At 9:15 pm EST, I will be discussing Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke’s soon to be made appointment as Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the just released USIP report on Afghanistan and its indictment of US policy there with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.
I caught this realistic and bleak statement by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Dana Priest in an online commentary she did which touched on the Afghanistan morass:
Richmond, Va.: Tell me, Ms. Priest, after studying the history of those countries that have tried to “tame” Afghanistan, can you see America faring any better than every other country? I’m sorry if I sound overly negative when I say I can see only more quagmires for us there, with no real progress — again. And how much tolerance for casualties and monies does America have after Iraq, a quagmire we are still in, with our needs here at home?
Dana Priest: No I can’t. As much as I hate to admit it, I think we are either in for a decades long intervention which might, might, might produce results or for lowering the bar on our goals to the point that we accept the fact that Afghanistan is a feudal country where many bad things happen, not least of which is that little girls get shut out of school. Ouch. Maybe we should just start an underground pipeline for young girls to leave the country; probably would be more effective than trying to get their brothers and fathers to change. All that said, there needs to be a red line on Al Qaeda, which is probably possible.
I mostly agree with Dana Priest. But more on that later.
So, watch the Rachel Maddow Show tonight if you are able.
I’ll put a clip up on TWN later. And remember to vote for my blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards here.
— Steve Clemons