New York City Congressman Jerry Nadler makes a strong case for ending the fiasco in Afghanistan. The following is the text of Nadler's July 2 speech on the House floor in opposition of another $33B to fund the war in Afganistan.
"I donít think that too many historians would disagree today that the war in Vietnam was a tragic mistake. It did not enhance the security of this country by one bit because it was based on a false premise.
"Afghanistan is the same. Every dollar we spend, every life we sacrifice there, is a tragic waste. It does not enhance the security of the United States, which should be our goal. We were attacked on 9/11 by Al Qaeda.
"Al Qaeda had bases in Afghanistan; it made sense to go in and destroy those bases, and we did. We have every right, we have every duty to destroy bases that are being used to plot attacks on the United States. But the CIA tells us that there are fewer than one hundred Al Qaeda personnel now in all of Afghanistan Ė their bases are in Pakistan, but we are not invading Pakistan. They have bases in Somalia and Yemen, but we are not invading Somalia and Yemen.
"An intelligent policy might be to attack the bases from which mayhem is being plotted against the United States, wherever they are. An intelligent policy is not to try to remake a country that nobody since Genghis Khan has managed to conquer. What makes us think, what arrogance gives us the right to assume, that we can succeed where the Moguls, the British, the Soviets, failed? No government in Afghanistan, no government in Kabul, has ever been able to make its writ run and rule the country.
"Why have we undertaken to invent a government that is not supported by the majority of the people, that is corrupt, and to impose it on the country? Afghanistan is in the middle of what is, at this point, a 35 year civil war.
"We have no business intervening in that civil war, we have no ability to win it for one side or the other, and we have no necessity to win it for one side or the other. This whole idea of counter-insurgency, that we are going to persuade the people left alive after our firepower is applied, to love the government that we like is absurd.
"It will take tens of years, hundreds of billions of dollars, tens of thousands of American lives if it can be done at all, and we donít need to do it. Itís their country. If they want to have a civil war, we canít stop them. We canít choose the rulers that they have, we donít have to like the rulers that they have, we donít have to like their choices. Itís not up to us.
"Aside from making sure that specific bases are not being used against us, we should not be spending a nickel, we should not be wasting a life. And the lives that are being sacrificed in Afghanistan by our brave men and women are being wasted, because they are being spent in pursuit of an unintelligent, unthought-through, unachievable, and unnecessary goal.
"At this point, we must recognize that rebuilding Afghanistan is both beyond our ability, and beyond our mandate to prevent terrorists from attacking the United States.
"To continue so bad a policy at so high a cost is quite simply unconscionable. It is unjustifiable to sacrifice more money and more lives this way, and I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. Letís bring our troops home.Ē