Why do you think the media and American public pays so little attention to Afghanistan?
They're too busy thinking about Iraq, which is understandable. There are more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and only about 20,000 in Afghanistan. We've killed far more Iraqis than Afghans. Also, I think that, sadly, most Americans subconsciously think of Afghanistan as "the good war"—a myth that Jim and I try to dispel in our book. So there is a tendency among most Americans that we need to get our troops out of Iraq so we can focus them on Afghanistan. But this is very shortsighted—the same military blunders in Iraq have been committed in Afghanistan, and the Afghan war is as unjust as the Iraq war.
What hasn't the U.S. done about Al-Qaeda?! Our actions have only strengthened the group and helped get them more recruits. We've made this organization far more important than it ever was. If the U.S. were to improve its policies in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, and other Muslim and Arab countries, Al-Qaeda would have no reason to scream bloody jihad. That's the only long-term permanent solution. Any other solution involves brute force, and that will only lead to more anger, more recruits, more terrorism.
SONALI KOLHATKAR WILL READ FROM HER BOOK AT THE CENTRO CULTURAL DE MEXICO, 310 W. FIFTH ST., SANTA ANA. SAT., 6 P.M. FREE. LISTEN TO KOLHATKAR ON KPFK-FM 90.7. MON.-FRI., 8 A.M.