, and they aren't going to stop hating India and go home to Pakistan because we ask nicely. Nor is playing border guard going to work.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  15. Rex

    A Scene from Uncle Sam and Son

    Fred: Lamont, Julio is fixin to take over the whole neighborhood and I've maxed out my credit card!
    Lamont: Pops, why did you max out the credit card?
    Fred: Tryin' to protect this EMPIRE that I'm gonna leave for you!
    Lamont: Julio has nothin' but a goat.
    Fred: Well the payments are commin due. Maybe I can ask Julio just to keep his goat outta my yard.
    Lamont: Pops, look at these bills. You know you owe 14 trillion dollars. That's 14 times a million times a million!
    Fred: Maybe I can raise the limit on my card. Oh Lord....this is the big one.....(to be continued)

    June 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  16. Constifusion

    It took the United States 100 odd years to recognize the fact that all men are created equal. Give the Afghans a chance it might take them another 50 years, What's the problem Wolfe?

    June 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  17. Teresa*

    WE SHOULD NOT KEEP OUR ATTENTION ON HOLLYWOOD BUT ON THE FREEDOM OF AMERICA FROM THE ROTHSCHILDS & NEW WORLD ORDER ALONG WITH AGENDA 21 .........THE REPTILLIANS ARE IN OUR CHURCHES THEY HAVE INVADED OUR GOVERNMENTS & WE WILL PAY DEARLY WITH OUR FREEDOM IF WE STRAY FROM GODS LOVE SAY NO TO WARS & YES TO GODS LOVE DON'T LET THE DEVIL WIN ... PLEASE KEEP THE RIGHT TO BARE ARMS & MAKE LOTS OF BABIES AND FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOMS ....... THE DEVIL IS ENJOYING AMERICAN LOSING THEIR LIVES IN A POINTLESS WAR THAT WAS BASED ON LIES ........ PLEASE PEOPLE ARE DYING ........LOVE THY BROTHER<3

    June 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  18. Rod C. Venger

    One need only remember a blue-clad woman being shot in the back of the head in a stadium full of onlookers. That's the Taliban that our fearless leader would negotiate with.

    Never.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  19. COUNTRYCOOK

    Friends

    In an extraordinary interview Walid exposes Huma Abedin, the wife of the disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner as a potential infiltrator in the State Department who has access to sensitive information.

    This is a fantastic interview with Michael Savage, and goes into detail to the depths of deception of the stealth Jihad that we face as a nation. The age of the "war against terror" is not as big a threat because we are very vigilant in this area however the threat from a Islamic fifth column infiltrating our government, military, FBI, CIA and all areas of power in order to destroy us from within is full at hand, yet our main stream media and our government are oblivious to this threat and we have no vigilance to counteract this. As far as we know we are the only organization that is doing research on real time cases to warn America of this very big problem, much bigger than anyone can imagine.

    share with the world, our Nation is under silent attack! @ walid shoebat

    June 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  20. PortlandJim

    Wolf, assume you're right, and you probably are. So what's the answer. Remain in Afghanistan for the next 1,000 years, waiting for the medieval mentality of a tribal society to catch up with modern times? Iraq was a whole different situation. I'm not saying we should have done what we did there either, but Iraq, even before we invaded, was led by a despotic dictator but one who was a secularist that did not put religious fanatics in charge of the asylum. And, the Iraqis were, and are, by and large, a literate, well-educated people who embraced many aspects of Western culture. Afghanistan is a different ballgame. You can impose enlightenment on a people living with 9th-century ideas. How can women be equal in a culture that considers it an affront to its religion if a woman learns to read and write? Yes, Wolf, if we leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will overrun the country and depose the totally inept and corrupt Karzai government, and, tragically, they will re-impose their brutal form of Islamic extremism. But what can we do about it? We can't stay there forever, holding back the flood, and when we do leave, the waters will just rush right back in. We've lost lives and spent billions in national treasure for nothing. Afghanistan was a wasteland before we invaded, and a wasteland it will be again after we leave.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  21. markjuliansmith

    Why Does Obama still say this is not against Islam when it clearly is-we are fighting Text here a dogma exactly the same as Hitler’s?

    Why is it the attacks off Other by Muslim terrorists Why they occur, How they occur are not seen as they actually are, the same actions undertaken by Brownshirts (Nazi terrorists) with moderate/Liberal Nazis in the background?

    We have the insanity of being regarded as left wing opposing Nazi text and right wing opposing Islamic text – which I repeat textually constructs Other in exactly the same way with the same consequences?

    Change the Islamic text or change nothing.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  22. Clifford

    As much as I want our troops to come home, I see a paralell here with Vietnam. We spent thousands of U.S. Soldiers lives and billions of dollars to walk away from it and we never heard about the blood baths that followed as our enemies re-took what we had established. Thousands of innocents will die and everything we tried to accomplish will be down the tubes.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  23. Len

    I have only one question...

    Why is the United States willing to negotiate with a terrorist group?

    June 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  24. Grushenka

    Would the US really be spending billions to bring the social ideas of Western, secular society to Afghanistan? Why??? Fist of all, we execute *woman* here the US, as we do men, so who are we to judge the practices of Afghan society? We, the American public as consumers of media, don't really know the truth about Taliban practices, apart from they want to drive our solidies, who they view as invaders, out of their country. I'm pretty convinced that that is probably their view, but beyond that, who really knows?
    Bin Laden is dead, and we hope that Al Qaeda won't be able to use Afghanistan as a safe haven, beyond that I DO NOT CARE is they live in the 7th.century or any other century. I hear my own religion refered to as "reactionary, primitive and superticious" all the time, so I am not very trustful when I hear these accusastions thrown at any group.
    Furthermore, I've got a degree from one of the "Seven Sisters" college, plus a master's and I don't even have a JOB, and when I did, my lesbian supervisor told me I couldn't leave my desk and go pee. Yeah, PLEASE let's go spread more equality and democracy all over the world. Bullshit.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  25. Mike A. , CO

    True, sad – and irrelevant. This country is – in part – in the sorry state it is because of a foreign policy of trying to save the world and make it more to our political, economic and moral liking. Time for that nonsense to end, Now. Yeah, I feel sorry for Afghan women. But I feel more sorry for the working mom right here at home who can't make ends meet, partly because funds to help her are going to build schools for Afghans.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  26. repubs are the American Taliban

    Why do Republican conservatives get a free pass to insult and spread there lies and never get moderated but when anybody else refute these lies you will have to go through a moderator?

    June 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  27. us1776

    President Obama successfully accomplished the only mission that we should have ever taken on and that was to find and kill bin Laden. al-Qaeda is being defeated not by force. But by the Arab youth was are accomplishing a hundred times more for the Middle Eastern societies than anything that al-Qaeda ever hoped to accomplish. And that makes al-Qaeda meaningless and irrelevant.

    This idea of going into Iraq and Afghanistan and doing nation building was massively wasteful.

    I'm glad we're getting out. They should just bring all the troops home right now.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  28. Chuck St John

    Hope you read all these Wolf...you're not wrong. Decision to engage the Taliban is naive in the extreme

    June 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  29. Coach Lew

    Why don't all AMerican voters just sit on their arss and do nothing. It only cost an email to write a congressman and let them know how you feel or if you prefer a 49 cent stamp plus envelope and oiece of paper to mail them. American's have learned not to fight back for their rights or anything. This is utterly disgusting. I write my Senators and Reps at least once a month and let them know how I feel. I don't always get the responses I wanted but at least I tried. I dare all of you CNN readers to write your congressman about how you feel. It makes you feel better that is for sure.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  30. aelarsen

    the united states is not in afghanistan to fight for womens rights....we are there to kill al qaeda members. bin laden is dead we have accomplished the mission bring our troops home now!!!!!
    democrats keep up the pressure to end this thing
    republicans just shut up....for you this war is about contracts for your war cronies
    every american I speak to wants an end .....now

    June 23, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  31. Truthwillsetyoufree

    The Taliban will be a perpetual problem with no end until the locals turn them all in. Its the only way... And they sacrifice their lives doing that. We need the Fantastic Four otherwise...

