War: What Is It Good For?

Nine years ago, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to bring down the Taliban and seek the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks. Our troops are still there, yet terrorists remain at large, the Taliban is making a comeback (to say the least), and pulling out looks worse than staying. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is or is not our ally, depending on whether it suits him that day. Voter fraud is rampant. President Barack Obama has fired the general in charge of U.S. troops there. Classified documents revealed by WikiLeaks show the brutality ― and futility ― of the U.S. mission. “What can we do?” seems to be overshadowed by a much more troubling question: “Who’s paying attention?” Well, there’s Daniel Ellsberg, for one. He has experience in exposing governments and helping end armed conflicts. The author, activist, and onetime military analyst leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, an act that was instrumental in ending the Vietnam War ― er, sorry, “police action.” Ellsberg will be among five speakers at Afghanistan: Nine Years and Counting who'll help send a message to elected officials that We the People don't support this war. Organizers say they come from various political persuasions -- there's even a Republican candidate for Congress -- but they all support withdrawal.
Wed., Oct. 6, 6 p.m., 2010

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