After eight years, Americans are tired of Afghanistan

It’s been almost eight years since al-Qaida operatives struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, killing about 3,000 Americans. As painful as it was — and as painful as it remains for those intimately affected by the atrocity — the country has largely moved on. Given Americans’ short historical memories, eight years is a long time.

That helps explain why 51 percent of Americans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, don’t believe the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting. Only 24 percent believe the number of troops should be increased.

In addition to the passage of time, there is another big factor in dwindling support for the war in Afghanistan: The invasion of Iraq. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney spent much more time demonizing Saddam Hussein  than they did emphasizing the role of the Taliban and Afghanistan in the attacks. The Taliban provided sanctuary to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and along its mountainous border with Pakistan.And it was Osama who orchestrated the attacks.

But the Bush administration gave little effort to helping Americans understand the connection between Afghanistan and the 9/11 attacks. After the invasion of Iraq, Bush and Cheney stopped talking about Osama bin Laden.

If the Bush administration had concentrated on finding Osama and driving out the Taliban, Afghanistan might be stable by now. But they allowed Osama to get away while they shifted troops to Iraq.

Osama is still out there. Al-Qaida is still plotting attacks on U.S. interests. The Taliban is still a danger to Afghanistan, Pakistan and to us. The Obama administration has no choice but to stay in Afghanistan until the Taliban is routed.

56 comments Add your comment

Just because

August 20th, 2009
11:05 am

Obama has a choice . . . he always has a choice. Aren’t you just trying to justify why we are in still in Afghanistan. Matters not what “the people” think; government has a track record for ignoring what the people think. President Obama is learning there is a big difference in being an in-experienced Senator from Illinois and being President. Sometimes the issues and solutions aren’t as cut and dry as they seem prior to taking office; unfortunately the country is having to deal with what happens when an in-experinced, community organizer is Commander in Chief and is in four-year training.

Emory Eagle

August 20th, 2009
11:33 am

You cite one poll as evidence that most Americans have “moved on” from the terrorist attacks eight years ago. Speak for yourself, but I refuse to believe that any intelligent American will soon forget about what happened. The consequences of doing so are too great. And while we’re on the topic of Osama, let’s not forget the role that Clinton played in never capturing him. If I recall, Clinton could have taken action a year before 9/11, but didn’t. Democratic members of the 9/11 Commission admit that Clinton didn’t fully recognize the threat posed by Osama. Your post is utterly void of historical context and details.


August 20th, 2009
11:35 am

Its unwinnable and not worth a single american life. Air strikes would be the way to go, those people will never “get it”.


August 20th, 2009
11:36 am

Seems to me, you wrote this to bash Bush-Cheney again; no more and no less. There is a new sheriff, er…community organizer in town now. As Colin Powell stated so eloguently in his Pottery Principle, “You break it, you own it.”


August 20th, 2009
11:43 am

I agree with every word you wrote, except the last sentence.

Yeah, the 150,000 troops sent to Iraq could have been sent to Afghanistan instead. Maybe we would have gotten bin Laden. Maybe not. At least the odds would have been greater.

Bush had the support of the American people for Afghanistan & Iraq because both conflicts made 30 second sound bites easy. (We are going to Afghanistan to get bin Laden! We are going to Iraq because Saddam = weapons mass destruction!) After years of troops in both places the American people typically have said enough. When a situation gets complicated, & can’t be explained in 30 second sound bites, the American people generally lose interest. (see health-care debate).

The question on Afghanistan is; can a quasi-democratic state be created from a 12th century feudal state?

The Obama administration (Gates, Jones, Clinton & Biden) seem to believe they have a plan. As I understand from news reports they believe they can buy off enough “feudal lords” & enough of the Taliban leadership to create a government that will be able control Al-Qaida to some degree. We will have an answer in several years.

But history says we will not be successful.

Pakistan? Ah, there’s the rub.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator :-) You Whine :-(

August 20th, 2009
11:57 am

What a callous and disrespectful notion it is to say Americans have “moved on” from 9/11 based on a poll that only concerns the war in Afghanistan.

Maybe the American people aren’t as simple as you liberals and realize that al Qaeda resides not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan, Somalia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan, etc. and, check this out………………Iraq.

We could blow away all the Islamic extremists in Afghanistan tomorrow morning, al Qaeda would still be an active threat to every innocent and peaceful nation on Earth.

Maybe it’s time for some, uh, change?

But don’t it figure, surprise, surprise, now that the democrats have the tiger by the tail, they want to……surrender.

