'Time' Regrets To Inform You That We Will Kill These Women

Screen shot 2010-07-29 at 10.02.28 AM“We do not run this story or show this image either in support of the U.S. war effort or in opposition to it.” That’s Time editor Rick Stengel on his new cover story…. which is coverlined “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan,” and has a portrait of a woman brutalized by the Taliban. The story contains this: “As the war in Afghanistan enters its ninth year, the need for an exit strategy weighs on the minds of U.S. policymakers. Such an outcome, it is assumed, would involve reconciliation with the Taliban. But Afghan women fear that in the quest for a quick peace, their progress may be sidelined…. For Afghanistan’s women, an early withdrawal of international forces could be disastrous.” So… which is it? That sure sounds like an argument-and, you know, a very moving and affecting one!-for something like a permanent or at least extended occupation. Making things a little more complicated? The new issue also has an article by expert-without-portfolio Joe Klein, which goes: “Afghanistan is really a sideshow here. Pakistan is the primary U.S. national-security concern in the region.” So now what am I supposed to think while I’m not going on summer vacation because it makes our children stupider?