The mainstream media is spreading the rumor that Obama will make a decision on Afghanistan after Thanksgiving. Jasiri X has cooked up a new hip hop-laced ballad about a resilient woman named Afghanistan who ain’t takin’ no mess and hasn’t for several millennia.

The video starts off with some passionate words from another African-American Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martin Luther King who opposed the war in Vietnam. If Obama wants to live up to that Nobel bling, I’d suggest he re (or re-read, he’s a literate dude) King’s “Strength to Love” which is a collection of King’s sermons that he compiled during his lifetime. It’s available free at Google Books btw. There’s some powerful prose and King’s oratory skills were matched by an incisive and inspiring pen.

Obama should ask himself: “WWMD” — What Would Martin Do? He would say as he did then: “The world now demands a maturity of America…” and of Obama. I’m pretty sure he would say we need to stop dropping bombs on Afghanistan (and Pakistan) and start droppin’ some schools & hospitals & food. There’s nothing to win in Afghanistan — we know that Al Qaeda is not there, but everywhere. Yet isn’t there everything to lose as we saw at Fort Hood and Oklahoma City with unstable veterans returning home or refusing to leave, distraught and angry.

Did you know that we’ve lost almost as many troops this year to suicide as to combat injuries due to the dual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? From USAToday:

The class is part of an urgent initiative aimed at halting an epidemic of suicides, which has killed almost as many American troops this year as combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The trend has left top military psychologists puzzled and resulted in a new emphasis on programs that alleviate stress and prevent possible suicides while troops are still on the battlefield, where doctors say many mental health problems begin.

To that end, every soldier arriving in Iraq is now handed a card detailing the warning signs for depression and suicide. Two-star generals appear on the Armed Forces Network talking about their experiences with mental health specialists and how it helped. And mental health experts are spending more time on the front lines to make the counseling process informal and accessible to troops who may be reluctant about seeking out a psychiatrist.

This is a laudable start. Peace within is peace without. I’m ok with more troops but only if the end goal is to create enough safety for current troops in place so they can withdraw from the field and re-focus on the fight against terrorism elsewhere — including here in America.

Here’s Dr. King laying it down in a short version of one of his classic speeches on Vietnam with images from Afghanistan. Just insert “Afghanistan” where he says “Vietnam”.

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