    June 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  32. krag

    Why does our government know Afgans constitution better then our own. Artical 22 of the Afgan constitution .Any descrimination for any group of people will be forbidden

    June 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  33. Coach Lew

    WTF, This is a huge mistake. Can anyone in government remember when the Japanese were talking peace in December 1941 at almost the same time they sent hundreds of planes to bomb Pearl Harbor? Well be ware of wolves in sheeps clothing. We are going to eat the bullet on this one again. Alll I can say is Idiot's idiot's idiot's idiot's idiot's. Why not just give them part of Texas and make them feel at home.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  34. Fred

    Yes, it may be time to leave but it might be a good idea to remind Karzai that we've got lots of drones that need test flights, as Pakistan is finding out.

    And Wolf, if the Arab world isn't going to stand up for Women's rights, you can't force it on them. Time to spend the money on American's and our infrastructure. We've got plenty of needy causes at home that can be addressed.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  35. stormsun

    Wolf Blitzer is hardly anyone's idea of a right-wing hawk. There have been times in the past when I wondered, frankly, if there was anything in American policy he actually agreed with. The article above demonstrates that there everyone must draw the line somewhere. While he stopped short of criticizing President Obama's assessment of negotiations with the Taliban, in concert with the Afghan government, he may have added more credence to the skeptics of such a policy than if he had openly blasted the President's credulous belief that the Taliban will negotiate – and behave afterwards – in good faith. For my part, I think that giving any official role to the Taliban in Afghanistan's future dooms them from the start to oppression, violence, and relentless efforts to return Afghan's citizens to the dark ages of their previous reign. The Taliban WILL NOT change their plans, or goals, because it is an article of faith (literally) for them to exercise the most rigid and brutal control over the lives of everyone they have the power to coerce. I am especially sorry for the women and girls of Afghanistan, who will now most assuredly face a future that is considerably bleaker, and once the U.S. pulls out, they can expect no help from the "advanced nations" of the world. We will be leaving the barbaric theocrats to have their way.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  36. abby

    Yes, we needed to get bin Laden and his crew. But we really should have just allowed the CIA and special ops to deal with them.
    America blew it badly when our glorious "mission accomplished" president put Afghanistan on the back burner so he could pursue Iraq to prove he was a bigger man than his daddy and to help all his and Cheney's oil buddies gain access to Iraq's oil.
    As for Afghanistan, the reporters go and talk to Afghans who tell the reporters what they think that the reporters want to hear. Then they turn around and support the Taliban. They act friendly to the American troops and then turn around and support the Taliban.
    Karzai is as corrupt as the day is long. The whole country is a flipping disaster where the people want to continue to live in the 7th century (except they do love modern weapons).
    Our biggest mistake was arming and training the the jihadists fighting the Soviet Union. If we had left well enough alone it would have been the USSR's problem and the people in Afghanistan would have been back to killing each other in no time.
    When will America learn that we cannot buy "allies" - that we cannot even rent them for a while.
    If we had spent all the time, resources, money on America and alternative energy sources we could have told all the oil-rich Arab nations and their fellow Muslim nations to kiss our collective derrieres. We could have rebuilt America. We would not be in the economic mess that we have today.
    But, hey, that's common sense.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  37. repubs are the American Taliban

    Complain whining moaning carping Republicans if that all you have. Do America a favor and quarantine yourselves

    June 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  38. Ali

    What peace deal! what negotiations! US led forces have failed hoarribly in containing the taliban.Actually taliban have spread alot.US only wants to run away because their lads on the ground are too scared of getting killed...and taliban is out of US power.Why asking pakistan to open another war front when US itself has failed to defeat talibs and now begging a escape door to run away.Hey american people a piece of advice:Try to mind ur own business in future.Another stupid president like bush and US will lose the title of super power!By the way as a Pakistani i wanna ask americans a personel question.When was the last time ur armed forces went against an evenly matched enemy?or they are only big to attack civilians from the cover of heavy armour or frm air ?Stop threating pakistan and stop demonising our brave armed forces.They have a history totally opposite to ur armed force.i.e they stood,fought and defeated 3 times bigger army and this is why US has not dared doing its real agenda of attacking pakistan.So they are using their CIA owned media to demonise ISI...cowards!Last thing US aid to pakistan is to Asif ali zardari and not to people of pakistan.So give what ever you are giving(only as bribe to vcarry out us agenda) but keep in mind receiver is zardari and not pakistan.The world doesnt need US to learn how to run their houses.Even taliban dont accept that!

    June 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  39. nirmala

    Why should we assign to ourselves the right to tell others how to run their governments? Especially when we have closed our minds to thoughts which might be right but alien to democracy. Why should we think our values are better as compared to others', when we ourselves have staunch opponents to our values? We should be concerned with Afghanistan only to the extent of their indifference to their citizens smuggling drugs to our nation. If Taliban runs a government there, strictly enforceable UN/IMF sanctions should take care of that. We should also enforce our laws in that connection more strictly with mandatory sentences for longer periods. When we find wide support in our own country to making marijuana legal, I do not think we should be asking others to strictly enforce anti drugs laws in their countries. We have of course no business to tell them how they should treat their women or what type of education should be given to them or whether they should do away with purdah or male circumcision. Even when comparatively developed nations like India and China it will be quite difficult to find approval to the way some of our women dress in public. We should not forget that our culture is hardly three centuries old, whereas there are many cultures several millenniums old and we should not try to look down on them. Several practices of tribals in many nations are totally different to modern cultural practices all over the world. We are not trying to make tribals give them up, but are trying to preserve them. The way we treat our poor will be the worst anywhere in the world, if GOP had its way, so why lecture the world? Especially as far as Afghanistan is concerned, we cannot deny that the long forgotten nation came to limelight only because of cold war between us and Russia. They were minding their business all these centuries. Russia first instigated them to throw away their king who had our support and then we instigated to them to throw away Russian puppet regime, to install our own, by provoking their religious sentiments and arming them to teeth. There is a proverb 'if you make scorpion the king, be prepared to be stung minute to minute'. Well, what has been done cannot be undone. But as long as we fight the tribals there, they will be united under any leader to fight us. The only way to make them mind their own business and leave us alone is, our not becoming their target. Let's quit their country and allow them to fight among themselves and in due course resolve their problems themselves. Education is spreading and communication is improving all over the world. Centuries old practices will not go away over night. Let's be patient and help their humanitarian causes like food, education and health care without in any way interfering the way they govern themselves. Let us also not forget that just being a super power will not lead us to victory. We cannot call what happened to us in Vietnam, Korea and elsewhere our victories. Countries with well developed infrastructure stand to lose more than undeveloped or underdeveloped countries. There is no victor in a modern war. Only the energies and wealth of developed nations will be drained out in a prolonged war. Old wars were mostly fought for economic subjugation of other countries. In modern world it is just not possible to use wars for that. It is done through one own strong economy and trade. If we are a super power, it is not because we have a superior army. Our most modern planes and tanks have not been able to win over Taliban with at best AK-47! Let's not kid ourselves. We are a super power because the world depends upon us for food and technology and currency support. We are the biggest consumers of everything the world produces. It is time we changed our view of the world, drastically cut our military expenses and channeled our energy and wealth to lead the world again in technology and trade. nirmalasuman@therightviewonline.com

    June 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  40. silvershado

    Duke, they aren't 500 years behind the times. They're l,379 years behind- Mohammed died in 632.

    Afghanistan the Graveyard of Empires.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  41. qanerd

    They have already started to take over the towns we have pulled our sorry butts out of. What a bonehead Dear Leader is. We are going to have to do this all over again down the line and all those lives and all that treasure were for naught.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  42. jeru0455

    We don't need to be there to support the government of Afghanistan. We give out billions in foreign aid to far less deserving countries, why not give money and weapons to the Afghan government? They'll be able to win the battle eventually, it may take decades, but they'll accomplish it.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  43. Anonymous

    This is ridiculous. Thinking that the Taliban are going to be willing to negotiate, is about as much of a pipe-dream as ending terrorism and putting in a democracy. Not gonna happen unless the US is willing to commit all the troops they have there now, till the end of time. Afghanistan's President was threatening to join the Taliban, yet for some reason our government thinks these people can be peaceful? I'd like to live in "wishful thinking world" too, but I'm here in reality. I don't support any Democrat or Republican politician, they are all corrupt, however I think the Republicans are going to have a field day with this come next election time.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  44. Name*Savannah ken

    Wolf, sir youur not wrong...military does not support it...another crazy I'll advised decision by our president...same with using our oil reserves for political purposes...where was he when gas was 5.00 a gallon?

    June 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Sid

      Its the toughest call, and the President is right. Taliban are Afghans and there is no way you can get rid of them. The entire region including Pakistan's North west frontier has a culture of implementing strict laws and carrying weapons. They have history of resisting invasions and if you thing you can change them, you are dead wrong. Taliban is fighting from last 23 years and the best way is to broker a deal and let the Afghans handle them. Else US will be fighting there forever.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • HHN1999

      When gas was $5.oo, BO was a senator and W was in the white house!

      June 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Gbenga

      While there is reason to doubt whether or not the Taliban will abondon violence and insugency and assimilate into the Afghan political process, the president's decision is not a bad one, nor is it unprecedented. This same strategy/tactic was tried in Iraq with the "Sunni Awakening Council" where the same poeple who where killing American troops where paid to keep the peace and eventually these people started to form political parties and (slowly) began participating in Iraqi politics and government.

      It should be clear to us all (after 10 years) that the current strategy of kill-em-all is not going to work b'cos they'll retreat to Pakistan in the winter and return with more recruits in the spring and the cycle will continue indefinitely. We need to start taking more productive action that will bring our troops (and dollars) home faster. I'm with the President on this one come what may in Afghanistan.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Sal Voce

      I think the Taliban are just licking their chops in victory that we're leaving and they're ready to take over, again, and inflict sharia law and other attrocities on the people there...

      June 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Larry L

      When does our top brass ever think we've had enough? After 34 years of the Army I've never seen our Pentagon leadership avoid mission creep. The same conservative who thought Iraq was a good idea are now criticizing our President for getting out of an area nobody has ever really conquered. The same right-wingers who are talking about the deficit want us to continue spending our treasure on this sinkhole. If you aren't willing to serve – STFU.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • spartacus

      what would you do if china invaded your county and occupied it? Their is more honour in 1 Afgan than 1, 000, 000 Americans.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • skytag

      Gas was never $5 a gallon. It never even got up to $4 a gallon here.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Logic

      He was killing Osama Bin Laden, that's where.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Sid

      You are wrong, gas never went $5 a gallon. HW was in white house during last hike.
      Get your facts straight....!

      June 24, 2011 at 2:34 am |
  45. Mark Yelka

    If sharks bite swimmers at a beach, what do you do? Hunt and exterminate sharks all over the world? Or, put up a barricade around the beach?

    June 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Mark

      if sharks blow up buildings, crash plans, bomb embassies and train stations murdering thousands of people, then yes, you hunt them all over the world.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Ferdinand

      If we quarantine this man made 'barbaric tribal' disease by sealing off their borders and ttossing them clubs so they may beat each other to death, we might solve the problem, other wise there is no solution, our efforts will continue to be as if we were trying to train dynosaurs to beha.ve. Afghanastan has always been Afghanastan, even Alexander the Great knew that. Does anyone really believe anything has changed since then, except for the weaponry? It has to be a 'start all over' campaign. Check American history and The Thomasites in The Philippines(circa 1900) we started from scratch. Sadly, we couldn't ( and wouldn't) want to try this today, with good reason! I'd say the Afghans Neanderthals, but it would unfair to that noble race.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Jdog

      If you are an American, you first get the entire country in a friz...How could a shark have the nerve to bite an American, on American soil. You would attempt to hunt down the shark, spending however much it costs. You would link the shark to another country he last fed in and bomb it further back into the stone age. If there was a leader from a totally uninvolved neighbouring country that had some shark oil you wanted, you would make up a reason to also attack that country, while you were in the same area. This entire mess would cost trillions, take a decade, and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent sharks, but in the end you would send a navy seal team in to kill said shark and say it was all worthwhile. Even so, people going to the beach would have to take absurd precautions, like wearing body armour, just to feel safe. If another shark was suspected, people would have to wear even more layers of protection. The govt would eavesdrop on your internet and telephone conversations just for added reassurance. That's about what would happen

      June 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • GLENDA

      Your point?

      June 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • WTF

      What the heck are you talking about?

      June 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  46. Dennis

    The the Afghanistan Gov make their own deals for their own country

    June 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • The Big Enbe

      They do? That's news to me...

      June 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  47. Mark Yelka

    If sharks bite a swimmer, what do you do? Hunt and kill sharks all over the world? Or, put up a barricade around the beach?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Dan

      If the shark crawled out of the ocean and into an Urban area inside America and began randomly killing people like AlQeda I would hunt and kill sharks wherever they were.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  48. tommyh

    At $2B a week, we just cannot afford it. The $ is better spent at home in schools, to rebuild roads and transportation and to reduce our ballooning deficit. State of Ca has been trying, for months to deal with a $9B budget deficit and CA has a pop of 36 million. Why should we spend $110B a year in a country with 20 million people with little to show for it. So show us the money first before thinking of continuing the war. The whole concept of terrorist having a base is Afghanistan is nonsense. They could very well have bases in pakistan, yemen, Sudan, etc etc etc etc.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • qanerd

      We can pay now or we can pay later but we will have to pay one way or the other

      June 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • charles

      Screw Cali and all the liberal bull they cause the rest of us to put up with. You dug your own hole by having one handout program after another.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Shaun

      AGREED!! Pull our troops home..anyone coming from "certain" countries of interest. you want in ..prove you're ok..otherwise..stay home and rot in your festering pesthole!

      June 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • stormsun

      Tommyh, you say, "The whole concept of terrorist having a base is Afghanistan is nonsense." What are you talking about? The reason we invaded Afghanistan was precisely because they DID have terrorist bases in Afghanistan, openly, and with the Taliban's blessing. When the American government asked them to close down the al Qaeda bases and stop providing them sanctuary in "their" country, the Taliban rejected the request out of hand. If we do nothing else, we need to make it clear to the Taliban and the Afghan government that if they return to collaborating with and hosting terrorists, we will be back, and we'll be angry next time around. Personally, I believe our mistake was not in invading Afghanistan (unlike Iraq, where we had no business), but in how we managed the occupation. In the aftermath of WWII, we occupied and rebuilt even our former enemies so that they would have stable democratic governments; we did not hand the rule of their country back to them until we were sure this was the case. Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Texas guy

      Drawback = drones, snipers and CIA. The money is better spent covertly. You cannot negotiate history; you make your history. History will be built on your strength and your resolve to use it. Nation building only works after you have destroyed your enemy. We do not have the resolve to wipe them out. To make a history that results in our survival simply look to history for the playing rules. America is now the sleeping Tiger. The enemy has not seen the force of our power. That day may only occur after we are nuked. Then hell will be unleashed. It's history.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  49. Mom of Three

    This has nothing to do with the Taliban or the people or anything. It's all about protecting that pipeline. The first thing that Karzai authorized when he took office was allowing construction of that oil pipeline. When we leave, Kabul will fall within a week to the Taliban. The real concern of the corporations? What will happen to their pipeline?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Dad of Two

      Right. 9/11 was a hoax so we could go in to Afghanistan and build a pipeline. It's incredible how stupid people are.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  50. Knoxer

    Right, let's negotiate with terrorists. That'll definately work Bama.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Bill in Florida

      Of course, if the President said we'd stay in Afghanistan for another 10 years to continue fighting the Taliban, you'd still complain.

      Troll.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Mike kerns

      Reality check Obama has killed more terrorist in two years then bush killed in eight years. Check fox to see for some guidance to that fact

      June 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • gorn

      Our purpose of going into Afghanistan was not to eradicate the Taliban, but to route out bin Laden and his team responsible for 911. The Taliban are religious loonies, but frankly that should not be our responsibility. OBL and the key 911 perps are dead or captured. Time to withdraw and move on. It's not a matter of "negotiating with terrorists". It's a matter of exiting that stinkhole ASAP now that "mission accomplished" actually has meat.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Fred

      Well it worked for the greatest president the conservatives ever saw – Regan, ever hear of Iran-Contra ? Guns for Hostages? Ollie North ring a bell? Or are you a 15 year old who is just listening to what his dad tells him? Wake up and look around.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • FREDO

      THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS WILLING TO RECOGNIZE THE TALIBAN AS THE LEGITIMATE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT BEFORE 9-11 THEY EVEN ALLOWED ONE OF THEIR ENVOYS GIVE A SPEECH IN FRONT OF CONGRESS..... SO WHY ARE YOU REPUKES NOW CONCERNED? WE HAVE TO STOP DESTROYING THE ECONOMY OF THE COUNTRY TO SUPPORT YOUR ENDLESS WAR, THAT WAS PART OF THE TERRORISTS PLAN, THEY WANTED TO BANKRUPT US, OR DO YOU REALLY THINK AL QUAEDA THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO BEAT US IN AN OPEN BATTLEFIELD?

      June 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • John L.

      Maybe you would like us to stay another ten years fighting an endless war that we can't afford? Let's hear your brilliant idea on how to clean up that mess.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  51. Ang

    There should be never ever be any such policy as "negotiating with the Taliban". They cannot ever be trusted. They will lie to temporarily appease the powers that be. If we think we can trust them or take them at their word, then we are stupid and have not learned from history. Anyone who believes they can be trusted, is living in La La Land.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • gorn

      It doesn't matter. We need to exit Afghanistan. If the Taliban manage to take over the country and then turn it into a terrorist state that threatens us, then we can obliterate them. But continuing the status quo is not an option. We aren't the word's police force.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Peace TV

      Have you learned from history of British invasion of Afghanistan and Russian invasion of Afghanistan?

      June 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  52. Dave, California

    At some point you have to attempt to negotiate. This is as much of an important step for the Taliban as it is for anyone. They have the opportunity here to take their country back. If they decide to go the other way, and cause trouble, then bullets keep flying at their heads. There is nothing wrong with attempting to negotiate. If it fails it fails, but Wolf presents no arguments as to why not attempt to negotiate.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  53. Paul .

    Wolf, the Taliban says, "It's not us that wants it this way. It's God. The Koran says so and that's God's word." How can anyone argue with that? "It's nothing personal. I don't want to marry a five-year-old. God wants it that way. I don't want to set little girls on fire for going to school, or stone women for showing some leg, or gang rape a woman that went outside with a non-family male. That's all about the way God wants it."

    June 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • REALITYCHECK

      You really do need to read more buddy...

      June 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • nirmala

      We forget that ladies were not the apple of our eyes in our own nation, It is not yet a hundred years since they got their right to vote! It is not even fifty years since segregation was abolished in our country and millions of our fellow citizens were upgraded from animals to humans! Further why our troops are in Afghanistan? To improve their culture? Let's focus on what is our business there which is put an end to the activities of terrorists against us. Let's not dissipate our energies in unwanted and unsolicited help.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Peace TV

      5 years old boys and girls are "married" by Christian priest behind close doors. I think the topic is not about Christian priests.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  54. Don M

    It would be a lot easier and cheaper just to punch these countries and chase the roaches into the hills and leave than to occupy for a decade and wait for the roaches to slowly stick their heads out. Sure we may have to come back three our four times before they decide they better put a moderate in charge but it's a heck of a lot better than occupying the place for decades. Our military is not a moral police force – it is built to destroy organized enemies and resistance.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Knoxer

      Black Ops Teams and Drones is all we need, assuming we can mainain military intelligence from the Afgans which is risky at best. You just gotta love the Drones. "Breaker, breaker, Taliban siting at such and such coordinates" Some Marine in San Diego uses his joy stick while looking at a screen, flys it in and pulls the trigger. Bam...Multiple Head Shot!!

      June 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  55. Rob

    If we're not really going to use every weapon and every method we have to drive them out of Afghanistan, it's a moot point. If we don't kill all or most of them, they'll just wait us out. So, our current effort is largely pointless, so we might as well pull out

    June 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Peace TV

      They have been driven out of Afghanistan into Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Pakistan. Thats 5 countries. Lets elect Republicans and invade another 5 countries on top of the existing 2. World will be so peaceful with Americans spilling its blood and treasury in 7 wars. That will bel Dick Cheney's dream come true. 7 countries to do Halliburton business to make the poor Cheney family rich.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  56. Winston Smith

    We didn't invade Afthanistan to liberate Afghan women; we did it to stop them from flying planes into our buildings, at a time when al-Qaeda and the Taliban were virtually interchangeable. If the president says we are truly safe now, then I am willing to trust him. We are no longer in a position either to offer assistance to, or impose our will on, other countries on anything like the scale we have been doing there.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Gbenga

      Amen Mr. Smith!

      June 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Peace TV

      Where was our Trillions of dollars defense system that day and how many people got fired for failing to defend our country FOUR time in one day? The fact is all those who failed to defend the nation that got promoted.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  57. BRACK

    what would be new???? blitzer yours ALWAYS wrong!!! what a goof! learn where jesus was born first. watching him on Jeopardy was embarrassing!! if you havent seen it, youtube it!

    June 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  58. Chris

    Yay for acid thrown in little giirls faces who are just trying to go to school!
    How about rather than negotiate with the Taliban, we eradicate them?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • FREDO

      yeah , if you believe so much in your cause why don't you join an anti taliban movement in afghanistan's civil war, I'm sure they will welcome you. In your spare time go find the names and addresses of all al qaeda and taliban supporters and their phone numbers so we can identify them...... its been over 10 years of nothing but failures, we cannot bankrupt the country but I'm in favor of bankrupting you so you can go do your monkey dance.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  59. Nathan

    They defeated the Rooskies, now they'll defeat the Yanks. They've defeated every invader in their history. Haven't people learned from this history? Obviously not given the arrogance–aka ignorance–of Russia and the US and the British, etc. Imperialism doesn't cut it in Afghanistan. They're one tough bunch of hombres.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Knoxer

      Stating that we have been "defeated" as the Russians were, shows your lack of any knowledge on this issue.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
      • FREDO

        The russians pulled out, the same way the US will also, the russians were not defeated neither but in the end gave up the fight because they were going bankrupt just like the US is going.... yes, they have defeated us, just like in vietnam, we won the battles but we lost the war. .

        June 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Mike kerns

      I believe we have definitely beat the Taliban like a drum.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Fred

      There's a difference between being defeated and the other guy deciding he's beaten you enough and walks away. This was never going to be a sustained occupation. There is nothing to be gained by it. This was more of a punative "we're going to come and kick down some doors and make you uncomfortable for awhile" kind of war.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • gorn

      We have been defeated only if our purpose was to eradicate the Taliban. It seems to me the purpose was to kill OBL and to eliminate Afganistan as a safe haven for al Queda. We've accomplished that. Now it's time to go home.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Tru Dat

      Absolutely true, although the Afghan fight against the Russians was far different than the Taliban against the US, history has shown that anyone who attempts to occupy Afghanistan looses in the end. They don't care if we stay for another decade as long as it bleeds us dry. The reason the Taliban stayed in power was that they were the only group able to end the civil war after the Russians left, the Afghan people didn't care so much that it was done with a heavy hand. What the Afghans want more than anything is to know what peace is.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • onecatcherintherye

      The US already won in Afghanistan. The Taliban were removed from power, Al Qaeda was weakened, Bin Laden was actually killed, and the US has zero interest in "owning" what's left. Unlike the Soviets and the Brits, the US is not trying to be an imperial power of any type. Is it time to draw down, yes it is. Is withdrawing a defeat? Far from it. Will it be spun that way, unfortunately it will be.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Peace TV

      Knokx.. You are blinded by arrogance

      June 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  60. David

    The afghan society is a few generations behind us – it was only recently that even in the US slavery was considered normal, women were not allowed to vote/work, etc. These countries are being pushed quickly to evolve into a modern society and adapt to the moral norms of more advanced societies – while living in absolute poverty. Of course there is a time to to put down the stick and try to help them advance in more sophisticated ways.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • jeru0455

      Oh yeah I think I remember reading in American history where they said in the 1800s rape was legal, acid was thrown on children, and pedophilia was mandatory.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Peace TV

      Right on.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  61. Anita

    Everyone's position is non-negotiable – until it is. Just look at the Republicans in Congress who just walked out of budget talks because tax increases are non-negotiable. Wait for it....... Wolf is probably right, but the US can't stay there forever. Afghanistan and Iraq will not be the 51st and 52nd states. If someone has an idea as to how to secure the gains made in human rights (such as they are) without bankrupting our country and killing our kids, I seriously want to hear it.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  62. RS, CA

    John is is spot on! Aaron, in CA is a fool . . . but, then,Aaron is from CA (Liberal idiots abound here, having destroyed my once great state!!).

    June 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  63. Don

    You are right. Obama is wrong. The Taliban are "nuts" about their religion. I wouldn't expect them to agree to equal rights and if they did so they really no longer would be Taliban. But I do expect them to lie about it if they see any advantage to such a lie.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  64. duke13

    You CANNOT negotiate a peace settlement with a group of people who are 500 years behind times. Get out NOW. If the Afghan people want the Taliban removed they will remove them. Nuff said!

    June 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  65. Blitzer for Party Chairman

    Who cares what one of our most liberal and biased so called journalists thinks?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Maria Libertarian Latina

      Agree, so Blitzer cares about women of Afghanistan all of a sudden??? Where was he, Katie Oba-Couric, NOW and all the other liberal outlets during Bush's term? Where was his endorsement of improvements to women in Afhhanistan when they were forced from power while Bush was the president? All we heard was either criticism of Bush or we "heard" silence when GWB did something good for women or for those with Aids in Africa for example. Now all of a sudden Blitzer wakes up from his self-induced hibernation – how convenient!

      June 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  66. Orville

    Wolf, you know full well that the US Government is laying the groundwork for a face-saving retreat, and I think that's fine with everyone. Who cares? Nobody cares. So let the Taliban move back in and bring the family, let them set up to molest their young and slaughter each other and be done with it. We got the bad guy, we did what GW said we would do, now lets pick up our stuff and come home. We made our point, it's over.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  67. Laura

    It reminds me of when Gerald Ford said, "Poland is free." Really? I must get whatever drugs these guys are taking.

    Obama should have withdrawn all of the troops from Afghanistan / Iraq long ago ... as he promised ...

    June 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • jeru0455

      Actually he promised to draw down the troops in Iraq and then implement a surge in Afghanistan, which he called the "just war." Just because you imagined someone saying something doesn't make that a promise. If you don't know anything about politics about please don't post, let alone vote.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  68. John

    So as I look at this.

    Obama is just wasting money funding a war with no clear end in sight if Afganistan continues.

    Or...

    Obama is wasting the money and the sacrafice of the soldiers that have died over the last 10 years if he pulls the troops out.

    Hmmm...

    Considering that Afganistan seems to be happy with corruption, perhaps it is time for America to start funding our schools, infrastructure, and people the same way we seem to be doing in other countries.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  69. Jake jones

    Yes it will revert. A terrible thing. The lesser of two evils though, the other one being there.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  70. Tom

    Lets hope the taliban take this opportunity to move toward a better future. If they refuse at least the world will understand who they are and what they want. And if they refuse lets hope that a historical islamic figure will rise up and impose a better future for that part of the world. A future that is beneficial to all the people of the country. If all that fails, the next time they embrace terrorists with a 911 stunt, I believe things will be different.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  71. Bosko

    Why don't we get out right now ??? Why wait ??? We are neither needed nor wanted. Same applies to Iraq, Libya, Egypt and anywhere else on the planet.

    Why does Obama continue Bush's misguided attempts to "civilize" and "democratize" the world ???

    June 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  72. chuckes

    Bring em back and put their butts to work helping around towns fixing America.

    WE are their employers, just like we are the government ..... WE pay your bills.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • onecatcherintherye

      Why don't you go out and work on the infrastructure? The men and women of the military have worked very hard over the past ten years routing out terrorism around the world while you sit idly at home spewing forth nonsense from behind a computer screen. The military is not a slave work force. I believe it would be best to put the unemployed into such work programs. It would serve two purposes, one, it would improve the infrastructure of the US, and two, it would give people jobs. Military personnel already have a job, and a very important one at that.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  73. NW1000

    Hi Wolfie, I heard the time you announced a plunge in W. Bush's approval ratings, it was hilarious, you were ecstatic with excitement. That was funny.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  74. edsr

    Blitzer.........you are wrong about EVERYTHING.............anyone from a burg like Buffalo NY is wrong about EVERYTHING..............

    June 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  75. American Citizen

    Would you listen to a man that reports from a pretend "Situation Room?" Wolf, seriously – you embarrass me. Can't trust the real one, either that is acting under no legal authority right now. I hope that I am wrong that the majority of American people seem to be unwilling to hold this man and the other living former presidents accountable for their actions in seriously financially harming each of our families over the last 40 years or so. None of these men suffered in any way, but their poor decision making caused "unnecessary roughness" to our personal lives for no reason.
    ©2011 American Citizen ™. All Rights Reserved.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  76. chuckes

    Uh... we were at war with OSAMA BIN LADEN. HE IS DEAD. he's withdrawing because the mission was accomplished, and you want to keep troops there? Fools.

    Bout time. Give them leave and then put their asses to work helping fix America. We are the employers of all of you in government. Do as WE say.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • jeru0455

      We are at war with AL-QAEDA and state sponsors of terrorism. Please show me where anyone, anywhere, EVER said that we were at war with Osama Bin Laden, besides yourself of course.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  77. REALITYCHECK

    Let me get this straight... this clown's entire anti negotiation argument is based on afghan women rights? Like he cant sleep at night thinking of the horrors afghan women have endured. Has he conducted a survey to assess the view of afghan women on the situation pre and post 9/11 (which by the way is more related to his job than the opinions he is giving)?
    ... And here comes the reality check, the US govt isnt negotiating with taliban because they just felt like it all of a sudden, they are negotiating with them because they dont think they have any other choice, their current method has failed.
    Sorry Blitzer, you fail big time in this article.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  78. John

    Give me a break! For that matter, give freedom loving people of the world a break! The religously fanatic extremists of the Taliban will agree to take part in and to uphold human rights initiatives? They are still attacking those of us who have been trying to extend human rights to common Afghan citizens. They are sending out suicide bombers and attacking both UN peace keepers and legitimate Afghan officials.

    Let's take a look back at history – some guy named Neville Chaimberlin who was Prime Minister of the UK reached an agreement and secured reassurances from this other guy named Adolph Hitler in '38/39. Riddle me this Batman, what happened there?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  79. Cee.La.

