Why We Are In Afghanistan

Well, ummm, yeah, see the thing is that nobody’s come up with a good reason for the United States and a bunch of other European countries to be fighting and dying and wasting money in Afghanistan.

Oh, there’s that 9/11 thing, sure. But Afghanistan didn’t do that. A bunch of fanatics who had an uneasy relationship with the Afghani government at the time and used the country as a training base are the ones who did the WTC attack.

Now what they’ve got there is a civil war between that old government group, the Taliban, and the current government of Kabul, a corrupt group supported by America and Europe, but maybe not so much by the Afghani clans and tribes.

So there’s America in the midst of a foreign civil war, blabbering about democracy while it slaughters civilians by the score and pisses off the Afghani people no end. Again.

“We have to stop extremism,” the Americans huff and puff. Yeah, well, they didn’t do such a good job of it at home during the last eight years, did they?

“We have to make America safe,” they harumph, while doing everything they possibly can to make the world a far more dangerous place for everyone.

“We turned Iraq into a democracy where people are safe,” they blither. People are killed every day there by bombs and Americans. The country’s been segregated by walls and troops. They don’t have reliable  or sufficient electricity or drinking water.

So the Americans have spent a trillion dollars, with another couple of trillion to come in direct and follow-up costs, and they are no safer than they were before their stupidity. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead. Two countries lie in ruins. Neither has a truly stable government.

The 9/11 hijackers are dead. Their leaders are still alive and free, if constrained.

Their ideas are alive and well and growing, fed by the blood of every civilian, every woman, every child murdered by American infantry or bombs.

America has turned itself into an object of disgust and contempt, of loathing and fear, courtesy of the Bush administration and its criminal ministers and minions. And Obama seems intent on continuing too many of the policies of those foul people.

Want to make America safe? Then get the hell out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Tell the Afghanis that if they want freedom they have to fight for it themselves, tell them we are no longer going to be the unpaid mercenaries doing their dirty work. Give them guns and ammunition, give them training in warfare (without the odious teaching of torture) and wish them luck. And apologize to them and the Iraqis for screwing over their countries.

Want to make America safe? Take the money and manpower wasted in those wars and spend it here in America. Spend it on making the ports truly safe. Make the airways safe. Spend it on creating corruption-free elections here. Spend it on education, on healthcare, on infrastructure. Spend it on beefing up American intelligence capabilities and small-force military capacity. Spend it on shoring up a free press that can’t be dominated by massive corporate interests. Spend it on improving our relations with other countries around the world.

Want to make America safe? Start regulating the bankers and financiers and corporate barons who have put profit above country, profit above human life; who have put their own narrow interests ahead of the interests of the American republic. Bring them to heel, and put in jail the ones who created and enabled the skullduggery that has put the world on the edge of economic collapse (AIG’s financial products wizards would be a good group to start with).

Want to make America safe? Stop trying to kill an idea by killing its adherents in the Islamic world. The more you kill, the stronger you make the idea. Back off and let the Muslim world handle its malefactors. Keep on killing and you just drive people into the arms of the radical idea and drive them to arms. Stop thinking, as the hawks and Conservatives and the Republicans do, that you can kill your way to safety – and take note that those who speak the loudest for slaughter refuse to put themselves into the fires of war, but are content to sit back and keep their children home and to skim profits from the deaths of American soldiers and the destruction of the American economy.

There aren’t enough bullets in the world to make America safe as long as its people continue to elect narrow-minded, ignorant, greedy, thoughtless fools to public office.

You can give a man a gun and some bullets and in a few weeks turn him into a mindless killer. Do that often enough, as the Americans seem intent on doing, and you will lose your nation and your freedom.

Or you can give your children a long education in which they learn to think for themselves and to apply critical thinking to the problems they face and that their nation and their world must confront. Do that and you will gain freedom and security for your nation and the world.

The Americans can’t decide what to do, and thus they cannot answer the question, in fact can barely bring themselves to ask why they are dying in Afghanistan.

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12 Responses

  1. Well it all went to shit when we turned a blind eye to Pakistan. The premise was if you harbor terrorists, you’re officially a part of the “them”, prompting us to kick your ass, but then once Osama and his band of unmerry men scampered off to Pakistan, then what? Nothing.

    Now we’re fucked and have no justification for being in Afghanistan beyond making an effort to clean up the mess we made, which I don’t see happening. Instead we sit there as the Taliban and the Osama boys launch attacks from Pakistan, then retreat back.

    The world should put pressure on Pakistan to give them up, but they won’t, mostly because Pakistan has nukes, and there ya go. Stalemate, which means we lose.

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  2. Of course, if we had proper intelligence with solid assets in all these various countries, and if we had a rational foreign policy, we might well have the leverage to get Osama et al one way or another.

    But American intelligence, having been degraded, politicized, and demeaned by the idiots, jerks, clowns, and power-mongers of the Bush administration, and American foreign service having been crapped on by the same group, we have virtually no leverage and we have no assets worth speaking of.

