Seriously, give it up already

Precisely how is the continued military occupation of either Afghanistan or Iraq of any national interest to Americans?

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned, according to the chaplains of two US battalions that have spent nine months on the front line in the war against the Taleban.

Many feel that they are risking their lives — and that colleagues have died — for a futile mission and an Afghan population that does nothing to help them, the chaplains told The Times in their makeshift chapel on this fortress-like base in a dusty, brown valley southwest of Kabul.

“The many soldiers who come to see us have a sense of futility and anger about being here. They are really in a state of depression and despair and just want to get back to their families,” said Captain Jeff Masengale, of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2-87 Infantry Battalion.

“They feel they are risking their lives for progress that’s hard to discern,” said Captain Sam Rico, of the Division’s 4-25 Field Artillery Battalion. “They are tired, strained, confused and just want to get through.” The chaplains said that they were speaking out because the men could not.

This is insane. It’s been insane for some time now, but the fact that Obama sold out the antiwar movement that got him elected to this extent only goes to show what a sham the American electoral system has become. You can’t count on a Democratic politician to do the right thing even on the very rare occasions that the broken clock of the Democratic base is correct. This isn’t a war that can be won… there isn’t anything to win there in either country. And as a general rule, if you see the need to establish special rules of engagement, you shouldn’t be deploying troops in the first place.