Rising Star Quits Foreign Service–Over Afghanistan

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.

That’s Matthew Hoh, an Iraq combat veteran who spent most of this year as this country’s senior civilian in chaotic Zabul Province. He just quit the State Department, despite pleas and offers from his superiors, in the full realization that he is putting himself in the hot seat.

Most of the Afghanistan discussion here and in the broader left-liberal blogosphere focuses these days on the administration’s “policy review” and the known unknowns of Cabinet and Pentagon debates. Unfortunately, the “sides” in these debates seem to ignore the people of this country who in increasing numbers tell pollsters they want the war over with, most ricky-tick (to say nothing of the wishes of the people of Afghanistan).

There are those of us who have been arguing, some with restraint and patience, some hollering like our hair is on fire, that the job of progressives is not to speculate on those debates, nor to defer to officials who are said to know more than we, nor yet to mute our criticism of the President lest his enemies take comfort from our words.

Now Matthew Hoh, fresh from the battlefield, says he quit because he knows what must happen if this quagmire is not to claim more thousands of lives, more billions of dollars:

I want people in Iowa, people in Arkansas, people in Arizona, to call their congressman and say, “Listen, I don’t think this is right.”

As we say in the Iraq Moratorium: It’s Got To Stop. We’ve Got To Stop It.

Crossposted from DKos.


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    • dennis on October 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    a turning point in the effort to block escalation and get the troops home, most ricky-tick.

    • TMC on October 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Good damn question. It should be asked everyday of Obama and Gates, as well as the generals who are insisting on another surge that is doomed to fail.

    • Inky99 on October 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    in part because you saved me the trouble of doing so.   🙂

    I was just looking down the list to see if anyone had, and if they hadn’t, I was going to have to.


    • Inky99 on October 27, 2009 at 7:57 pm


    KABUL – Eight American troops were killed in two separate bomb attacks Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, making October the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban.

  1. …Thanks Dennis.   U.S. out of Afghanistan.  

    • RUKind on October 28, 2009 at 6:39 am

    He just gave up his career for the truth. For his morals. For his principles. Very, very impressive in this version of America.

    If all the troops had the freedom of speech to state their feelings then this would be over. Those guys are over there protecting their fellow soldiers and that’s about it.

    No one wants us over there except Karzai nd his corrupt government. We can just send them billions every week and bring the troops home. Save a lot of lives that way.

    There is no definition of a “win” in Afghanistan or the GWOT. This is a true sweet spot for the MIC and the emerging TIC.

    Committing to an unwinnable,  generational war is insanity at its worst. Obama seems to be slipping down the slope. God help us all, American and Afghan alike.

  2. this morning…

    KABUL — At least six international U.N. staff members, including one American, were killed early Wednesday when a squad of gunmen and bombers attacked a heavily-guarded private guest house in the heart of the Afghan capital. WaPo

    Here’s the AP:

    KABUL – Taliban militants wearing suicide vests stormed a guest house used by U.N. staff in the heart of the Afghan capital early Wednesday, killing 12 people – including six U.N. staff – in the biggest in a series of attacks intended to undermine next month’s presidential runoff election.

    One of the six U.N. dead was an American, the U.S. Embassy said. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the early morning assaults, which also included rocket attacks at the presidential palace and the city’s main luxury hotel.

    Dylan Ratigan on msnbc this morning was all over it. Which was weird for me… husband watches GMA (ABC) before he leaves for work, so I switch it after he goes. GMA had NOTHING and was babbling on about stars that dance or whatever.

    How many more…?

    Photobucket Afghan police officers and soldiers surround an unidentified dead body lies outside a U.N. guest house after it was attacked by gunmen in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009. Gunmen attacked a guest house used by U.N. staff in the Afghan capital of Kabul early Wednesday, killing at least seven people including three U.N. staff, officials said. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility, saying it was meant as an assault on the upcoming presidential election. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) (Altaf Qadri – AP)  

  3. Matthew Hoh to those who want our troops re-deployed.  From the WaPo article yesterday:

    As the White House deliberates over whether to deploy more troops, Hoh said he decided to speak out publicly because “I want people in Iowa, people in Arkansas, people in Arizona, to call their congressman and say, ‘Listen, I don’t think this is right.’ “

    If you want our troops redeployed, then go to your congress critters’ offices and POUND ON THE TABLE for it.

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