    Pakistan has nukes. India has nukes. And Israel has nukes. I certainly couldn’t blame Iran for wanting nukes, though I think that case hasn’t been made by all the blitherers on the right. I do think it’s evident that no one will give up their nukes or their pursuit of nukes in that part of the world as long as Israel has them and we continue to support Israeli brutality and what amounts to Israeli ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Supporting Israel as lopsidedly as the Americans do is irrational at best and criminal at worst.

    As long as America fails to listen to the Arab world, as long as America panders to Israel, as long as America’s answer to the difficulties in that part of the world is to bomb, strafe, and murder women and children and civilians, there will be no peace and there will be no security for Americans.

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  3. You sort of went off the reservation there with the Israel thing.

    Clearly though, if you don’t have nukes, you’ll get invaded, and if you do have nukes, no one does more than make verbal condemnations towards you, so how the fuck can you persuade a non-nuke country from pursuing nukes? I mean shit, I’d want nukes, and so would you. Anyone would. How ridiculous. Not acting on Pakistan “emboldens” nations like Iran to get nukes, no? Furthermore, they can do so under the old Cold War guise of claiming they’d be a deterrent, which as Pakistan shows, is absolutely true.

    Harbor terrorists, have no nukes = get invaded
    Harmlessly thumb your nose at the US, have no nukes = get invaded
    Harbor terrorists, have nukes = be called an ally in the war on terror

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  4. Off the reservation? Might I remind you that you’re the one wearing the feather bonnet… 🙂

    But I think it is on the point. The American support of Israel against the Palestinians is one of the things at the core of the whole Islamic terrorist activity. And there’s also the whole religious stupidity thing, and the American troops on Arab land thing.

    But, yeah, the nukes do drive some policy decisions. I keep a couple in the basement just in case the neighbors get a little uppity or the cops get irritating. I’m pretty sure nobody else in the neighborhood has got any. (I’ll bet you thought those natural gas explosions were natural gas explosions.)

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  5. I keep a couple in the basement just in case the neighbors get a little uppity or the cops get irritating. I’m pretty sure nobody else in the neighborhood has got any.

    How dare you post this on your blog, even in jest? Well, fuck, at least we’ll know what happened when you “suddenly move away and shut down the blog”.

    Nice post. Saves me having to write something similar. While eying those nukes, don’t lose sight of the religion. Jews hate the Muslims, Muslims want our unholy feet off their land, we support Israel because the Bible tells us so… I’m telling you, we live in a fucking insane asylum.

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  6. How dare you post this on your blog, even in jest?

    It’s not me, really. I just sponsor the thing. It’s the cats. It’s their hobby. They take turns writing posts. It’s part of their program to make me look smart and involved. Sometimes they even get it right. But of course I don’t really feel any smarter and I still cling to my misanthropy, atheism, and disgust at religion.

    As for the insane asylum, you may have it backwards. I spent a week in a place like that a long time ago. If you discount the screams and the zombie stares and the hostility and the occasional grovel, it wasn’t too different from being out here. Well, actually maybe you don’t have it backwards. I am out in the real world, aren’t I? Aren’t I? Am I sure?

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  7. Well, fuck, at least we’ll know what happened when you “suddenly move away and shut down the blog”.

    Actually I wonder if I can leave the thing to someone, as part of my estate? I’d hate to think Grumpy Lion might cease to exist just because the original Lion turned to ash in a funerary furnace. Perhaps I could arrange for a Dread Pirate Roberts deal so there will be a Grumpy Lion blog until the end of civilization. What the hell, that’s only a couple of hundred years away at most? How difficult could it be to sustain a blog for that long?

    Any takers?

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  8. Zing!

    It’s about fucking time.

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  9. Bad move. Adding instability to instability.

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  10. What would be “about time” is to shut-down the war machine altogether. If the U.S. did that and, ADDITIONALLY, ran occasional covert ops against solidly identified and exclusively targeted terrorist hide-aways – wherever they might be, then we would finally be fighting this thing the way we should have ever since 9/12/2001. This whole notion of attacking nations, controlling “territory”, blessing our neighbors with “democracy” is INSANE.

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  11. It’s not as sexy, but man, if you want to show the world you mean business, having enemies “magically” appear in US custody would really do that. Of course, surgical missile strikes can work, too, but being able to go in, unseen and untouched, nab the bad guys and come home? THAT would accomplish a lot. Sure takes the steam out of having nukes, too. It’s like saying, “your nukes are powerless against our covert ops”.

    Many Native American tribes had customs known as “counting coup” (clearly not their words). Rather than killing people, it was seen as more awe inspiring if you could approach someone unaware and tap them, usually on the head. The implication, of course, was “imagine what I COULD have done, pal”. Same idea.

    I think it’s important to catch or kill Osama and his traveling willberries. If he’s in Pakistan, go get him. The whole nation building though is bullshit. Go in, do your job, if you break something, fix or restore it, then get the fuck out.

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  12. I don’t disagree, but that’s not what they’re planning, apparently. They seem to think that continuing to drop a half-ton of explosives on “suspected” people is a good thing to do, no matter how many innocents get killed. Then they’re surprised and get all huffy when things get worse and they blame that on the people they just fucked over with bombs.

    Take a look at this: Guantanamo I doubt things have changed a whole hell of a lot, and forays into Pakistan are likely to have the same sorts of outcomes.

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