KABUL — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan called on his troops to resist any urge to avenge the deaths of two American soldiers killed in riots over the burning of Korans at a U.S. base, even as renewed protests Friday claimed at least seven lives.
The anti-American demonstrations by thousands of Afghans who took to the streets after midday prayers were further evidence that President Barack Obama’s apology has failed to quiet the outrage over what the U.S. says was the inadvertent destruction of the holy books.
The killing of the two U.S. soldiers and the civil unrest have further strained Afghanistan’s relations with the United States. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is trying to negotiate a long-term partnership agreement with the United States to govern the activities of U.S. forces in his country after 2014, when most foreign combat troops will have left or taken on support roles.
At least 20 people, including the two U.S. soldiers, have been killed in four days of violence. Protesters have ignored appeals by Karzai, parliamentarians and some clerics for an end to the violence until an investigation into the incident at Bagram Air Field is concluded in coming days.
This is what you get when you have a president with no intellectual curiosity and who thinks he is doing the work of God. Our fiasco in Afghanistan has done nothing good for the U.S. and has made us less safe. The only people who have benefited are the military contractors and other war profiteers.
Bin Laden was killed using intelligence in a mission costing less than a million dollars. That should have been our strategy from the start. Instead, Bush and his cronies decided to invade and occupy Afghanistan — a blunder that cost the U.S. thousands of lives and well over a trillion dollars when you factor in all costs.