April 20, 2012
Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a very weak excuse recently when, in response to recent insurgent strikes in Kabul, he stated that the "attack showed a 'failure' by Afghanistan intelligence and NATO" ("Attacks in Kabul show vulnerability," April 17). In my opinion, this statement should be considered an extreme embarrassment to Mr. Karzai. As anyone else who is as keenly interested as I am should be well aware, this raging conflict between the Taliban rebels and the Afghanistan government and their military forces is, and has been for some time, in desperate need of much stronger support from the U.S and NATO troops in order to quell a challenging problem.
March 20, 2012
It is being speculated that the American soldier who shot so many children and Afghan civilians recently probably suffered from battle fatigue and post traumatic stress disorder ("The killings in Kandahar," March 13). The Taliban has responded to these killings, as expected, in an opportunistic fashion, getting political mileage out of the tragic episode for itself and stirring up hatred against the Americans and nationalistic fervor across Afghanistan. Interestingly, the Taliban hit the right chord when it commented that an American trial declaring the perpetrator of the killings as a mad man, who acted under the duress of a mental breakdown, would only show the world that the U.S. is sending lunatics to Afghanistan.
January 16, 2012
Reading The Sun's pious outrage at U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters reminded me of Nietzsche's remarks on decadent religions - cultures so wrapped up in the make-belief worlds of the afterlife that they've come to devalue life in this world ("Despicable and destructive," Jan. 13). But instead of hand-wringing about the sacredness of dead bodies, how about harnessing the new-found appreciation of humanity among the Taliban and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to draw attention to the barbaric and inhumane practices that are accepted as the cultural standard in their region?
January 15, 2012
Regarding the four U.S. Marines who desecrated the corpses of Taliban fighters, yes, what they did was vile and reprehensible ("Video of Marines defiling Taliban bodies stirs rage," Jan. 13). War seldom ensures that soldiers will act nobly. Just because they see brutality all around them, soldiers can become ignoble brutes themselves. When my brother was in Vietnam, he told me that some units that had suffered heavy casualties draped the bodies of dead Viet Cong fighters over the barrels of their tanks' guns until the corpses turned green.
January 3, 2012
American officials are welcoming a Taliban statement that the Afghan insurgents will set up an office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The move is being seen as a first step toward peace talks aimed at reconciling the Taliban and the Western-backed government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, something the U.S. has long sought to broker. A serious offer to negotiate would mark not only a departure from the group's previous refusal to engage in talks but also ease concerns over the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from the country by 2014.
August 11, 2011
As George Orwell once observed, "We sleep safe in our beds at night because rough men are ready to visit violence on those who seek to do us harm. " This past weekend, 30 brave soldiers including 22 Navy SEALs were killed in Afghanistan. All the 401(k)'s, debt ceilings, health plans, and the gyrations of Wall Street don't mean a thing to the Taliban. It is our men in uniform that stand on the front lines for our protection. Do not forget them. Sherlynn Matesky, Owings Mills
August 5, 2011
Apparently, part of the Republican Party in Washington has been taken over by a religious cult. This cult is righteous, dogmatic, disciplined, intolerant and dictatorial. It is quite willing to hijack the legislative process to ensure that its demands are met. As demonstrated in the last few days, its members are willing to become suicide bombers, threatening the entire U.S. economy if they don't get their way. These people are the American Taliban. Our domestic Taliban adheres to several fundamental beliefs: •No new taxes for anybody, anytime, whatever the circumstances.
June 17, 2011
Reviewing the multibillion-dollar U.S. aid program in Afghanistan two years ago, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pronounced it a "heartbreaking" failure and promised to make a successful aid program the centerpiece of a revamped strategy to defeat the Taliban. Recent U.S. government reports suggest that the Obama administration instead doubled down on a flawed strategy, pouring large sums into projects that have fueled corruption, distorted local economies and left Afghanistan with technology it won't be able to maintain after NATO forces leave.