Afghan War

July 26, 2010 – New York Times

Leaked Documents Offer Candid Look at Afghan War

To the Editor:

Re “The Afghan Struggle: A Secret Archive” (“The War Logs,” front page, July 26):•

To the Editor:

It should come as no surprise that Pakistan has been aiding the Taliban (“Pakistan Spy Unit Aiding Insurgents, Reports Suggest,” “The War Logs,” front page, July 26) since Pakistan needs the Taliban in Afghanistan as a buffer against the expansion of its rival India’s power in Afghanistan.

Concentrating on Iraq, the Bush presidency ignored this political reality. One hopes that the Obama presidency will not, and that it will end the war with a realpolitik compromise, instead of feeding the public misguided platitudes about building democracy, helping women and, oh yes, fighting terror, as an unquestioning Congress hands over billions more for the war.

The WikiLeaks may not be the Pentagon Papers all over again, but they show that the foundation upon which American war policy in the region rests is nothing but sand.

Tom Miller
Oakland, Calif., July 26, 2010

Helping Afghan Women

Letters to Insight – San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Helping Afghan women

Barbara Lee is right. Women’s rights in Afghanistan are not being protected by the U.S. military occupation (“Rights advocates fear for women if U.S. withdraws,” July 22) because organizations that could benefit women are, for the most part, restricted to Kabul because of the war. NGOs using a “soft” approach and respectful of Afghan culture would be much more effective without U.S. troops.

T.T. Nhu, Berkeley

The writer helped found Parwaz, the first Afghan-run microfinance organization.

“Climate Change” vs. “Global Warming”

San Francisco Chronicle – Letters to the editor

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Worse than warming

Words matter, and it is misleading of The Chronicle to frame “Climategate” as, simply, a “warming debate.” CO{-2} increase in the atmosphere results in multiple climate changes as temperature and air and water currents are affected, resulting in different and more violent weather patterns, higher sea levels, changing precipitation and failure of species (including humans) to adapt.

It is these multiple effects scientists are working to understand, and which the rest of us ignore at our peril.

Tom Miller, President of the Green Cities Fund, Oakland