December 1st, 2009
11:16 AM ET

The battle for Afghan hearts and minds

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - "Why are the Americans in our land? What can I say, we are powerless" - The words of an Afghan farmer, Khan Mohmad, who fled war-torn Helmand province, leaving his land behind and finding refuge in a dreary camp on the outskirts of Kabul.

He's not the only one discontent and scared of America's intentions when it comes to the war in Afghanistan.

"The Americans are bringing us devastation, they are not helping. If they were helping us, then why are there 770 displaced families freezing in this camp?" says Juma Khan.

In Kabul, you sometimes get a different Afghan perspective. Many here say that they welcome the international community's efforts and a possible troop increase. They say their country is not ready to do it on its own.

Read more perspectives from the Afghan people by CNN correspondent Atia Abawi in Afghanistan

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. grrace

    Dear Mr. Khan Mohamed,

    I am so sorry that my country has brought such devastation. We are fighting an ignorant backward military complex embedded in our government. I will write to my President on your behalf and see if we can get you some additional help to your camp.

    Please try not to hate all Americans, many of us are as powerless as you. Powerless against Oil Companies and Military Money, the true "axis of evil."

    December 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. barbara long beach

    Obama speeches are always inspirational but low on details losts of lofty concepts and feel good terminology – some of the phrases are starting to work on me...let me be perfectly are never clear and consise that's how you got elcted by being vague! when we went into Afganistan in the beginning we hit them with heavy drones and based on the reports it worked or the bad people moved to another country to set up camp- does this mean each place they move to we will then wage war – ENOUGH OF THIS!! GET OUT NOW AND LET THE AFGANS FINALLY GET THEIR OWN COUNTRY BACK AND GOVERN THEIR OWN FUTURE... if they truly want our help- they should ask for it and pledge 100% support... both Afkanistan and Pakastan aremilking our funds to build their own kingdoms and help the talban win... we are the enemy to these countries not Al Queda...
    I bet Osama was watching Obama's speech on TV in his royal palace suite on Park Ave calling his buddies up saying – he dudes, we move camp and sit in Iraq and tear that to shreds the idiot US will have to bring troops back to Iraq and then we move back to Afganistan and Pakistan... what idiots!!! 3 yrs and then what????? How do you monitor success; same way we count jobs created with the stim-u-less plan...

    December 1, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kathy

    President Obama has to get our ground troops back home! We have air power, satellites and drones to do the work of hand to hand combat with an enemy we cannot detect. Put a 20 billion dollar bounty out, that would be cheaper! And I will quit crying when our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, dads and mom quit dying. President Obama you cannot change that part of the world. Do not let ego and the fact we got hit blind you to the fact that if this country would have paid attention in the first place the towers would still be standing. Let's be smarter in the future and build-up this country, learn from our mistakes, move on and up. Please enough of the knee jerk reactions.

    December 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. linda

    We are at war. They came here. I am tired of hearing "Bush started started this and poor Obama has to figure it out". That's what Obama signed up for, he knew all this before he got his fame of being president. Suck it up and get on with it. Quit crying.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    Let's practice nation building right here in America! I would rather focus billions of dollars on solving some real urgent issues here at home. Call the War on Terror over. Too much overt attention has been paid to such an insignificant threat. Pull our troops out and let the CIA and Predator Drones seek out and "eliminate" the threat. I am confident that if we pulled our troops out of Afghanistan, stability would not suffer in that region. Let the Afghan government stand on their own two feet.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. S. Harris

    What a tough and grievious decision for any President to have to make, building on another President's war effort. Whatever decision President Obama makes, I know will be
    very well thought out and very strategic. We cannot afford any more wasted efforts. I was really hoping for him to pull out and give the people their country back until they pose a threat to the U.S. in the future.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. abbty

    "Hearts and minds" - the same phrase was used in another war - Vietnam - the outcome will be the same -

    #1 in the 1980s we supplied arms and money and training to the "jihadists" who were fighting the Soviet Union because the Soviet Union was our "enemy"

    #2 those same "jihadists" are now using the same resources and training to kill us -

    #3 the Afghans may tell reporters they like Americans, they want change when all they want is for us to get out of their country

    #4 we are propping up a corrupt government with ties to the narcotics trade

    #5 the people of Afghan are Muslim and do not want interference from the "infidels" - that's any non-Muslim country or person

    #6 the Koran teaches it is a good thing to kill "infidels" - that's any non-Muslim

    #7 the people of Afghanistan don't want change because the people in charge - the MEN – don't want change - and why should they? everything goes their way -


    PS – No Muslim nation is our "friend" or "ally" because it is a contradiction to their religious beliefs to be friends/allies with non-Muslims no matter what anyone tells you -

    December 1, 2009 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |