Robinson argues that Afghanistan has been a victim of two wars in its history, the latest being the United States-led attack in 2001. Undeniably, there have been mass killings of people in these wars. However, the most infamous episode in these wars t is reported by Eugene Robinson in his article “End the Afghan Mission Now” (Robinson 1). According to the article, a U.S. Army sergeant went on a killing rampage shooting sixteen people in Southern Afghanistan.
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In an apparent appeal to emotions of the readers, Robinson states that the 38-year-old sergeant, a member of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Unit from the state of Washington, broke into three households and killed all the inhabitants, including nine minors, in cold blood. Robinson claims that the sergeant gathered some of the bodies of the dead and set them on fire (Flaherty and Baldor 1). As highlighted in this article, the mere mention of the United States military sends shivers down one’s spine. It is associated with all sorts of animosity towards humankind, including the killing of children in their beds and setting Korans on fire. By storming the three households and cold-bloodedly executing sixteen people, including nine innocent children, the US Army sergeant committed a medieval act of barbarism. This appeal to the emotions is quite effective since the readers are likely to feel the brutality of the U.S. against hapless civilians. This feeling of disgust would lead to increased numbers of those opposed to the military campaign in Afghanistan.
Robinson is actually wondering what the U.S. Army is doing in Afghanistan, and in the process drawing the reader to share similar sentiment. He hardly understands the mission on which the US Army was sent to this country. The article even makes the reader wonder if there are any accomplishments of the American troops in Afghanistan. Robinson claims that instead of availing protection to Afghan nationals, as the U.S. military is purporting, they are actually enraging the Afghan populace. Robison is unsure whether the people of Afghanistan can be convinced that the Sunday civilian massacre was far much better than if the same was committed by a Taliban (Michaels 1).
The fact that the United States officials try to defend the military mission in Afghanistan raises more questions than answers. A large number of Afghans are incredulous to the extent that they suspect that the sergeant must have been receiving help from his seniors. The US officials claim that that this very sergeant did act on his own (Flaherty and Baldor 1). And truly enough, we are left speculating on the propelling force that would likely make a soldier leave his unit without being noticed or even there being another person to stop him. Even claiming that the sergeant had become mentally ill cannot be substantiated, since (and as the Taliban put across) this is a transgression of morals on the side of the American military. Tey are arming lunatics in a foreign country who later tend to utilize these weapons against defenseless civilians without having a second thought (Robinson 1). The writer is very persuasive when he says that the US military in Afghanistan is involved in other missions apart from the one it was principally deployed.
Robinson capitalizes on the brutal incident to suggest that the American troops should be flown back home. There are also suggestions in the article that the American troops ought to leave Afghanistan. The tension in the article is mounted even further by relating another brutal incident involving the burning of a number of Korans by some NATO soldiers. Indeed, the image of the US has continuously been sullied. Following the Koran burning incident, President of the United States Barack Obama was forced to offer his apologies. Robinson reports that this and the Sunday massacre have brought about violent reactions from the Afghans (Flaherty and Baldor 1). These unfriendly incidences have actually seen the US President push for the speedy withdrawal of the US troops from the disarrayed country. Such an action, especially from the head of a superpower, suggests that the high time has come when peaceful negotiations have to be embraced (Robinson 1).
According to this article, Afghanistan ought to cease to be a battlefield in the eyes of the Americans; and this receives great support from the American public. As per the latest polls, the country is fed up with the war; with 60% of the Americans being of the opinion that the war has not been of any benefit to the country, despite all the bloodshed and large financial resources allocated to the military operation in Afghanistan. A half of those polled by Washington ABC News believe that the US military in Afghanistan is not executing the mandate it was meant to (Robinson 1). Moreover, those who believe that the US troops ought to be flown back home account for more than fifty per cent. Over and above these concerns, there is a dire need to review the strategy that the US troops have utilized during military missions, such as the one in Afghanistan.
I agree with Robinson’s arguments about the brutalities committed by the U.S. military against civilians, the unnecessary casualties of the U.S. troops, and the unsustainability of the war. Robinson claims the lives of very young individuals- both men and women- have been endangered in the name of the military mission. For example, the sergeant who committed the murder of innocent civilians is still in his thirties and has two children. As a matter of fact, some of the missions may not be even completed. It is, therefore, suggested that the United States ought to pull out its troops from the regions which have bigger problems than the US can handle or give a hand in (Michaels 1).
As Robinson draws to the conclusion of his article, he acknowledges that there ought to be a transitional period in Afghanistan. The United States will eventually have to hand over control to the Afghan government. This notwithstanding, a longer period is needed, and it is forecasted that by the year 2014, the US military will have fully withdrawn from Afghanistan. However, there yet remains a problem of the insufficiently trained Afghan military personnel which lacks proper military equipment. Undeniably, Taliban rebels will still pose a threat to the newly established government, since they are inhabitants of the country. Here, Robinson appeals to logic and common sense to encourage the withdrawal of the U.S. troops. He warns that while other nations, such as the United States, view Afghanistan as a battlefield, Taliban insurgents perceive it as their home. Therefore, it will be in the best interests of the US to withdraw its troops from the country as soon as possible.
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