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Posted: November 13, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Magical thinking

In a simpler time, it was common that families had only one bathroom. A close friend of mine reports that when she was 3 or 4, old enough to bathe herself, her older brother needed to use the bathroom while she was taking a bath. He explained that she should close her eyes and it would be all right.

As adults we recognize that as "magical" thinking. Closing her eyes really didn't make the situation any different. I mention that now because the current administration, which started with promises of keeping all eyes open, now rues that choice.

Consider the "publication" of military thinking on possible options in Afghanistan. Rather than welcoming the voice of experience to the discussion, the White House has been quick to say the President won't be "stampeded" into a quick decision. Closing our eyes to military advice isn't going to change the facts about Afghanistan.

The truth is that "winning" in Afghanistan by any measure is a 10 to 20 year commitment of up to 100,000 American troops year in and year out with a corresponding body count - plus draining the U.S. Treasury to finance a war that doesn't benefit anyone other than friends of Democrats and Republicans currently in office.

Strategy in Afghanistan is the wrong question to be asking. The right question to ask is: When are we coming home to solve our problems first? Once every able American has a job, access to first rate medical care, housing, education, etc., then we can look at lifting Afghanistan out of the Stone Age.

But not one day before then.

Patrick Durusau is a resident of Covington. His columns regularly appear on Fridays.


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