    If I remember correctly.... President Obama took office with an economy going south, and two Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, part of his platform was to reevaluate these Wars....and start drawing down the troops, this is not a new revelation........If the Afghanis are not ready to govern and police their country after all these years [10] than they will never be..... We will be wasting more time and resources..... The simple fact of the matter is that the GOP will never !!!!!! admit that President Obama has made the right decision......
    .....I know the media and GOP also have a convenient memory, but lets not forget.... President Obama inherited these wars, and spoke often about getting out of them.....its just not a simple thing....

    June 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  80. Tom

    Why would you think you are wrong, Wolf, when the Taliban have a set doctrine that is non-negotiable? I think this is just a matter of expediency to facilitate a pullout. Once we pull out of the country, Opium production will ramp up, and the Taliban will implement their mission to take the country back into the dark ages. But hey, the US can't save the world. I think the solution has to come from the region itself. Afghanistan is not called the "Graveyard of Wars" for nothing! We cannot take a country where it odes not want to go. It's a tribal society. There is no country called Afghanistan. It is a false border drawn by the British to include a mass of different ethnic groups who may not even speak the same language.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Get Real

      You are right that Taliban will not negotiate in earnest. Why would they if we have made it clear that we want out ASAP. However, couple of corrections.
      1. Women did not do much better outside Kabul even before the Taliban. Even today, the conservative Afghan society is highly repressive of women, Taliban or not.
      2. In the last 20 years Taliban were the only people who successfully eliminated poppy production based on religious gounds, so poppy production would probably go down.
      3. Taliban are the most important group in Afghanistan, and the best people to talk toas most of our allies against Taliban are rapists, drug lords and cruel to the point to make Taliban look like Messiahs.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • wilbur

      You are wrong. the Taliban eliminated opium production. Look it up. Fact.

      Do what we did when we were great....send in mcdonalds, kfc......

      we all live in America.....rammstein....hear it, understand it, act on it......love thy brother

      June 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • ggibson

      The Taliban killed people that grew opium.

      The Taliban was in the US before 911 talking business about putting a gas/oil pipleline through their country.

      The Taliban just have very little clue about the outside world and what they knew about Al Qeada was that the US/Pakistan/Al Qeada (the precursor to them anyway) and the Taliban all were ALLIES as they fought together against the Soviets... so they were just trying to honor their word to the people they fought with... now Al Qeada is blown apart and their main goal is to get control of their country again ... and yes this means their women also... but that is THEIR business not ours.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  81. Peikovian

    Nine hundred years ago, the theologian al-Ghazali put an end to Islam's greatest era by persuading them to abandon Aristotle and accept mysticism. Al-Ghazali famously wrote that cotton placed in a flame does not darken and smoulder because of the heat, but because Allah wants it so. The Taliban live this Muslim Dark Ages in our own time, and in fear (because Reason is closed to them) for their souls they must continue fighting and supporting others who fight.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Get Real

      An obscure reference may help you look knowledgeable, but the reasoning to your conclusions is really flawed. You want to establish that Muslims and Taliban are in dark ages and trying to support it with the weakest of evidence.
      a. Ghazzali though influential in Islamic thought for a majority of Muslims is not blindly followed. Also, a very small minority of Muslims was influenced by Aristotle. The conversion in thought that you asserted in a single sentence is known to be impossible to people who know the concept of innovation in Islam.
      b. Mysticism dates back to fourth Islamic Caliph Ali, per both Shia and Sunni sources.
      c. Taliban never had any designs against US. We invaded their country and they responded.
      d. Al Qaeda, although savage and misguided have genuine grievances against the west that resonate with Muslims at large. Most Muslims agree with grievances of Al Qaeda but not the methods.

      I hope if you are open to reason, you would have learned why they fight.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
      • nirmala

        I agree with you totally. They were minding their business when super powers made them pawns in their cold war. Neither they had then nor they have today the intention or wherewithal to fight against us. Do you go in search of thieves and muggers? But would you just look the other way if a thief enters your house and fight with your family? Old civilizations value family relationships very greatly, unlike our nation where adult children find their own way or even asked to find their own way and parents left to live their own life. They do not visit their relatives and friends only with prior appointments. A relative or friend in trouble generally gets all the help needed. It is considered a stigma if your close relatives are in penury while you are rolling in wealth. They were happy in their own way. They were only trying to protect Al Qaeda members who asked for their help and as staunch Muslims they were given shelter and protection. Not support to fight us. If we leave them be and remove ourselves from their country, the confrontation between our nations will be over sooner than expected. We should not stand on prestige or listen to vested interests in Afghanistan or Pakistan and prolong our stay there.
        nirmalasuman@theightviewonline.com

        June 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Peikovian

      I hope that you will be traded in the souk. There's some obscurity for you.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  82. David

    We have two choices...take over the World by invading every country that harbors a terrorist group (including the US) or we can walk away from insanity. It is ther country after all...let them deal with what they want.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • bunnyiseating

      yep.... plus they did this to the soviets a few years back and it just bankrupted them. We won't run bankrupt though, we have plenty of exports and ... well lets just call it a tie and come home.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • egm11

      we have one real choice. bring our troops home, strengthen our borders, upgrade our intelligence agencies and let the taliban, alqueda, all all the rest plot and plan to their hearts content. if, for whatever reason they manage another 9/11 attack, make it clear to the entire world that what will happen next will not be a counterinsurgent action or counter terror campaign. it will the the total destruction of whatever country harbors those responsible. that would be the reason for a true upgrade in our intelligence. make sure we have the right country before we bring the ultimate message to the terrorists. if they believe it is ok to kill our innocent men, women and children the it is an eye for an eye, we just have a much larger stick. if iran, syria any other of those little terror states get in the way, give a dose of it to them too. sorry about the collateral damage but that is war.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Paul .

      Until they decide to fly planes into our buildings.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Knoxer

      Were you alive on 9-11? I say hunt every one of them down, take as long as needed to clean the world of their filth.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
      • ggibson

        While we are at it .. lets track down every murderer on earth and put them in jail... the bible says murder is bad so no matter what country they are in we will invade and kill anyone that gets in our way to take out all murderers in the world... right?

        June 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  83. Ed

    "Based on what Afghan women must still endure in those areas under Taliban control, I have no reason to believe the Taliban have changed their views. I suspect the hard-core true believers in the Taliban probably never will. "

    "Never will" you say, Mr. Blitzer. So, what's your point? If these "hard-core" believers will not change, who can possible disagree? I think that it's true that no one could disagree with you. Not our generals and not our president. So, again, what's your point? Your statement begs the question.
    If these hard-core believers will never change (and, it's very unlikely that they will change), are you proposing that we never leave Afghanistan?
    It would seem to be the only answer to your rather pompous statement. Or, perhaps you have significant facts gleaned from your contacts in the CIA and the Pentagon.
    So, again, what's your point?

    June 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • jeru0455

      I think he's talking about the presidents plan to negotiate with the Taliban. He doesn't think that will work, obviously the president has some kind of hope that it will. Blitzer hopes that the president is right.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  84. sandiegobeachbum

    The Taliban are a bunch of stone age murdering thugs who need to be eradicated from the face of the earth. This is another Vietnam all over again. We leave and these evil, cruel, dumber than a bucket of bolts, scumbags will eventually take over. They have destroyed over 100 girls schools, have thrown acid in teenage girls walking to school, permit 60 year old men to marrry teenage girls, stone people to death, have killed thousands of INNOCENT people with suicide bombs, to include womern and kids and we are going to negotiate with these lowlife, stone age loons! We have sacrificed far much but I wish to hell someone would explain to me what winning in the hellhole of Afghan is. I don't have a clue. I can't believe the local people won't do more to police thier ranks and kill the Taliban thugs. Karzai is an ungrateful JOKE of a leader. The Muslims have NO positive Leaders anywhere in the world in my opinion. The entire middle east is the most backward region in the world, by far. What a HUGE MESS and our brave troops are caught right in the middle of this terrible situation!

    June 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Robin

      SO true....so sad but so true. Sickening

      June 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Michael E

      Hey, what is wrong with 60+ year old men marrying young women. We do it in this country as well!!