Um, so where’s bin Laden at, heroes? Hmmmm?


August 20th, 2009
12:37 pm

More BS in a dress from Cynthia.

Obama good. Bush bad. Blah. Blah Blah.

What might have been more helpful is to think about the purposes of our fight in Afghanistan and the milestones by which we will judge success. Is this an endless war or does Obama have a plan and is he willing to put forth goals that can be measured for his plan? We have a 130,000 troops in Iraq and 68,000 in Afghanistan. What are they going to accomplish and by when?

How about Tucker, does she advocate an endless open checkbook and endless bloodletting because it’s “her side” in charge or do we deserve some accountability from our leaders?

The Afghan War is a serious matter for Americans. It deserves serious attention from serious people. As usual Tucker is a shill doing nothing productive. While no on can deny Tuckers verbal fire power, her brain seems to be firing blanks.


August 20th, 2009
12:53 pm


At some point in time, you are going to wake up and realize that Obama is a poor leader, and just as corrupt as Bush. At least with Bush, we knew where he stood. Obama has not had one campaign promise that he has not broken. In fact, look at who is benefitting from his administration. Cheney’s connection with haliburton and bush’s connection with big oil pales in comparison to what obama is doling out to his backers. now that he has popped the trillion dollar cherry, he can spend orders of magnitude greater on his backers and the media, and you, and his apologists ignore the problem.

We got change…for the worse.


August 20th, 2009
1:05 pm

Cynthia Tucker, you disgusting war monger. Gonna kill more civilians, continue to bankrupt the country, all so we can democratize Afghanistan and “rout the Taliban”. What a sick blood sucker you are. Not to mention an economically illiterate hypocrite. Freaks like you are killing the country.

Captain Underpants

August 20th, 2009
1:15 pm

Ms Tucker is as usual out to lunch. However, the war in afghanistan will never be won because the individuals living there prefer, and I use the term for lack of a better one, mob rule.

Its how much money might I obtain today by the old “go along to get along” diatribe. Then tomorrow these same persons have no memory of previous favors granted them or money given. The Muslims think it ok to change the terms of any deal at anytime. They basically lack any form a moral or character other than what Allah states and Allah does state “kill the infidel by any means possible.

Same lesson in Iraq…the people are too lazy, scared, corrupt or stupid to run their own Country. These islamic countries understand one thing and one thing only…A Dictatorship. In hindsight we shouldve left Saddam in charge of Iraq. As brutal as if was he did have them under control…


August 20th, 2009
1:15 pm

Maybe Cynthia has forgotten the image of the World Trade Centers being flown into by planes hijacked by the Taliban. Maybe she has forgotten the image of the building falling and over 3000 INNOCENT Americans being murdered. I haven’t forgotten it by a long shot.
Here’s a refresher course for you Cynthia. I’m using the Cliffnote version so you don’t have to comprehend as much. The Taliban acknowledged that they planned and carried out the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The Taliban hieracy was based in Afganistan. They pretty much ran the country at that time. Therefore we declared war on them and went to Afganistan to confront them.
I’ll give you two guesses on what you can do with your WP/ABC pole (sic).


August 20th, 2009
1:16 pm

As much as I disagree with Mr. Obama’s domestic policies, I do appreciate the agressive approach he so far taken with the war in Afghanistan. Ms. Tucker is correct. Americans do have a short historical memory, or maybe some of them no longer care. You “support the troops”, yet are horrified at the fact that they may actually have to do what they have pledged to do in order to achieve their objective. How many of our fallen can you name off the top of your head?


August 20th, 2009
1:20 pm

Cynthia, thanks for pointing out that Afganistan is still Bush’s fault. The American memory is short and without people like you, we’d all move on and expect a sitting president to be responsible for his own decisions.

Between your type and those folks who still whine about Clinton, it’ll be amazing if this president ever has to take responsibility for anything. Lucky guy!


August 20th, 2009
1:31 pm

As I write this there are a few comments on the column.
Three bash Cynthia from the left (because she wants Obama to continue the Bush policy in Afghanistan) & five from the right (because she is defending the Obama decision to continue the Bush policy in Afghanistan).


August 20th, 2009
1:32 pm

Obama’s war that’s going nowhere = Good.
Bush’s war that captured Hussein but is now going nowhere=Bad.

Did I capture your point well enough to racist hypocrite?

redneck recluse

August 20th, 2009
1:36 pm

Steve August 20th, 2009 1:15 pm
“Maybe Cynthia has forgotten the image of the World Trade Centers being flown into by planes hijacked by the Taliban.”

