Rabbi Arthur Waskow : 10 Best Reasons to Send Troops to Afghanistan

Ten best reasons to send more U.S. troops

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow / The Rag Blog / November 30, 2009

10. If you want to breed and train more would-be terrorists who hate the USA, the best way to do so is attacking Afghan villages where key Al Qaeda cells have left to regroup elsewhere.

9. If you want to keep Afghan women powerless, ignore the advice of their own leaders that grass-roots economic development is crucial — and send the Marines instead, to boost the power of macho warlords who gather loyalty by fighting foreign invaders.

8. If you want to make sure that no one is learning that government could do good things like building schools and community health clinics in America, hiring teachers and writers and railroad construction workers, feeding hungry children, or renewing our rotting sewer system — then sink hundred of billions of dollars into this war so as to bankrupt domestic-needs programs.

7. If you want to make even higher profits from burning oil and coal instead of letting America invest in creating a wind/solar renewable energy network that will heal the climate crisis, free us from coal and oil, and make America competitive again — a multi-billion-dollar war is terrific.

6. If you want to stymie all investigations into past use of torture and “extraordinary rendition” by past U.S. governments and utterly negate the closing of Guantanamo, multiplying prisoners in Bagram (Afghanistan) will help a great deal.

5. If you like to knit blankets for legless veterans while making sure the Veterans Administration is so swamped with the wounded that they have to wait months in rat-infested wards for treatment, more maimed soldiers are by far the best result of a war.

4. If you are trying to do research on the suicide rate, homeless rate, and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome in returning soldiers, there will never be a better milieu for producing experimental subjects.

3. If you want to create a surge of right-wing populist rage that will shatter the Democratic Party and elect Sarah Palin president in 2012, then combine thousands of dead and maimed American soldiers with millions of unemployed American workers.

If you can think of two more, please add them by clicking to this article on our website at The Shalom Center and commenting at the bottom of the page. Also add your own reasons as comments to this article on The Rag Blog. AND — if you think all these are terrible reasons and would like to tell your Senators to oppose sending more troops, please click here to, and fax them. We have provided a usable letter; we welcome your adding your own thoughts.

Shalom, salaam, shantih… peace,


[Rabbi Arthur Waskow is director of The Shalom Center and is co-author of The Tent of Abraham; author of Godwrestling, Round 2, Down-to-Earth Judaism and a dozen other books on Jewish thought and practice, as well as books on U.S. public policy.]

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6 Responses to Rabbi Arthur Waskow : 10 Best Reasons to Send Troops to Afghanistan

  1. masterspork says:

    10. They will still recruit regardless of if we are there or not. look as Somalia.

    9. You mean the traditional villagers are going to some who feel compelled to give women rights? Also the Marines are making use of all female units that can talk to the women of each village without breaking any rules or customs.


    8. Even considering all the hardships people face, I doubt people here would complain if they had to live in ether of the countries as a local. Before you complain about what you do not have be grateful for what you do have.

    7. That is a issue that is a stand along argument because even if we where not there. There would be the issue of drilling on our soil for the extra oil reserves.

    6. Lets see so far you have made 2 points directly relating to the troop increase in Afghanistan. Your drifting bad. This is a subject I agree with then disagree with.

    5. Really? You know it may be hard for you to accept that there are things worth fighting for. Also you have never cared for a soldier before of any kind so why pretend to do it now.

    4. Again stop pretending you care. What have you don for those that suffer from PTSD? If you are upset about this that volunteer to help.
    If not then you do not have a right to talk.

    3. I could care less about Palin. I care about neglecting veterans in the name of ‘peace’.

    2. That’s it? really?

    For me the one of the main reason that I want to go over there and help is that they need it.

  2. Richard says:

    MS 10. If we weren't there we wouldn't give a shit if they recruited, would we?
    8. What is it we do have again? We have the same thing they have a government we deserve. Our warlords use money as a weapon and like them religion as an excuse.
    7. Much oil is already drilled and capped, hoarded by the ruling class.
    5. What is it again that is worth fighting for in Afghanistan?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Your rhetoric is as atrocious as your spelling! Your passion and your time might be better spent tending to a needy soul who actually requests your assistance.

  4. Pollyanna says:

    Reb Waskow omits the real reason the bosses send troops anywhere: reduce the pool of surplus labor at home, thus making some semblance of "full employment" possible and reducing the ranks of those most likely to foment revolution. It's a win-win for the ruling class.

    MSPork, I'm definitely looking forward to your dispatches from the war zone! Are you expecting early

  5. masterspork says:

    10. I believe we should because it is these areas are going to become problems later(or sooner) down the road. But this is something that the world community does not seem to interested in.

    8. I am not saying that there are many things should be addressed. But in places like these it is a different world in the risks, challenges and dangers. So before you complain about why we give

  6. Richard says:

    MS, I enlisted in Nov. 1957, seems like a long time ago now, but I think I remember every minute as you will when you rach 70. Boot Camp at Great Lakes, “A” school same place, electric/electronics, and 10 weeks in Norfolk at Radar Operators. Shipped on the USS Mills DER 383 for three long years of picket duty in the north atlantic, 13 30 day trips, then as now 30 days usually took 40 days and one time 52 days then 8 days in Newport and back out for another 30/40 days. re-upped for 4 more went to Treasure Island, for “B” school and when I reported to the USS Warrington DD843 and anti-sub squardron 24 I was a RD1 E-6, TAD to several other DD’s and one AGR, My job code by then was 0312 (elint) and finished with METU-2. I was part of raising 2 soviet subs, the missle crisis, the Thresher search, and trips north of norway to capture signals with METU-2, (mobile electronics tactical Unit 2) Out in May 65, in 67 I became part of an anti capitalist, anarchist collective and spent the next seven years in the Anti-war movement. Colombia, Chicago 68, Mayday, then the anti nuke movement training non-violence, 10 years on the road….Thanks for asking.

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