Monday, September 21, 2009

Afghanistan- It's Over

Some generals "leak" their demands for more troops in Afghanistan, and suddenly, it's all over the news again. So, I'm going to repeat something I said not that long ago.

We have lost in Afghanistan. After we drove the Taliban from power, George W. Bush spent six years bombing the hell out of them, and doing absolutely nothing to demonstrate an American willingness to think about their welfare. Bush and Cheney taught them well that we exist to torment them, to kill their relatives without a second thought, to prop up a dictatorial government headed by a former Union Oil employee, and to never, ever do anything that might make their lives better.

My opinion? No matter what Obama does now, it's way too late to turn this situation around. They hate us, and with good reason.

If we had gone into Afghanistan and spent a quarter or a tenth of the two trillion dollars we dumped down the sewer in Iraq, hiring Afghan companies and Afghan workers, to build a modern infrastructure, we might have Afghans who were willing to give us credit for good will. But of course we had no good will, and we are now going to pay the price, in military defeat, which Republicans will of course spend the next half century blaming on Obama.

We've heard a lot the last few years about the defeat and humiliation that England and the Soviet Union faced in Afghanistan. Well, you know what? They didn't give a damn for the Afghan people either. Just like us, they were pursuing their global aspirations without a thought about what Afghans might think. And they paid the price. Afghans are not violent, unthinking animals, as they are portrayed by some in this country. They are also not fools, to be led around by the nose, like a pack of teabaggers. If we had shown them that we could think of their welfare, they might have had some concern for ours.

8 comments:

quietmagpie said...

Used to live next to a family of Afghans. Had a lot of conversations about where they thought things stood. And no they didn't speak highly of America.
There are also Australian troops in Afghanistan, among other countries, getting killed with slow regularity. Maybe it was politeness but they didn't make a big deal out of that. They were refugees here, after all.

On the opposite side next door there were Bosnian Muslims. It was an interesting neighbourhood.

Derek said...

Again you prove your ignorance. We have done much for the people of Afghanistan. Infrastructure, water, healthcare, security: all have been improved by our occupation. The problem we are having is with the Afghan/Pakistan border. It is one of the most mountainous and impassible terrain on the planet. They have home field advantage.

There are thousands of caves, many of which refugees and local villages occupy for various reasons. It is a matter of toeing the line with Pakistan, locating the Taliban, and then using stinger missiles to take them down. No easy task, but it can be done. We've made progress, quite a bit actually, and I am confident that we can still accomplish our mission.

You suggest we leave. Should we be attacked again, what should we do? Twiddle our thumbs? No, we need to eliminate the threat before it strikes again. Nice "hey let's do absolutely nothing" approach, ge.

Green Eagle said...

Derek,

First off, you are absolutely right (as far as I can tell- I've never been there) that large parts of Southern Afghanistan are among the most unhospitable areas in the world for combat, and what's more, give the least advantage to modern technology (Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles are of no use where they can't go, for example.)

Nevertheless, the Bush Administration took its eyes off the ball there, and it has left the country with nothing but very unappealing choices, a Vienam style war of attrition being almost the best possible outcome.

I am not suggesting that we leave. In fact, I don't know what to do, and I know that leaving now makes a very undesirable outcome quite possible. However, I am sure that, at this point, it will take a trillion dollar Iraq scale military effort, with many casualties, to create any possibility of a stable outcome. We don't need another war like that, and the American people won't stand for it, particularly with the Republican party nipping at Obama's heels every step of the way.

TRUTH 101 said...

Some messes just can't be cleaned GE. I agree with you. It's over. Bring our guys home. If the Taliban or some other group of creeps takes over again, a few well aimed cruise missles can take care of that. As perhaps they should have in the first place. Worked with Khadaffi.

Derek said...

"We don't need another war like that, and the American people won't stand for it, particularly with the Republican party nipping at Obama's heels every step of the way."

Our options are stay and fight. Finish the war, even if it costs a great deal

OR

Go home and hope we aren't attacked again. If we are attacked again, then what? Do we go back, or do we sit idle?

Green Eagle said...

Derek,

You are right- the mishandling of the Afghan situation by the Bush administration has left us with no palatable options that I can think of.

I just hope Obama has someone who can do better than you or I at finding a way out of this, as I am afraid that either of the choices we are talking about will end badly.

Derek said...

"You are right- the mishandling of the Afghan situation by the Bush administration has left us with no palatable options that I can think of."

I'm almost too timid to ask, but I shall indulge my sick pleasure: How did Bush mishandle the war?

Green Eagle said...

By failing to finish the job he assumed when he invaded Afghanistan- to root out Al Qaida, and create the conditions for a stable society in Afghanistan.

Instead, he took our army out of Afghanistan, and invaded the wrong country, where he also failed militarily.

That's how he mishandled it- by losing two wars instead of winning one.