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Withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, says California bishop

Catholic World News - September 21, 2010

A California bishop is calling upon the United States to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

Citing a UN report that found that Afghanistan became a relatively less developed nation between 2004 and 2009, Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala of Los Angeles said that “contrary to any claims of success in Afghanistan, these statistics reveal a deteriorating situation for ordinary Afghans and undermine the argument that the continued presence of the US military is vital to security and development there.”

“Nine years into this war, a clear and achievable objective has still not been identified,” he added. “The increase in troop levels has increased the number of casualties. The militarization of humanitarian and development aid has turned critical civilian projects into military targets.”

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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Sep. 21, 2010 9:36 PM ET USA

    When will our clergy realize that we do not want them to teach and guide us in any arena that requires us to change our behavior. We want them to stay in church and concern themselves with God, we will ask them when we want their opinion. Their job is to pray for us as we go down the merry road to perdition.

  • Posted by: GUY F. - Sep. 21, 2010 7:30 PM ET USA

    I would like to see the Catholic [ even if not a Bishop ] who could have free speech in a Taliban area. This is such a sad distortion of our Lord's actions. That whip in the market is what is needed and not some false form of let them be and they will change. Guy F.

  • Posted by: pcgondreau8983 - Sep. 21, 2010 6:53 PM ET USA

    It really annoys me when bishops make authoritative pronouncements on issues of national security when they are hardly privy to the information upon which a prudential judgment concerning national security should be based. Unless, of course, you count CNN or MSNBC as providing the American public with said information.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 21, 2010 2:19 PM ET USA

    Leaving aside the question of the propriety of a Catholic bishop using his pulpit to advance a secular political position of his, leaving aside the advisability of credulously using 'data' from a UN report, wew still have to notice that even if the struggle against the Taliban has lowered the quality of life in Afghanistan, it just might be the fault of the Taliban, not America. Oh wait. Everything bad is America's fault.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Sep. 21, 2010 11:15 AM ET USA

    On the other hand, in this very same group of news stories is the beatification of a priest who spoke out against the Nazi regime. I'm assuming that he took this action as a priest and not just as a private German citizen.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Sep. 21, 2010 8:35 AM ET USA

    It is fine for His Excellency to propose this course as an American citizen and as Gabino Zavala, but not as a Bishop of LA. It would be very ethical of him to disclose just what role he is assuming.

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