bureaucracybusters

TIME TO FIND THE EXIT

In History, Politics, Social commentary on August 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

When you can no longer trust your supposed allies, it’s time to declare the “alliance” over.

On August 17, an Afghan policeman turned his weapon on U.S. troops, killing two soldiers. The rogue cop was then shot to death by an American soldier.

Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 31 attacks on American soldiers by their supposed Afghan comrades-in-arms, resulting in 39 deaths. In 2011, there were 21 such attacks.

Arlington Cemetary

As a result, the U.S. military in Afghanistan has ordered service members to now be armed at all times, inside and outside their bases.

It’s time for American policymakers to draw the appropriate conclusions:

  1. They have forgotten the real reason why we invaded Afghanistan in October, 2001.
  2. They have allowed a war against Al-Qaeda to become a war to transform Afghanistan into a civilized nation.
  3. They have repeatedly overlooked the truth: The Afghans don’t want us–or any other foreigners–in their country.
  4. They cannot count on the Afghans to be reliable allies.

Consider:

On September 11, 2001, Islamic highjackers slammed two jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center in New York and one struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

World Trade Center – September 1, 2001

A fourth plane, headed for the White House or Capitol Building, failed to reach its target when its passengers rioted–and the highjackers dove it into a Pennsylvania field.

The man behind the attacks was Osama bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire then living in Afghanistan, under protection by its ruling thugocracy, the Taliban.

The administration of President George W. Bush demanded his immediate surrender to American justice.

The Taliban refused.

So, on October 7, 2011–less than one month from the 9/11 attacks–American bombers began pounding Taliban positions.

The whole point of the campaign was to pressure the Taliban to surrender Bin Laden. 

But the Taliban held firm.  Bin Laden holed up in the mountains of Tora Bora, and then ultimately escaped into Pakistan.

After December, 2001, American Intelligence completely lost track of Bin Laden.  CIA officials repeatedly said he was likely living in the “no-man’s-land” between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden

Thus, there was no longer any point in pressuring the Taliban to surrender Bin Laden.

Still, the United States continued to commit forces to Afghanistan–to turn a primitive, warlord-ruled country into a modern-day democracy.

There was, admittedly, a great deal to find repulsive about the Taliban:

  • When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they turned soccer stadiums into execution plazas for mass beheadings or shootings.
  • Taliban “fighters” have proven their “courage” by throwing acid into the faces of women who dared to attend school.

Taliban atrocities

  • On August 8, 1989, the Taliban attacked Mazar-i-Sharif. Talibanists began shooting people in the street, then moved on to mass rapes of women. Thousands of people were locked in containers and left to suffocate.
  • The Taliban forbade women to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative and wearing the burqa–a traditional dress covering the entire body. Those who disobeyed were publicly beaten.

Yet, as horrific as such atrocities were, these did not obligate the United States to spend eternity trying to bring civilization to this country.

And, in pursuing that goal, both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly overlooked the following realities:

  • Hamid Karzai, the “president” of Afghanistan (2001-present) doesn’t belileve in democracy–despite American claims to support his efforts to bring this to Afghanistan.
  • His authority doesn’t extend beyond Kabul, and he is viewed by most Afghans as an illegitimate ruler, imposed by America.
  • American soldiers in Afghanistan feel surrounded by enemies and hamstrung by unrealistic orders to win “hearts and minds” at the risk of their own lives.
  • The Taliban poses no threat to the security of the United States.
  • Afghan “insurgents” are fighting American forces because (1) they are in a civil war; and (b) they believe their country has once again been occupied by foreigners.
  • Counterinsurgency is being preached as the key to defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan–where it hasn’t worked.
  • Americans entered Afghanistan without an exit strategy.

All these truths applied just as firmly to America’s failed misadventure in Vietnam.

Almost 50 years ago, American “grunts” felt about their so-called South Vietnamese allies as American troops now feel about their  Afghan “allies.”

Dr. Dennis Greenbaum, a former army medic, summed up how Americans had really felt about their supposed South Vietnamese allies:

American surgical team in Vietnam

“The highest [priority for medical treatment] was any U.S. person.  The second highest was a U.S. dog from the canine corps.  The third was NVA [North Vietnamese Army].  The fourth was VC [Viet Cong].

“And the fifth was ARVIN [Army of the Republic of South Vietnam], because they had no particular value.”

When you despise the “ally” you’re spending lives and treasure to defend, it’s time to pack up.

American soldiers long ago recognized that “friendly Afghans” were worthless as allies.  But only recently has the Pentagon publicly admitted that “friendly Afghans” pose as great a threat to American troops as self-declared Talibanists.

Can anyone recall such “ally-on-American” attacks by British or French soldiers during World War II?  Of course not.

It’s past time for the Obama administration to recognize this–and start shipping those troops home.

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