The murder of 16 civilians in cold blood by an American sergeant in Kandahar Province is an outrage as well as a tragedy. A Taliban member dressed as an American soldier could not have done more damage. This is a major setback for U.S. objectives in Afghanistan.
Should we stay or should we go? It's been 10 years and cost a lot of lives and money. President Obama ordered a surge but then to please his liberal base announced when they will withdraw. That's not how you fight a war.
The rules of engagement, along with allowing terrorists to operate from bases in Pakistan, have also contributed to U.S. setbacks and American deaths. The president rarely talks about the war, much less about winning it.
If his intention is not to win, he should say so and withdraw all troops. If it's something else he should say so. If we're trying to win hearts and minds, this mass killing will not help. The Taliban are already calling for revenge. What a mess.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Publication date: March 14, 2012