      June 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
      • sandiegobeachbum

        Mike, I just think teenage girls marrying those ugly old bearded Taliban thugs is sickening to say the least. I am so tired of all the sacrifices our country has made and that ungrateful Karzai is still critical of us. I will bet he'll be on a plane out of town soon after we leave that hellhole. We are in a total NO WIN situation.

        June 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
      • Epicurian

        I don't think twelve year olds qualify as young women with a freedom of choice.....

        June 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Fred

      Let's assume everything you said is true. Why is it always up to the US to be the janitor of the world? Do we have to clean up everyone else's mess? Why do we have to end every indignity? Right every wrong? Solve every conflict? Inject ourselves into the middle of a civil war?

      We went into Somalia with the greatest of intentions and what did we get for it? Stabbed in the back. I suggest we respond when Americans are in danger or in retribution (like Afghanistan). The rest of the world (Pakistan) can clean up their own trash.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  85. Lee

    I think it's time we simply let the Afganistan evolve on it's own. If the Taliban take over again, they take over and it will be because the Afgans themselves have permitted it though a lack or courage or will to fight them. It is not up the the U.S. to continue the deaths of American solidiers and the spending of billions of dollars in this corrupt, backward country. Should Al-Qaida start to open training camps once again, then we can simply eliminate them, quickly and easily with a few missles. As far as the women are concerned, it will be up to them, not us to change that society. Do you seriously think that the constitution they currently have is really going to protect women from the absurd interpretation of Quran Afgan men and even many women have?

    June 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Robin

      I would add here to KEEP THEM OUT OF THE USA.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  86. Peter

    America pull back from Afgahan and Iraq. A mobile force should remain that can strike when needed. Time for most of the troops and equipment to come home for well deserved repair and rest. The U.S. needs to repair a damaged economy and rebuild its military machine. In order to accomplish this, all entitlements must be eliminated. People need to start being responsible for themselves. The American govt has responsibility to provide men and women in military with the best weapons available.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Troy

      end all entitlements?? The military system is the biggest welfare system for people who can't get real jobs in the real world.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
      • angus

        you are a total moron

        June 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
      • Lonnie

        Troy; Too bad, us lowlife can't find a job anywhere else people have to defend and protect the likes of you

        June 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • Ryan

        Wow Troy, that is possibly the most disgraceful thing anyone could possibly say about our military. I know plenty of WELL educated young men AND women who are well to do that have gone to bravely serve for this country. Your sir (and i hesitate to call your scumbag self sir) should have your citizenship revoked from this country and never be allowed to return.

        June 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  87. Jason Scott

    Who cares what Wolf Blitzer thinks! He is, or claims to be.. a journalist. As such, his job is to REPORT the news, not present their opinion. Rule # 1 in journalism school.

    Blog or not, conveying his personal biased ideas in an Internet medium for the masses impugns his credibility as a reporter.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Tom

      @Jason Scott I believe you have missed the whole point of Wolf's blog entry! Try reading it again, and see if you can glean anything from his years of reporting experience.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Bob

      He's giving an editorial on his own blog site, and clearly states that it's his personal opinion. You're over-reacting.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • chuckes

      Is he not human? Wow bro, you sure make swift judgements. What doctrine did you take from, Shari'a law?

      June 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • John C

      A blog is a space for personal thoughts. That's the nature of a blog. If you want reporting, go to the main page and look for actual articles. It's much nicer to see an obvious opinion than reading an article that's SUPPOSED to be objective but which is so filled with slanted verbiage as to portray subjective feelings as facts. Blitzer is simply letting people know that as a journalist with a long history of covering world events, he's not sure the pullout's a good idea.

      And Wolf is typically left-leaning. It's always fun to see hard-line progressives and conservatives turn on and savage their own when someone steps out of line.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Gloria

      I agree absolutely. Wolf Blitzer is not a commentator nor an analyst. I don't need a journalists' opinion. ..Blog or no blog, it's posted on CNN website, so it's as if his opinion is valid...Not fair!

      June 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  88. brako

    let me tell you something, you don't set ultimatums on peace this time.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  89. Keith Russell, Mi

    I agree with one thing you said, once America leaves Afghanistan the Taliban and Al-Qaida will fill the vacuum and return things to how they were pre 9-11. This being said, Obama did not start this war, he has not spent several "trillion" dollars on it, and since he became President we have not lost "a few thousand soldiers lives" there. I find it very interesting that you seem to lay the blame for the last 10 yrs. of war at his feet. I do believe it was your fellow Texan who started both the war in Afghanistan ( a justified war in my opinion) and the biggest foreign policy blunder since Vietnam, the needless and costly war in Iraq. The majority of lives lost and money spent was done under GHW Bush. But you seem to want to blame Obama. Why? Your writing would make a person tend to believe your an educated person, yet your statement is utterly false and just goes to show how some people, regardless of the facts of the situation will try and place the blame with the current administration. Shame on you...

    June 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • John C

      http://icasualties.org/oef/ByYear.aspx.

      Total coalition deaths in 2008 were 1049. By 2011 we're at 2543. In other words, coalition forces have had more deaths in the last three years than the seven years prior. You can attribute this to the surge. You also don't include the civilian and enemy combatant casualty figures. So while it's not multiple thousands, it is roughly 1,500. In total, we've lost roughly 1634 American lives since the beginning, which is approaching the total lost in 9/11.

      You're right about the Afghanistan War costs, though. Not a trillion, only about $450B since 2001 (http://costofwar.com/en/) . Over the last two years we've spent more than double and up to six times as much as what we spent during Bush's years. While it's not a trillion, it's certainly accelerated, sharply, during Obama's watch. Early on it made Obama look like a war hawk, but now that it's time to get re-elected he wants to go dove-ish and show his base that he deserves their votes once again. Hurray!

      June 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Don M

      That's lemming talk. Obama had a super-majority and could have ended the war with a solid majority of Americans approving. He could have even done it after the death of Bin Laden. 'm not a fan of Obama, but I thought he would do the right thing and end the war when he had a chance. He failed. Instead, 30,000 ADDITIONAL troops went and the mission still has non-existent goals. Oh, and we're bombing Libya now! People need to open their eyes and hold these people accountable as leaders instead of political party labels.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Reality Check

      You obviously skipped your ADD meds today. We can tell by your wandering and off topic anti-GWD diatribe. Stop staring at the rear view mirror and look at the road ahead. When you do, try to discern each policy issue on its own merit as opposed to being such a predictable Obama worshipping drone. It's ok to support Obama with passion and still have a thoughtful debate about some of his individual policy positions and decisions. Just as it's ok to be a huge Beatle's fan and like some of their songs more than others - or even dislike some of them. In this case, the notion of the U.S. negotiating with the Taliban is a huge break from traditional US policy to not negotiate with terrorists. As such, this subject deserves intense debate given the high stakes involved and the potential unitntended consequences of such a radical departure from SOP. History will decide the GWB question just as it will the Obama one. So focus on the present subject at hand and attempt to rein in your GWB obsession long enough to actually think for yourself.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  90. obsthetimes

    Mr. Blitzer, we are not in Afganistan to do nation building. The taliban was never known for launching attacks aimed at US assets.
    Ordinary Afgans do not treat their women much better than the Taliban.
    Once again it shows the media gets too close to the stories it presents 24-7 and far and away from every day america. We are not there to do nation building.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  91. shyboy69

    Oh please. There is no negotiating with the Taliban. They are hardcore Islamists (for the CNN crowd: they are like Southern bible folk on steroids). They are the rural Pashtun folk who don't really even participate in government at a higher than village level. I was in Afghanistan in 2006-7 and know firsthand the futility with trying to negotiate with these people. They are pragmatic, and will just wait out our departure.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  92. john doey

    "I hope I’m wrong and the President is right." – – – makes it sound as if he is more likely to be right than the president. Wolf Blitzer is just another man that reads what is put in front of him, yet he feels he knows more than the president.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  93. Big_D

