Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Joan Wile

Joan Wile is the Founder of Grandmothers Against the War and the author of "Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace" (Citadel Press)

June 28th, 2010 5:21 PM

We Need a Change of Policy, Not a Change of Generals

An Ordinary, non-Expert Grandmother's Take on the War in Afghanistan

I have no expertise about politics, military matters, diplomacy, and all the other things that go into making informed decisions about war and peace.  But, it really doesn't take a nuclear physicist to see that we are committing a huge blunder by continuing to fight in Afghanistan.

I am quite disappointed in President Obama -- I was a very enthusiastic supporter of his campaign for the Presidency and continued to believe in him for a long time after he took office.  It was a struggle, let me tell you, because he kept making decisions that I thought were not good ones.  But, still I clung to my faith in him.

The day after the McChrystal resignation, the thread of belief finally broke.  I listened to him utter empty platitudes galore about "our brave fighting men and women" and his "deep distress when he must send them into battle," but "his conviction that their sacrifices are made for a just cause."  Where have I heard this before?

I fault myself for swallowing his rhetoric in the beginning.  He told us he wanted to end the war in Iraq so we could focus on Afghanistan in order to defeat Al Qaeda.  In my enthusiastic desire to see him become President, I let those words slide by me without analyzing them.

But, that rationale, it's clear to me now, has no basis in fact at this juncture.  We all know that Al Qaeda is no longer physically headquartered in Afghanistan but concentrated in Pakistan.  In any case, Al Quaeda is an idea as much as an organization, and it takes root wherever there are disaffected young people angry at the United States for what they perceive as unwarranted invasions of their lands and the killing of their people.  How do you defeat an idea by killing people?

So, then, why the hell (yes, grannies swear, too) don't we get out of Afghanistan?  Why are we allowing our young military men and women to increasingly die in that God-forsaken country for misty, ambiguous reasons which can't be substantiated?

All this hoopla about the replacement of General McCrystal with General Petraeus doesn't impress me in the slightest.  So what?  My God, the Government-media complex is adept at painting over the real issues with fluff, isn't it?  If ever there were a non-issue, this is it.  We are asked to seriously weigh the appropriateness of one General over the other and to deliberate the wisdom of Obama's choice, thereby skillfully obliterating the REAL consideration -- should we stay or get out of Afghanistan?

We are asked to applaud Obama's decisiveness and commitment to maintaining his policy in Afghanistan.  But, we are not asked to question his judgment in continuing to pursue that policy.

I know I speak for the growing legions of anti-war activist grandmothers I associate with -- Grandmothers Against the War, Grandmothers for Peace, the Raging Grannies, and the Granny Peace Brigade -- when I say that here's one elderly, ordinary grandma who is decidedly questioning that policy and who is asking that President Obama firm up his guts, aim directly for his moral center, have the courage to admit he is wrong, and take our exhausted kids out of that Hell Hole and bring them home to us.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? Ray McGovern Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
Read More

Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
12:58 PM
Read More

Second Guessing a Life: US Health Care System Robs Security and Human Dignity Donna Smith The dysfunction of the US health care system...

Feb 27th
1:40 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles