Wikileaks, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Taliban
Our Readers Who Comment are angry about the release of classified documents that detail the realities of war in Afghanistan and the assistance that Pakistan is providing the Talliban. But they can't decide whether to blame the media for publishing the documents, or the organization that assembled and released them, or the Bush or Obama administrations for their conduct of the war.
Readers offer various theories about how the documents came to be released. Many call for prosecution of the leakers; the tired arguments about what President Bush didn't do in Afghanistan or what President Obama isn't doing get a re-run, and a few readers who study history remind us -- as they have consistently over the years of this long war -- that major powers have had little success in Afghanistan.
As Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung write, "... the documents provide new insights into a period in which the Taliban was gaining strength, Afghan civilians were growing increasingly disillusioned with their government, and U.S. troops in the field often expressed frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources."
We'll start with JCM-51, who said, "Obama's 'Pentagon Papers' for Obama's 'Vietnam'. He needs to keep his campaign promise and get our troops home now."
InTheMiddle wrote, "The Justice Department should investigate this and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. If these are U.S. citizens, this is treasonous. If these are foreigners, it is spying. Throw away the key. Our service men and women may die because of these criminals."
To which ozma1 replied, "Spoken like a true authoritarian. This is neither treason or espionage. It's an attempt to point out the truth which is that this nation is completely and totally wasting lives, tax dollars and our moral authority on our occupation of Afghanistan which will end much like the Soviet occupation did no matter what general is installed at the top."
But Greggie1 wrote, "It doesn't matter what the contents of the reports are. What matters is that someone leaked military secrets in wartime, and someone distributed them. Those responsible should be given a fair trial, then shot."
familynet disagreed, writing, "Thank you Wikileaks! This is the kind of info that the American people need to know and the questions should not be why did they leak the info, but rather why does the U.S. govt lie to the American people about the great level of cooperation between us and Pakistan. As we enter the November elections, let us do so mindful that what is really being done by our leaders in this war is not being shared with those of us contributing to the war in terms of soldiers and money."
ru4real313 wrote, "Amazing neither print nor tv news has learned from last week about verifying information before printing or commenting about a news story being posted on a website. Where is the journalism? Did I miss statements about verification?"
And Jindokae offered, "For all we know, the staff of Wikileaks is made up entirely of Taliban and al Qaeda members. They hide in the shadows like cockroaches, too cowardly to show their faces, yet they expect us to believe them. And you publish their spew as if it were actually journalism."
borntoraisehogs said, "So after the election and Obama received his full breifing, it was obvious Bush was right to scale back the Afghan operation. In spite of this B.Hussein insisted on pursuing this policy of Iraq bad, Afghan good to cover the fact he was an incompetent,inexperienced wimp."
pete_zipk wrote, "we are paying $1 billion a year to Pakistanis to kill our soldiers. What happened to us?"
LINDADICK asked, "So, why would your article not focus on the genesis of this treason - a 20 year old, self-serving kid named Manning? Treason is treason unless we're now claiming it's 'whistle blowing'. In reality, it's one bad kid putting good men at risk. Diverting the responsibility to a website instead of a person is very irresponsible and disappointing.
eaglehawkaroundsince1937 wrote, "4,400+ dead young American men and women killed and replaced by 4,400+++ alive young American men and women. This will stop only when the American parents and grandparents demand it's end by banners, marches, protests - legal, illegal, peaceful,or forcefull means. Until then You and I are responsible for their violent death. Sweet dreams little Johnny and Mary your Military Daddy dies tonight and for no reason."
pga6 said, "The war in Afghanistan is hard sledding. Little in the way of national interest exists when it comes to Afghanistan... When are they going to tell us something we don't know? Afghanistan isn't World War II when the maniac leader finally shoots himself in the head and its over in a week. It's not going to end anytime in the near future, and it's not going to be pretty most of the way..."
b383sc wrote, "The issue of Pakistan supporting terrorism should not be a surprise. The bigger issue is what this country will do about Pakistan supporting the Taliban. This country is doomed to failure if they think they are just going to mollify the Taliban and Al Qaeda. These two groups have one hope; to annihilate the U.S. To beat the Taliban and Al Qaeda it will take suspending some of our ethics in order to kill them first. There is no happy medium..."
Anadromous2 said, "The administration official, who said that anyone closely following events and reports out of the AFPAC theater wouldn't find anything new in these leaked documents, was right. Looks like it's mostly left over trash from the Bush administration."
john_bruckner wrote, "Yawn. Must not be much of a news day. I have seen absolutely nothing that I don't already know from reading the news everyday."
We'll close with lesliekorshak, who wrote, "Unfortunately, both the last two administraions were warned well in advance that a conventional war was indeed 'unwinable' there and once again, nobody paid the experts one bit of attention. The predictable has come home to roost."
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