Skip to comments.Helen Thomas: "The Price of War - Hamid Karzai Visits Washington" [WARNING: Graphic Images]
Posted on 05/21/2010 7:19:14 PM PDT by seanmerc
WASHINGTON -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai got a close look at the cost of war and American sacrifices last week in a rare travel schedule for a visiting head of state.
The administration of President Barack Obama rolled out the red carpet as a peace offering to gloss over the public friction that caused the proud Karzai earlier this year to threaten to join the Taliban -- the enemy. Or is the enemy al-Qaida? Or both?
Between meetings with administration officials, the Afghan leaders orientation visit included a trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where wounded U.S. soldiers from Afghanistan are treated. He also placed a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. And he traveled to Fort Campbell, Ky., where he met soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division who are about to deploy to Afghanistan.
At a joint news conference with Obama, Karzai began with the expected amenities and then said:
Mr. President, I yesterday had the honor of visiting Walter Reed Hospital, where I visited with the wounded who had returned from Afghanistan and it was very difficult for me, Mr. President, to meet with a young man-- very, very young man -- who had lost two arms and two legs. It was heart-rending, and there were other wounded, too, just like I had seen in Afghanistan.
As Obama stood quietly at his podium, I wondered what he was thinking. Does he really believe in the righteousness of the cause? Trapped by the previous Bush administration, its his war now.
If only he had lived through the Vietnam War years or had a better sense of the history of that era, where the American people forced the U.S. leadership to get out of a war that we should never have been in.
Now, we direct aerial drones thousands of miles away to blow up a house where suspected insurgents (Afghan rebels) and their families live. We target their leaders for assassination, even though assassination is against the law in our country. Its a wobbly moral standard.
Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of empires because of British defeats there in the 19th century and the Russians futile occupation attempts in the 20th century. In his remarks at a jam-packed news conference that was limited to two questions, Obama made no similar references to the personal sacrifices of Americans or Afghans. He spoke of the U.S. commitment to a strong and prosperous Afghanistan.
After nine years of war in Afghanistan -- which is twice as long as either of the two world wars of the 20th century -- the silence of the American people is deafening.
The automatic go-along of a detached self-absorbed Congress also is incredible in view of the draining human cost of the two on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, the death toll of American service members in Afghanistan reached 1,000 since the war began in 2001.
Does anyone care, except those who volunteer to fight and their families?
The American public seems more worried about loss of jobs and dwindling opportunities to live prosperous lives and to raise their families. Who can blame them?
The war is so far off, out of mind, out of sight -- except for the news photos of Afghan women weeping over dead relatives and children.
Obama told Karzai that our shared goal is to defeat al Qaida and its extremist allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future.
The words have a nice rhetorical ring. But the president has no illusions, saying: As Ive said on numerous occasions, there are many difficult days ahead in Afghanistan. We face a determined and ruthless enemy.
For all that, there is hope. The Afghans are planning a peace Jirga -- a consultative assembly -- in Kabul on May 29. Obama said he hoped that confab would open the door to Taliban who cut their ties to al Qaida and abandon violence.
Obama has pledged to get out by mid-2011. Why not now?
She’s having a bad face day.
Ahhhhhhhrrrrgggggggggghhhhh!!!!!!! My eyes. I couldn’t help but look!
It’s a Helen Thomas post,expect the worst.Blindness,nausea,heart palpatations,vomiting.....
My stomach can't take these posts any longer. I won't be opening any more Thomas threads...and this one was an epic failure because it failed to adhere to the rules. Where are the pictures of Zeta-Jones? After pouring acid in one's eyes there should at least be something to try to neutralize the damage.
Ugh, this story smells like it was written during lunch break over a ham and egg sandwich and a Coke, on a roll of toilet paper, by a sophomore from the school newspaper club.
Get your facts straight! Zeta-Jones pictures go on Maureen Dowd (a.k.a. MoDo, a.k.a. DoDo) threads. The reason is that Michael Douglas left MoDo for Zeta-Jones.
Then again, I don’t think you’d hear too many complaints if the rule was extended to Helen Thomas threads as well.
Oh, you're right...then there's no reason to ever open up a Thomas thread! No hope for the eyes.
I know, I was warned.
I'm giving him a break this time, but don't let it happen again!
Well, you did warn us.....
She’s more concerned about the weeping Afghan women than the weeping mothers of American soldiers killed serving us. If we pull out in the way she suggests, we would be dishonoring the sacrifice our soldiers and their families made.
She has no notion of honor or duty.
Really, when you gaze deep into her eyes you see a deadness, almost a soullessness there.