Why We Are In Afghanistan (Because We’re Damn Fools)

From an interview with Retired Colonel Ann Wright:

Proponents of the war often point to the plight of women and other oppressed groups, and say that if we were simply to leave, things would get even worse. How do you respond to that?

We have to look honestly at the plight of women and children in Afghanistan. The U.S. involvement over the last ten years has not increased the lifespan of women or men in Afghanistan–it is still at an appalling 45 years. Afghanistan has the second-highest infant mortality rate in the world, with 151 deaths out of 1,000 live births. One in five children in Afghanistan die before they reach five years of age and 850 children die per day. Thousands of Afghan women have been widowed or killed and children have been made orphans by U.S. forces, many more than were ever harmed by the Taliban or al-Qaeda.

The Karzai government that the United States helped create in 2001 supported the ‘Taliban style’ Shia Personal Status Law, which legitimizes marital rape and prevents women from stepping out of the home without their husband’s consent. Karzai’s wife, a gynecologist in a country in great need of doctors, does not practice medicine and stays at home. Only one minister in Karzai’s cabinet is a woman–the head of Women’s Affairs, the only minister who has no regulatory powers.

 

What, to you, would a good outcome in Afghanistan look like?

From what I’ve heard from Afghans, they want a country that has no fighting [so] they can return to their occupations in agriculture and farming in the rural areas, where their children can have medical care to stay alive and go to school. They want a country free from the interference of other countries-the United States, Pakistan, Iran, India, China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. They want the war lords who have raped, pillaged and plundered brought to justice instead of being paid millions of dollars by the U.S. government as hired guns and later appointed to key jobs in the government.

There’s some stunning stuff in the interview, but no real surprises to anyone who’s been paying attention to the war and the damn fools running it.

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6 Responses

  1. An exit strategy is long overdue. It’s not our job to manage this country. It’s a travesty that all the waste and suffering didn’t get bin Laden either.

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  2. Simple exit strategy?

    Hold a binding referendum across Afghanistan:

    Choose one of the following:
    a. The U.S. military should be withdrawn in phases over the next 6 months.
    b. The U.S. military should withdraw immediately.
    c. The U.S. military should remain in a permanent security role.

    Result? Out of Afghanistan by the mid-summer.

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  3. …I agree with writer chic…and you of course you…strange how we meddle in so many other nations affairs, when we can hardly keep up with our own…

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    • Didn’t Bush Jr. rail against “nation building” during the the 2000 campaign?

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      • Yup, and then spent the next eight years destroying everything he touched.

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