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.