Along with conservative commentators Pat Buchanan and George Will, I have concluded our mission in Aghanistan is doomed and we should withdraw. This article about Camp Keating, a remote outpost which was recently attcked and nearly overrun, makes it clear why we cannot hope to win and why it is immoral to continue to expose our troops to death. In short, our rules of engagement are a joke, apparently prompted more by concerns about politcal correctness and media relations than such factors as winning or protecting troops. I had previosuly read complaints that troops can only fire at insurgents they see firing at them. So if, for example, they are firing from within a house, our troops cannot return fire because of the possibility that civilians are inside the house. Now we learn that mosques are totally off limits, so they are being used as armories for insurgents. obviously the local muslim clerics and everyone in the village know what is going on, yet we treat them like innocent civilians. Fight to win or get out. Those are the only acceptable choices. I'd have a lot meor respect for the republican pols if they would get on board and stop supporting the sort of sappy nation-building they rightly criticized when Clinton tried it. ******************************************* from an article at http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/afghanistan-attack-kills-us-soldiers/Story?id=8759747&page=2 : According to an American who has consulted with U.S. forces on their deployment into Nuristan, the effort in the north can only be seen as a failure. "What have we done there in the last three, four years," he said. "We didn't gain anything. We weren't able to open the road up or make the area secure. Despite the inherent physical vulnerabilities of Camp Keating, until this weekend, the base had suffered no casualties from hostile fire. The base itself was named after Lieutenant Benjamin Keating, who was killed in vehicle accident nearby in Nov. 2006. But on Saturday, a force of as many as 300 insurgents attacked the vulnerable base in what the military has termed a "complex" attack that began in a neighboring village mosque. According to an Afghan translator for American forces in Nuristan, the village mosque was used to store the weapons and ammunition used in the attack. The rules of engagement generally prevent U.S. forces from searching or attacking Afghan mosques. According to the Afghan translator, most of the insurgents were local. Eastern Nuristan has long been filled by the insurgent group led by former mujahedeen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, called Hezb-e-Islami. U.S. officials believe that Hekmatyar is hiding in Pakistan, and helps coordinate insurgent attacks throughout eastern Afghanistan.