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First U.S. Official Resigns Over Afghan War

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: USA, Afghanistan, Marine, Iraq, State Department, miltary, Taliban, U.S. official, political resignation, afghan insurgency )

- 3280 days ago -
A former Marine who fought in Iraq, joined the State Department after leaving the military and was a diplomat in a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan has become the first U.S. official to resign in protest of the Afghan war.....


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Kathleen Hilliker (293)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 3:32 am
Matthew Hoh believes the war is simply fueling the insurgency.

I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," Hoh wrote in his resignation letter, dated Sept. 10 but published early Tuesday. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry brought him to Kabul and offered him a job on his senior embassy staff, but Hoh declined. He then flew home and met with Richard Holbrooke, the administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Holbrooke told the Washington Post he disagreed that the war "wasn't worth the fight," but did agree with much of Hoh's analysis. "We took his letter very seriously, because he was a good officer," Holbrooke said in an interview with the newspaper. "We all thought that given how serious his letter was, how much commitment there was, and his prior track record, we should pay close attention to him."

What do you think about the marine's stance?


Esther S (45)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 9:24 am
I found it baffling that he served in Iraq and didn't comment on his objection to that war but objects to the war in Afghanistan. It was the Taliban who were in total control of Afghanistan as dictators who were completely behind Bin Laden who was responsible for the 9/11 attack against us.In addition look how the women were treated in that country under the Taliban. I thought that one of our problems in Afghanistan is we diverted our resources and attention to Iraq from Afghanistan. I also think that if we just leave Afghanistan it would encourage the Taliban and similar groups.

. (0)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 9:25 am
I am sure he won't be the last...

JennyLynn W (246)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 9:38 am
Esther - you hit on something very important.
I don't know enough about this Marine to comment fairly, but I do have major issues with the Pentagon and the generals, and others, who have been running the war- particularly under Bush. Too many had corruptive influences affecting their decision-making processes. This whole mess was created by clueless and dishonest people years ago and it may not even be possible for it to turn out well now. It is also becoming clear that billions of dollars are at stake - and that the war profiteers and military contractors are happy to pay people off and guarantee high-paying jobs for those who assist their agenda and keep the blood money flowing. If this Marine goes to work for a war profiteer/military contractor - then we'll know he was possibly (or likely) doing damage to President Obama's policy on his way out the door - for the monetary rewards to come. If not, I'll feel differently.

Lionel Mann (23)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 9:48 am
Good for him! You will never eradicate terrorism by military action; it merely fuels hatred, stimulates resistance, encourages recruitment. Only by removing the causes of terrorism, greed, deprivation, exploitation, aggression, arrogant interference in the affairs of sovereign nations, mainly by the U.S.A. and its lackeys will peace be restored. Why do you suppose that Manhattan and the Pentagon were the main objectives of 9/11? They are seen as the chief perpetrators of injustice around the world. Talk, not bullies, bullets and bombs will achieve success, while no amount of "surges" will accomplish anything lasting. The present leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq will not be willingly accepted by most of their populace; they are seen as puppets of the U.S.A., the "foreign devils" who invaded their land on the flimsiest of pretexts. Cut your losses and get out now. It will not be seen as defeat, but rather as a triumph for commonsense.

serge vrabec (278)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 11:51 am

serge vrabec (251) Tuesday October 27, 2009, 10:28 am
Hats off to you Mr. Hoh and we thank you for Y-OUR courage and TRUE patriotism. Y-OUR an honorable man and I applaud you Sir, the world also thanks you, :):):)

"Hoh said that his act of protest and decision to speak out were painful, even "nauseating" at times, but he was strongly motivated by the friends he had lost on the battlefield and the mental anguish he has experienced since returning home. "I want people in Iowa, people in Arkansas, people in Arizona, to call their congressman and say, 'Listen, I don't think this is right,' " he explained, adding that he "is not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love" - Matthew Hoh

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

Esther S (45)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 12:09 pm
Lionel Mann, you state that the people who were attacked on 9/11 were seen as the chief perpetrators of injustice around the world. They were seen as bullies etc. by people who cut off people's hands for any reason, stone women even if they are raped, don't allow them to even leave their home without a male escort much less have any kind of education. I know that the U.S. is far from being perfect but when you compare us to them, we look much better.

dgyps Jack (13)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 12:47 pm
A green star to Wicked Vampirella for posting story because main street isn't, and,

Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 1:39 pm
Even though I have a nephew in Afghanistan right now, and he's served two previous tours in that hell-hole Iraq, I applaud this U.S. Official for committing to honesty above personal gain and politics. The initial mission to eradicate AlQuada and Ben Laden was a failure for many reasons. I don't know if we can redress the wrongs that have been and continue to be committed, but we can't "continue the course."...always hated those words. The last administration didn't even have a course; I'm very sure they played games, at everyone else's expense. Obama cannot pussyfoot on this one. Forget the bi-partisanship...exit these wars.

Dragonfly Kid (17)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 4:48 pm
yeah, thanks scary vampirillia for posting this story. We need to hear from people other than McChrystal.

Carmen S (69)
Tuesday October 27, 2009, 8:43 pm
Esther C. I do not find it baffling. Iraq was different in that Bush put us there and if you objected you were unAmerican plus a coward for not wanting to "defend your country" We now know better. We can not go on invading country after country (Iraq, Afghanistan, Packistan) looking for th terrorists who bombed twin toweres. We should just be more careful with the security of our country. We can never bring peace to the middle east. They think different from us and that is their problem we should not make it ours. Lets start building our bridges, our schools, correct our laws . In other words let the American people come first for a change.

Simon Wood (207)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 1:53 am
"Matthew Hoh believes the war is simply fueling the insurgency."

The war is fueling the insurgency - this is obvious, and the people of Afghanistan and other Afghanistan experts are regularly reminding us of this fact.

The war is a U.S.-led war of occupation for control of another country's (Afghanistan's) oil transit route out of Central Asia. It is also a U.S.-led war of occupation in order to maintain military bases from which to dominate Central Asia and their fossil fuel resources, and a base from which to threaten Iran, Russia and Pakistan for U.S. global hegemony.

The result of this agenda is the the U.S. occupation forces are using military violence to prop up the government of Afghanistan, which is largely Northern Alliance warlords, who gained their position through corruption and terror, and who are NO BETTER FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS (AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS) THAN THE TALIBAN!!!

You want to see evidence for what I claim? Then how about you listen to the WOMEN of Afghanistan. E.g. the progressive woman politician Malalai Joya (who the Northern Alliance government politicians have been trying to kill).

And e.g. R.A.W.A., Afghanistan's oldest women's rights organisation:

Tinkie K (71)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 4:50 am
This is the only way to stop the madness.
Simon is right. Please see this article:

Tinkie K (71)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 4:55 am
To Ester:




Kathleen Hilliker (293)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 5:00 am
What great commenting you are all doing on this article! I truly enjoy learning about the different sides of how one feels - both as activists and pacifists.

Simon, your comment made me "feel", and you are so very informed! You also know how to get my fire stirred up by mentioning women's rights into all of this. Suddenly any war becomes way more human to me when you zero in on women/children....BUT, I still feel war is not the answer to anything, and I feel the US is STILL trying to be the leaders of the free world. I'm just not sure we can do it alone (Bush made sure even our friends thought we were nuts), and we CANNOT pour every resource we have into supporting these wars!

If we can't share negotiations & settlements with these countries...where IS our future as a leading country in this complex world? Are we so misguided through our greed that we can't concentrate on more important issues?

Esther S (45)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 5:13 am
I know that it is constantly spread that the U.S. was responsible for the 9/11 attack.I am and was never a supporter of George W. Bush but I don't believe it because there was plenty of evidence that showed that it was a real terrorist attack. There was even taped conversations by passengers of at least one of the planes that crashed that day. I do blame George W. Bush for not alerting us which might have prevented that terrorist attack.
We are not there just to look for terrorists. We are there to try to prevent the Taliban who was completely behind Bin Laden from taking control of Afghanistan again by force. I don't believe that Obama wants to stay as occupiers of that country in order to control their oil or for any other reason. I do believe that we would like to see Afghanistan become a democracy and be able to protect itself from the fanatics like the Taliban. I hope that we can achieve this just as we did with Germany and Japan.

Wild Cat (3)
Wednesday October 28, 2009, 11:20 am
Send a Green Star to Esther S.

Wednesday October 28, 2009, 3:55 pm
Though I disagree, hats-off to him and anyone else who sticks to their convictions with action.

As far as Afghanistan goes, there is no such thing as a quote, 'good war' but for womanhood's sake and my total disdain for religical fundamentalist theocracys, for admitted selfish and none of my business intrusive reasons, I do not want a facsimile thereof of Taliban entities back in the country running things from their platform of hate to all who do not abide by their edicts.

Life is a little more grand through my eyes as I see it than if it has to be lived as through the eyes of the Taliban.
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