This is all the evidence you need that Bush & Cheney are bald faced liars. They both stood in front of the cameras & blamed 9/11 on bin Laden & Al Qaeda.


August 20th, 2009
1:38 pm


What will you do when you and Obama can no longer blame George Bush for the consequences of the decisions the he (Obama) is making. I suspect that that will never happen, even he Obama (God forbid) has 8 years in office. About time he stood up and took responsibility, even if you won’t.


August 20th, 2009
1:47 pm


liberals dont like to accept responsibility. you should know that. there are basically two types of liberals: elists and slaves. let me explain. the elitists believe that they are always right and that any voice to the contrary is from nazi, war mongerers. they tout freedom of speech but chastise and berate anyone that dares speak an opposing opinion. they need power and to keep the power, they keep the other type of liberal, the slaves, dependent upon them. they dole out our money for entitlement programs. Social progression they call it. fixing the wrongs. giving a leg up. it comes under different names. regardless, they attach no strings, ask for nothing in return, only allegiance to the money peddlers. the elitists have caused such a dependence upon government money from the slaves that they know that no matter what they do, the slaves will keep them in office. they dont try to educate the slaves, as that would endanger their hold over the slave. they keep feeding them more and more money. Here you go, you deserve this. keep having children. hey, just because you are on welfare doesnt mean you cant buy a flat screen tv, $800 jeans, $200 shoes, a cell phone, nice rims for your car, etc, etc. This is what america owes you. enjoy it. vote for us, and you will get more.

personally, I have too much pride in myself to be a slave, and feel that enslaving someone, creating constant dependency, is an abomination to God.

So, I am an independent. Guess which liberal Cynthia and Barack are?


August 20th, 2009
2:00 pm

Then I guess President Clinton, who first advocated regime change in Iraq, Senator Clinton, Senator Rockefeller and many others in the DNC who stood in the well of the Senate and cited the threats presented by Iraq and Hussien (Saddam, not Obama) against the United States and then voted for the invasion of Iraq….I guess they were all liars as well?

Algonquin J. Calhoun

August 20th, 2009
2:14 pm

If catching Osama is the goal, checkout Crawford, Texas.

Algonquin J. Calhoun

August 20th, 2009
2:27 pm

Whatever, you are a moron! Spare us anymore of your pathetic drivel!

ben quiet

August 20th, 2009
2:31 pm

You are like barney frank. All you can do to keep our eye off the ball is to talk about the past. Sad.
Well keep talking, we won’t forget come 2010 elections.


August 20th, 2009
2:46 pm

Perhaps a good barometer of how Obama will be perceived as a leader rather than as a community organizer will occur when he finds out that the troops will not leave Iraq as soon as he said they would. And, I have no problem with what Cynthia Tucker writes…….I am very aware of which way she leans when the wind blows.


August 20th, 2009
2:46 pm

What would you suggest Cynthia? Tuck our tails and run.

ck hall

August 20th, 2009
2:47 pm

I guess Your Bush bashing is still in vogue..Due to the fact that Obama dioesn’t have a clue as to what to do in Afghanistan or Iraq for that matter it so very easy to blame predecessors..I thought Obama was going to clean up that part of the world in short order? Obama is so short on experience it is killing America–Oh, and what about his rehetoric on Gitmo? What a joke he is..He just simply doesn’t have a clue. He best keep fighting our enemies in the Middle east to keep them from coming to America.


August 20th, 2009
2:49 pm

WOW. ….
I’ve gotten so use to ignoring Cynthia because she always just puts out garbage without any possible feedback from the readers unlike her counter-parts. But I have to give her credit for opening up this post to comments.

Thank you Cynthia I’ll cut you some slack this time….


August 20th, 2009
3:13 pm

She’s right, Afghanistan is the real problem area, and becoming moreso month by month. She’s also right about the generally short attention span of Americans. Just a generation ago american dollars in the form of arms and munitions poured in Afghanistan to support the mujihaden. Once the soviets were out of the picture we abandoned the Afghans to the Taliban. The Talilban supported Al Qaeda who dropped the twin towers and bombed oh.. everything that could get close to. Do you people think that abandoning the Afghans now won’t result in more violence down the road? You may forget the reasons why they strike in 2020, but you’ll be just as enraged as you were in 2001. Like we needed to stay in Iraq and fix what was broken (mainly by us.. thanks Paul Bremer you giant idiot) we have to stay in Afghanistan and make it right there. If you honestly believe the jingoistic crap a lot of people spew about “America” you know it’s true. I believe that we have incredible potential for good, but it costs, and we have to pay.. and this is the butcher’s bill.


