Can Clint Eastwood Bring the Troops Home from Afghanistan?

It ought to be noted here that the American war in Afghanistan began in the fall of 2001 as a response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and after much of Al-Qaeda’s forces and their allies the Taliban, who ruled the county, were routed, President George W. Bush decided to stay and nation build. The war in Afghanistan is now America’s longest war, with no end in sight.

In what Jesse Walker rightly called “the greatest speech in the history of political conventions,” the veteran actor/director and American icon Clint Eastwood talked about the folly of the war in Afghanistan to President Obama, who he imagined sat in a chair next to him during his surprise appearance at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Thursday night, for which Eastwood used no notes and no teleprompter.

A word to those mocking Eastwood speaking to “an empty chair” as a way to belittle his message: some other speakers, unlike Eastwood largely professional politicians, addressed the president directly at some points in their speeches. It’s a matter of debate just how many (or few) of the questions and comments directed at the president in the Republican National Convention Obama heard. But can you honestly deny the president was watching, and listening, as Eastwood was addressing him?

After asking the president about broken promises (mentioning only Guantanamo specifically), Eastwood told him:

“I know you were against the War in Iraq and that’s okay. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was, was okay. I mean, you thought that was something that was worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how they did there for the ten years. We did it. It’s something to be thought about.”


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