What a mess.

That’s how centuries of warriors and politicians have described what’s currently known as Afghanistan.

We’re going back to Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the former Soviet Union and today a U.S.-led NATO initiative trying, seemingly with little success, to stabilize this troubled part of the world.

It’s a mess made worse by the massacre of 16 civilians, allegedly by a lone American soldier (although accounts vary as to whether there were more).

The Taliban is using the “inhumane attack” as their latest excuse to rationalize more violence. After U.S. troops burned Muslim holy books in February, the Taliban led attacks that resulted in six American deaths.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, rather than calling for calm in the wake of what seems to be a rogue attack, instead ratcheted up the rhetoric: “This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians, and cannot be forgiven.”

All of which again begs the question, what is our military still doing in Afghanistan and how fast can we get out?

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is calling for patience, warning a quick U.S. withdrawal could enable al-Qaida to use Afghanistan as a base for attacks.

It’s up to President Barack Obama to quickly and in great detail inform the American people why this continued mission in Afghanistan is in our country’s best interest. It will be a tough sell.

— The Kingston Daily Freeman, New York, March 13


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