August 20th, 2009
3:18 pm

@Algonquin J. Calhoun- Thanks for proving my point. Typical liberal mentality. dont argue the issue, attack the messenger. I hope that in about 20 years when the minority impoverished people of this great land wake up and see what the elites have done to them, they create such a furor as to wake the founders.


August 20th, 2009
3:24 pm

Sad how the decendants of an oppressed people now only think of themselves. Personally.., I will never tire of helping the oppressed.


August 20th, 2009
3:28 pm

“Washington Post-ABC poll” HaHaHaHa!
Might as well have used NBC or Huffington polls. Like you, they’re not creditable either.


August 20th, 2009
3:34 pm

put yourself in the group that has moved on because i sure as hell haven’t. put me in the 24 percentile who thinks troop levels are fine where they are. afghanistan is a war that should be fought covertly. put your fellow libs heads on the chopping block for afghanistan. they wanted it, they got it. it should have been one more instance where obama disappointed them but nooooooooo! bush’s blood wasn’t enough for them. bush’s war was bad. obama’s war is good.



August 20th, 2009
3:42 pm

76 US servicemen/women have died in Afghanistan in 2009 alone.

Let’s keep that in mind as well.


August 20th, 2009
4:06 pm

As in most comments above “the country has largely moved on.” is WRONG and is in line with the being un-American attitude of PresBO, Pelosi and the the other sheep. This attitude, on-going socialism and generational government dependency by society’s leeches, and PC continue to be our downward spiral…


August 20th, 2009
4:11 pm

We should fell blessed that we’ve only lost 76 servicemen in 8 months. That’s incredible and a testament to the abilities and skill of our service people.


August 20th, 2009
4:17 pm

reservoirDAWG August 20th, 2009 2:46 pm
“What would you suggest Cynthia? Tuck our tails and run.”

What she suggested was “…stay in Afghanistan until the Taliban is routed.”
Jimbo August 20th, 2009 3:13 pm
“She’s right, Afghanistan is the real problem area, and becoming moreso month by month. She’s also right about the generally short attention span of Americans. Just a generation ago american dollars in the form of arms and munitions poured in Afghanistan to support the mujihaden.”

Good point. Also just a generation ago American arms & munitions poured into Iraq to Saddam Hussein to assist him in his war against
Iran. He used a lot of those arms & munitions we sent him when he invaded Kuwait.

And who was the number one spiritual leader & main recruiter of the mujahideen? Osama bin Laden.


August 20th, 2009
8:59 pm

Whatever at 1:47 – well said!! The corrective healthcare reform action is to prevent them from having children. This will eventually reduce their drain on society and, in Atlanta at least, likely result in a significant reduction in crime…

Bayard J. Donahoo

August 20th, 2009
9:47 pm

Afghanistan grinds our sons and daughters into hamburger for absolutely nothing. This pile of rocks will remain a feudal Islamic swamp no matter how many soldiers and marines our foolish president drops into the bloody maw. The place is a death trap and has been since the din of time.

Eight years of war is enough. —-> Get Out, Get Out, Get Out !

Dr. Craig Spinks /Augusta

August 21st, 2009
3:04 am

“The long haul” and we Americans have become strangers.

Makes me sad..

August 21st, 2009
6:58 am

American Politics: singular religious conviction mixed with myopic business interests. 40 million without health insurance, more spent on television and movies than on education, almost 50% of the military spending of the entire globe, foreclosures, bankruptcies, bailouts. America, my brother, my childhood friend, you have engorged yourself without restraint. You are the obese teenage bully with a knuckle duster and a penchant for making pipe bombs and selling pipe dreams. What ever will you be when you grow up?


August 21st, 2009
7:31 am

Let’s not forget that Tucker regularly accuses supporters of the Iraq War of being “chickenhawks”.

By her own standards, Tucker must acknowledge that she too is a chickenhawk or a hypocrite.


August 21st, 2009
8:07 am

We should just let Israel off it’s leash…let the jews take care of that end of the world. Save us blood and treasure…or…we can watch Brittney in a bikini; what’s the easy choice and what’s the hard choice?


August 21st, 2009
8:32 am

Tucker is so far gone in rational thought that she allows herself to be pummeled in her daily blog and comes back for more. While she sucks on the left wing Obama lollypop in Washington she quotes a poll taken by the Washington Post/ABC crowd. Yeah, that’s not skewed! Her war observation is strikingly similar to Cynthia McKinney’s viewpoint. Blame Bush and Cheney, defend Obama’s governance, and beat up on America. Typical stuff from the left and pathetic.

