These are the scenes Afghans are happy for westerners to see: the burning of a bloody cross and of President Obama in effigy.

As Afghans call for revenge after a U.S. soldier turned himself in for murdering 16 people, including nine children, U.S. commanders vow to hang in there.

"This relationship is too deep. It is been going on too long,' said Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan.  ‘We’ve all sacrificed too much for us to permit this to be the single event that unhorses this relationship."

The White House says the incident will not impact the plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014. 'We will continue to work with the Afghan government, with Afghan forces, in the implementation of our strategy,' White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tried to put the killings into perspective when he spoke with reporters en route to Kyrgyzstan. 'War is hell. These kinds of incidents are going to take place. They've taken place in any war. They are terrible events and this is not the first of those events and probably won't be the last.'

People in Houston seem confident that the U.S. has done all it can do, and that it`s time to leave Afghanistan.

'I think we should get them out of there as soon as possible,' said Adam Wright.  'I mean, it’s awful what happened over there.  And I think we’re not making any more friends.  We need to make sure we leave the country as stable as we can, but we need to get them out of there soon.'

Kenneth Anderson agreed. 'I’m not sure the people want us there, and I’m not sure how long we should really prop up the Karzai government.'

But the question of should we stay or should we go is the clash between political and military objectives.