    Osama is dead and that was the war. It is time to stop worrying about who stepped in it and just wipe it off. It stinks and you can’t negotiate with it.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  94. Dan Grinstead

    I believe you're probably right. If we leave Afghanistan before they are truly ready to defend themselves against the Taliban we'll again see executions in the sports fields. Who'll jump back in then? I hope we don't throw away all we've done and achieved up to now. I hope we don't desert those who've come to depend on us.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Lee

      If we haven't established a stable, non-corrupt government in Afganistan by now, do you really think we're going to in another 5 years? Do you really think another 5-10-15 years, the Afgan army will be able to defend itself? I sure don't. We've made huge mistakes in Afganistan, almost all of them under Bush. Installing Karzai as president was probably the biggest. When Obama sent these extra troops in he said he'd pull them out within a few months. He essentially is doing that.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  95. Biggge

    Several trillion dollars he was not in office....I can tell U forgot the Bush years.. Now he is trying for peace and you are upset, bring troops home and you are upset. also I am sorry were did U receive your International policy degree from, after watch the GOP debate clowns it does not look like he is the desperate one...Gop has 7 clowns running into each other... Also being from Texas will really have no room to talk with Gov. Perry running us in the ground.....

    June 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  96. Big_D

    Osama is dead and that was the reason for the war. We need to decide if we want to rebuild their nation even when they don't want us there. I say we leave and let self determination run its course. Karzi was a horrible choice by Bush but that day is long past changing.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  97. Bob

    You are right, the Taliban and others like them around the world support ignorance and the subjugation of women. The USA should pour billions into supporting schools and education across the globe. War is a difficult way to change culture. Help provide a decent education for people around the world and groups like the Taliban will find themselves increasingly isolated and unable to win converts. The educated masses of the world will slowly surround them and smother their culture out.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • AB

      I am sorry but did you say 'pour millions into educating people around the world?' Millions of money belonging to who? The american people? The era of free spending across the globe to manipulate foreign policy and prevent human catastrophe is over. We have to learn to live in a world with bigots and a world with islamo-fascism. We are behind in education and research ourselves. May be we can invest that money here in America and become exceptionally good

      June 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  98. Jimmy Cracks Capricorns

    Who cares what Blitzer thinks, he's not, his opine is not qualified in any sense of the word.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  99. JR

    Rich, your muddled memory of the last 10 years must make you a right winger, Afghanistan has cost 440 billion as of today, not two trillion as you claim and the vast majority of that money was spent before Obama even came on the scene. It's a shame that you clowns never get anything right.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  100. Rich McKinney, Texas

    What Obama wants is of no concern to the Taliban or Al-Qaida. Perhaps Obama should have thought about negotiating with the Taliban several trillion dollars and a few thousands soldiers lives ago. Here is what I see Wolf. I see a president who's poll numbers are dropping and i see a man desperate to be reelected in 2012. Obama will promise anything even to the Taliban if he thinks it might buy him that election. Obamas hopes will not change years of learned religious behavior in Afghanistan. There is nothing in it for the Taliban thus no need for them to comply. Once America leaves Afghanistan the Taliban and Al-Qaida vacuum will fill the void. It will be business as usual.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Jimmy Cracks Capricorns

      Scarecrow from Texas needs to go see the Wizard and get himself a brain.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
      • John C

        What a witty comment. It's nice when "clever" soundbites replace thoughtful discussion. This is the kind of thought process that emerges when one gets all their news from the Daily Show, where there's more concern with yukking it up rather than discussing the issue.

        Also, it's so fun to see all the finger pointing. Yes, Bush got us into the mess but we're three YEARS into Obama's term. When will you guys take ownership of anything? I swear, the left has serious daddy issues. The finger of blame is always pointed away, as if responsibility is anathema.

        Many here are saying that three years of combat and death were to find Usama Bin Laden? And now that he's dead it's time to pull out? While I won't regret a pullout, I find it hilarious that so many put such a low value on the costs of the war in terms of life and money. No single man was worth the last three years. We've seen the loss of far more than the 2,000 lives lost in 9/11 and I sure hope we were fighting for something more valuable than a blood feud.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Big_D

      So Bush started the war and it is totally an Obama thing? Why not shut off that Saudi owned station and own up to reality? We know who stepped in it we are just trying to wipe it off.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • John C

      I wholeheartedly agree with Rich. I must admit that I'm as weary of Obama as I was after Bush's second term. We continue to get Presidents that are driven more by their desire for re-election, or who want to salvage a positive legacy, rather than individuals who are willing to lead. While I feel Afghanistan will end as another U.S. failure, I think the timing and size of this withdrawal are highly suspect.

      Afghanistan is a mistake, though it's clear that we've held on this long in the hopes of both suppressing Al-Qaida and keeping airbases within reach of Iran. The notion that the death of Bin Laden somehow justifies a withdrawal (we spent HOW much money and lost HOW many lives to kill this one man?!) at this point is ludicrous.

      We are facing headwinds both from the corrupt Karzai regime as well as the people of the United States who are sick of funding expensive wars with no clear end in sight. As a result, Obama sees fit to turn tail and run, hoping that he'll get enough support from his base once again to get re-elected in 2012 and keep, at minimum, his "legacy" of Obamacare in tact. The Dems are likewise hoping for at least a foreign policy win–since the economic news is decidedly downbeat–in the hopes that they can regain the majority in 2012 and we'll be under the thumb of the geriatric Pelosi and Reid once again.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Aaron in CA

      Rich in TX...

      Are you freaking kidding me with your post?!?!? You do realize it was your Texas cronies that got us directly involved in the current Middle East conflicts... and that President Obama is actually following through on his promises for troop reduction. And yes, the President is trying to get reelected ~ did you think he wouldn't? I would love to hear your thoughts on how negotiating with the Taliban will increase his chances to get elected though. Seems to be a far stretch.

      I agree with Jimmy above – go see the wizard.

      Why are most Texans so clueless!?!?

      June 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
      • John C

        While I know I'm resorting to an ad-hominem attack, did you notice that Texans have added all the jobs in this recovery? And California has led the way in debt? I find it so ironic that you're on a soapbox made of balsa wood and chewing gum. Bush is to blame, but it took Obama three YEARS to come to this decision, and he's pulling out much faster than his military advised. Perhaps it's time–who knows?–but the timing is certainly suspicious, just as Bush's late-term pushes for immigration and medicare reform were.

        June 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
      • Robin

        It's the heat...at least here in Arizona we know enough to get out of the sun and into the shade.

        June 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
      • Me

        Most AMERICANS are clueless...it has nothing to do with what state they are from. I mean, what is so great about California? That state is so broke we should just sell it to the Chinese, and then turn around and give them the money right back to them cause we owe it to them.

        Corrupt politicians come from EVERY state, yet, people in EVERY state keep electing them. Doesn't matter if the state's name starts with a "T" or a "C".

        June 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
      • Pwilson

        Who got us involved in Lybia and Yemen? Talking about clueless.

        June 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
      • angus

        somewhat hilarious coming from someone in CA.

        June 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Dee

      This had been Obama's war for 3 years Rich, not the 8 under the Bush administration. Perhaps they should have saved lives, money, spent more time on Intel to capture Bin Laden. Certainly we would be out of Afghanistan by now and those tax dollars would be invested in our economy. Frankly, the U.S. has no responsibility to change the lives of people, a society with so many ingrained religious beliefs and practices. Who made us police of the world? While my heart goes out to those women who have gained so much since our presence only to lose it once we are gone, that was not the original mission or the reason we went to war in that country. We've accomplished a lot and killed the #1 terrorist...Bin Laden thanks to the Obama administration and don't discount that Wolf or Rich. It's time to end this war and bring ALL troops home!!!

      June 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • repubs are the American Taliban

      I will have a field day with all the naysayers after Obama us reelected. Obama got osama 2012

      June 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
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