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Chan Lowe: The Afghanistan Quran-burning


When you consider that there exists no coherent strategy for conventionally “winning” the war in Afghanistan, and that the only way we’ll ever exit that morass is if we somehow convince the natives to cooperate with us on a permanent basis, you realize what a tragedy the Quran-burning blunder really was.

We’ve been involved in that star-crossed chunk of real estate for over ten years now. Many families have lost loved ones who volunteered to fight for American freedoms, and were let down by a succession of civilian leaders who either never knew or lost sight of our strategic purpose for being there.

Maybe all the money, time, effort and lives we’ve squandered over there were starting to pay off in terms of convincing the locals we were working in their best interests⎯that’s a matter of debate. What we know for sure is that the fateful trip to the Bagram incinerator probably set us back several years in that fight.

No matter that the commanding U.S. general as well as President Obama personally apologized to the Afghan people (and yes, conservatives, there are times when it’s appropriate to “apologize for America”), nobody over there is going to believe we’re truly sorry, because there are too many incidents where American servicemen urinated on Afghan fighters’ bodies or used the Quran for target practice for anyone to think otherwise.

To them, we’re infidel invaders, and we’ll eventually leave just like everyone else has in the long, violent history of the area. It isn’t surprising that two American soldiers lost their lives yesterday to a turncoat in the puppet Afghan Army that we finance and train. For our Afghan clients, the American Way holds sway only as long as palms keep getting greased, and sometimes even that isn’t enough to stem the anger.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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