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.