The U.S. is 11 years into its current war in Afghanistan and still losing. We never had a chance to "win" this war of vengeance – and while few in Washington are ready to admit that, they’ve continued to revise and redefine just what "winning" might look like.
It wasn’t the events of September 11th that changed the world, but the events of September 12th and beyond, when the Bush administration took the world to war in response; that changed the world, and continues to threaten U.S. and global security, and shred U.S. democracy.
The US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq do not improve the lives of the people living there and the cost is devastating the US economy. The sooner we acknowledge that, the sooner we can begin to make good on our real debt -humanitarian, not military- to the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The recent civilian casualties demonstrate, for any who doubted it, that this is a war against a vast population of Afghanistan, and the only way to stop killing civilians is to stop the killing. That means to stop all offensive actions and withdraw the troops.
President Obama's speech reflected accountability not to his base, the extraordinary mobilization of people who swept this anti-war and anti-racist candidate into office, but rather to the exigencies of Washington's traditional military, political, and corporate power-brokers who define "national security."
Obama's caving in to the pressures of Pentagon to escalate the war in Afghanistan will inevitably mean weakening his programmes at home and losing the support of the broad progressive coalition that brought him to power.