Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Teacher, Can We Go Now? NO (07/19/09)

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs Of Staff and Greg Mortenson in Pushgur village, Afghanistan, July 15, 2009

The New York Times

Sunday, July 19, 2009
By Thomas Freidman
Teacher, Can We Go Now? NO

I confess, I find it hard to come to Afghanistan and not ask: Why are we here? Who cares about the Taliban? Al Qaeda is gone. And if its leaders come back, well, that’s why God created cruise missiles.

But every time I start writing that column, something stills my hand. This week it was something very powerful. I watched Greg Mortenson, the famed author of “Three Cups of Tea,” open one of his schools for girls in this remote Afghan village in the Hindu Kush mountains. I must say, after witnessing the delight in the faces of those little Afghan girls crowded three to a desk waiting to learn, I found it very hard to write, “Let’s just get out of here.” . . .

Which is why it was no accident that Adm. Mike Mullen, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — spent half a day in order to reach Mortenson’s newest school and cut the ribbon . . . .

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