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People and Politics Forum 31. 10. 2008

"Is the West suffering too many losses in Afghanistan?"

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More information:

Afghanistan - Why More and More German Soldiers Come Home Traumatised

Ever more German soldiers are paying for their country's engagement in Afghanistan with their lives. Thirty German soldiers and police officers have died, and hundreds more have been traumatised by their experiences there. We speak with survivors of the Afghan mission and the people who counsel them.

Our Question is:

"Is the West suffering too many losses in Afghanistan?"

Hannelore Krause, in Germany, warns:

"...the deployment of international troops in Afghanistan will last a long, long time, and cost a great deal of money - that could perhaps be used more sensibly elsewhere - as well as more senseless loss of life, as in any war."

Michael Kirchmair, in Ecuador, agrees:

"...and there is no improvement in sight: attacks on foreign forces and regular, allied Aghan troops are on the rise; the poppy (opium) fields used to produce drugs are not getting smaller, and the drugs economy makes up 50% of Afghanistan's GDP! So German and other troops, leave Afghanistan!"

Martin Burmeister, in Venezuela, notes:

"...The German government and other western nations with troops stationed on Afghan soil should present the Afghan government with an exit timetable, and this should be pushed through unconditionally..."

Adalbert Goertz, in the USA, has similar thoughts:

"It's a waste of human life in Afghanistan, and doesn't help the West. German soldiers should be withdrawn."

Glenn Ryerson, in the USA, draws on his experience during the war in Vietnam, and suggests the West is NOT paying too high a price:

"As a young man I was invited by my country to help quell Communism in Vietnam. It seemed my government feared Communism more than the black plague. As the son of a US Navy Pearl Harbor survivor, I was raised knowing one day it would be my turn to help our country. Un like George W. Bush, I went to Vietnam and learned many, many valuable lessons that helped make me a better and more worthy citizen of my country. (...) No, I don't feel the price is too high for the West to endure. (...) Each human deserves a safe and healthy life but human greed for power, religious domination, sex and money seems to ignore this simple right. Mankind historically seems willing to do anything to deny this right to others as long as it suits their personal agenda. Sadly, as population steadily increases in this finite space called planet Earth, the "too-many-rats-in-the-cage" syndrome will ever increase ...."

Herbert Fuchs, in Finland, says enough is enough:

"As the saying goes, there are no friends and no foes in Afghanistan. It's a country that should be left to its own devices, even if that clashes with stubborn western strategy. All goodwill efforts are condemned to failure....Let's get out of Afghanistan, a country where every foreigner is a target, and give every cent spent there to Africa or somewhere else."

René Junghans, in Brazil, takes a similar view:

"Every victim is a victim too many. Why send German policemen and soldiers there in the first place, who should be keeping order, and protecting Germany? Why are Germans dying there?..The Americans toppled a government that was at least tolerated by the people, plunged them into war and bloodshed - and now expect us Europeans to help solve it? It's time for the German government to evacuate all German soldiers and police officers, but also all Germans staying voluntarily on Afghan soil. I don't want another German citizen to die!"

In Costa Rica, Erwin Scholz uses customary, caustic poetry:

"No wars, no killing, and no Bush
will help the land of the Hindukush.
So don't be cowardly anymore,
and end this foolish, foreign war!"

The People and Politics desk reserves the right to edit and abbreviate texts.