Its editorial “More than a number” relates: “Last week, the Terry Styer family learned that their son, 19-year-old  U. S. Army combat engineer Pvt. Brandon Styer, had been killed in Afghanistan.”

It concludes: “The war in Afghanistan has become a political albatross as President Barack Obama struggles to decide whether to increase troop strength or draw down troops from the region. He must weigh the strategic needs of the nation against the lives of young men like Brandon Styer. That makes his decision all the more difficult.”

WATCHDOG: Although far more learned than last week’s jingoistic New Era editorial suggesting that generals should determine our Afghan policy, the Intell wrongly implies that President Obama’s choice is between saving American lives or sending more troops in order to better achieve our goals. Both saving lives and gradually withdrawing troops may serve better on both accounts.

Given the terrain and the culture, we can’t possibly pacify Afghanistan no matter how many soldiers we send. Just listen to officers who have actually done the fighting there. This is the most mountainous terrain in the world, inhabited by hundreds of independent tribes!

Reminder: The attack on the World Trade Center was planned and almost entirely carried out by Saudis, not Afghans! We went into Afghanistan to locate and destroy the Saudis whom the Taliban allowed to be based there. Our Saudi enemies have relocated to Pakistan.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. That foolish war diverted our attention from Afghanistan, not to mention it drained our resources and the hundred thousand who have died as a result. (The lives of Iraqis also count!)

Although welcomed in Afghanistan at first, our prolonged presence has angered the population and contributed to the resurgence of the Taliban.

Why can’t America keep its eye on the ball?

Updated: October 20, 2009 — 8:46 am