There is honest debate now about whether the United States should commit more troops to Afghanistan, or withdraw them. But I was part of the NPR team that covered the war in Afghanistan eight years ago. I get distressed to hear analysts and policymakers say the primary goal should be just to keep al-Qaida terrorists from using Afghanistan as a base.
I saw the kind of society the Taliban made in Afghanistan — a nightmare no people should live again. The Taliban outlawed news, art, music, theater, song, literature, dance, sport, comedy and any religion but theirs.Women could not work or attend school. They could not so much as walk outside without a male relative. We met women who said they had prepared to commit suicide, because they had no hope of change.