This Is Not The Time For Reason

Is it time to cut and run from Afghanistan?

The death of Lt. Tim O’Donnell is a tragedy for the nation as well as his family.

It will be no comfort to his parents that, when a nation puts its troops in harm’s way, something like this is bound to happen.

But we should not let the inevitability of a combat death eventually occurring distract us from the need to overreact and change our entire policy regarding involvement in Afghanistan.

It doesn’t matter whether you have been a supporter or opponent of our sending troops to that troubled part of the world. I’m sure you will agree that the most pressing thing we need right now is a lack of calm.

That’s why it’s so critical for our policymakers to take heed of the immediate public reaction to the death, rather than any long-considered viewpoints unaffected by the emotion that comes with sudden tragedy.

This is best done by conducting TV polls and other vox pops on whether we should have our men in Afghanistan, preferably while Lt. O’Donnell remains unburied and while his parents are in the throes of grief. Campbell Live has already led the way, with last night’s TV poll.

Some people might claim that the loss of one man’s life does not make the effort in Afghanistan any more or less right than it was two days ago. They may even say that withdrawing our forces on the basis of this tragedy would be a knee-jerk reaction.

But this is hardly the time for considered and rational debate. A man is dead, for God’s sake!