By today, 06/18/13, NATO, (it includes the US) has supposedly transferred all security functions in Afghanistan to Afghans. (Little Georgia, though not a NATO member is there too.)
I smell a monumental act of collective self-delusion here. We are tired of the war; the NATO allies are even more tired. The fatigue makes us so unclear in our minds that we have lost track of the obvious. Here it is:
We invaded the country ten years ago because the criminals in power there would not turn over to use the criminals who had assassinated 3,000 Americans (and others) in our biggest city. The criminal Taliban could have avoided the war and the subsequent occupation by delivering Bin Laden and his accomplices to us, or even to some international organization. They made their choice.
It was a punitive expedition in the form of intervention an ongoing civil war. The US had then a clear notion of which side had declared itself our enemy by protecting those who had massacred us and who had promised to massacre more. The military intervention was intended to reduce the country’s potential as a terrorist haven.
The purpose of a punitive expedition is to sow fear.
We and our Afghan allies beat the religious fanatics criminal Taliban in about three weeks with few American troops on the ground. There was little or no resistance to the American-led invasion that would demonstrate that the Taliban gang was a popular ruler.
NATO countries joined us, some with significant numbers of troops, although it was not their fight. They did this in recognition of the truth of the assertion that 9/11 was an unprovoked attack on America. NATO, an alliance of western democracies and a group that includes 95% Muslim Turkey, thus collectively validated our invasion of Afghanistan.
The Taliban are the kind of people who executed adulterous women at half time of soccer matches. (I did not just hear of it, I saw it on television, including on French-language television. ) Incidentally, under the Taliban’s definition of “adultery” nearly all the women of Santa Cruz, California, over sixteen (if that) would qualify for execution. Taliban men would also throw acid in the eyes of little school girls to indicate that they should not go to school. None was ever punished by Taliban justice for such an atrocity. When they were in power, the Taliban both closed girl schools and forbade male doctors from examining women patients. (Put two and two together and you have a plan for self-genocide.)
The Taliban forbade music.
Little by little, our mission statement in Afghanistan was forgotten. American policies drifted from a punitive expedition intended to destroy the country’s capacity to shelter our enemies. They morphed into nation building in a society that does not want to be a nation. They shifted to state construction in a society too primitive to support morally a modern state.
I am not arguing that we should have invaded Afghanistan to fix the country. No, I am just saying that doing what was good for America should have been a pleasure given the nature of the enemy. We should have wrecked whatever it was useful for us to wreck there and gotten our troops out swiftly. Such a decisive plan does note exclude well thought-out civilian foreign aid to very select groups that may or may not include whatever passes for a local government. The notion that the same people, the same agencies that do the wrecking, should also be put in charge of the aid is puzzling.
Instead of following this clear plan, it seems that we handed a victory to people we would not stand for five minutes as neighbors. I hear that we, the US, are about to negotiate with the Taliban. That’s a clear defeat. It’s a defeat whatever the outcome of the negotiations. Think of negotiating with Hitler.
Many young Americans are morally confused. They are confused about tolerance, specifically. They don’t understand that there is no moral imperative to tolerate those who would commit the intolerable.
That’s a major cause of our defeat.
I wish the new Afghanistan good luck because it will need it. I wish us good luck so we don’t have to return to extirpate from there more of the kind of fanatics who are glad to die just to damage us a little.