Michael H. Smith

August 21st, 2009
8:32 am

Interestingly, now that Bush is no longer in the White House, one item on the itinerary of the liberal media will be noticeably Absent With Out Leave: It seems Cindy Sheehan will be disregarded by the left-wing like one of Comrade Lenin’s “useful idiots”, as ABC’s Charles Gibson, whose newscast and network featured Sheehan when she led anti-war protests outside President Bush’s Texas ranch in 2005, now says, “Enough already.”

Don’t look for any 24/7 cable news coverage from CNN, HLN or MSNBC of Cindy Sheehan protesting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on Martha’s Vineyard while President Obama is vacationing there. No doubt support for Sheehan has been dropped from the published DNC talking points memo sent out to its’ liberal minions with instruction to blog: Enough already, Cindy. Thanks for helping us get Obama in the White House. Now shut up!
The Obama administration has no choice but to stay in Afghanistan until the Taliban is routed.


August 21st, 2009
9:01 am

Can’t help but wonder when the publishers of the AJC are going to wake up & find that Tucker is on the wrong side. Never have understood how she got an award for being a communist sympathizer.


August 21st, 2009
9:06 am

“That helps explain why 51 percent of Americans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, don’t believe the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting.”

That is why quoting polls and listening to the masses (at times) is a waste of time. However, ignoring the masses, when a govt ran healthcare option is being considered, is stupid. We don’t want that. The govt cant do anything right, is horribly inefficient, and if costs to the consumer were actually lower with that option, guess where the added money would come from to make up the difference? You guessed it, us via taxes, just like the subsidies that go to the post office to keep it afloat all the while it hemmorages in debt.

joe matarotz

August 21st, 2009
10:03 am

Who is more clueless – Cynthia Tucker or Obama? Cynthia, you may have moved on from 9/11, but that’s because you are out of touch. That is a scar that will remain with many of us forever.

Booger Bandit

August 21st, 2009
10:15 am

Didnt Al Goron and Jimmah Carter also win a Pulitzer Prize for their non-sense? Just goes to show a Pulizter Prize is worth about the same as a stuffed donkey won at the nearest strip mall carnival.

“25 cents…Ring the bell get a donkey”!!

Dunwoody Mike

August 21st, 2009
11:11 am

Booger Bandit,

I was unaware that trying to bring peace to the Middle East in the form of the Camp David accords, and to attempt to mediate conflict is “nonsense.”


August 21st, 2009
11:17 am

Oh my how funny. I can’t get over how you talk about American’s having short memories. Please. I take it you must be the exception to the rule, because ever single thing your write finds some way some how to blame the white man for something he or his daddy or his granddaddy did to your granddaddy over 200 years ago. You completely live in the past and promote hatred in every article you write. I take it you forgot to turn off the comment section on this one. Truth hurts. You and Luckovich need to take off your blinders. Obama is not your savior, his popularity is crashing and “history” will remember his deeds.

Ivan Cohen

August 21st, 2009
11:26 am

What presidents have not been on a learning curve in the course of war? Woodrow Wilson – World War I, Franklin Roosevelt- World War II, first two front war, Europe and the Pacific theaters. Harry Truman – Korean Conflict, Lyndon Johnson – Vietnam War. George H.W. Bush – First Persian Gulf War. George W. Bush – Return of the two front war, Iraqi and Afghanistan or Persian Gulf War part two. Americans probably will never get over 9/11 but they do adjust, if it were not so, someone would still be bugging out over Pearl Harbor. As of this date where are the weapons of mass destruction which served as the template for going into Iraq? Al Qaeda in Somalia, Algeria, Egypt, etc. Dirge sounds familiar, oh yeah, if we don’t stop the Communists in Vietnam, they are going to cross the ocean and take Hawaii, next would be the west coast of the United States. Scare talk in the last century and scare talk at the beginning of this one. What’s next, revival of the witch hunts Joseph McCarthy style? Iraqis will have to take ownership of the war in their country. Ditto Afghanistan and Pakistan. Unless these countries are going to become the 51st, 52nd and 53rd states in the union. Aiding these countries is one thing, fighting their wars for them is another matter altogether. They become dependents of this country and we cannot write them off on our tax returns. Entitlement programs for countries overseas get called “foreign aid”. The $800 jeans, $200 shoes, flat screens and in some instances cell phones are imported. Thank you Whatever, I am going to check out the auto stores and find out whether those “rims” are made in the USA or whether a foreign country got the market cornered on that too.