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Afghanistan: One perspective

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We were going through our normal routine yesterday evening, setting the dinner table, cleaning snow peas picked fresh from the garden that morning, and my youngest son asks me: "Dad how long have we been fighting in Afghanistan."

I realized he was watching the evening news on television (I had tuned it out) and was watching a report that June in Afghanistan "is rapidly becoming one of the war's most lethal months for foreign forces."

I had to figure quickly. "Since November 2001. We have been fighting in Afghanistan since November 2001."

My son cocked his head to one side, thought hard, then said – with some incredulity in his voice. "You mean we have been fighting in Afghanistan ever since I was born?"

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Again I had to figure quickly. "Yes, we have been fighting in Afghanistan ever since you were born."

That put the conflict into perspective for me.

What I couldn't bear to tell my son is that as far as I can see, the only result of that lifetime of war is this: Remorseless Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad warns: 'We will be attacking the U.S.'

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October 9-22, 2015


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