The risk that Afghanistan might once again become a staging ground for al Qaeda attacks on the US? Meh.
The danger of cross-border raids from Afghanistan into Pakistan that could lead to nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists? Yawn.
But a US withdrawal from Afghanistan that would lead to a setback for women's liberation there? Now you've got the liberal media concerned! Rick Stengel of Time gave a perfect illustration of the phenomenon on today's Morning Joe. As is his Friday wont, he unveiled the new Time cover, which portrays the heart-rending image of a young Afghani woman who had her nose and ears cut off for fleeing an abusive family and husband. [Disturbing screencap after the jump.]
Stengel went on to make the case that notwithstanding the administration's protestations that it is not engaging in country-building, we have indeed been involved in such an effort, particularly to the benefit of Afghani women. Said Stengel: "I wanted people to see the reality. To me, as disturbing as the image is, it's even more disturbing what will happen there if we leave."
Pat Buchanan asked the necessary question: "How long do we pay 60 dead Americans every single month to prevent this from happening?"
Stengel acknowledged that some might not think the cost is justified, but asserted that "people may decide, you know what? It is worth the sacrifice we're making to help the women of Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan . . . To say that we haven't helped made an investment there, that we haven't helped build a nation, that we haven't helped Afghan women is not true. All of those things are true, and all of those things will go by the wayside if we leave."