Mr. Bush had belittled â€œnation buildingâ€ while campaigning for president 18 months earlier.
But aware that Afghans had felt abandoned before, including by his fatherâ€™s administration after the Soviets left in 1989, he vowed to avoid the syndrome of â€œinitial success, followed by long years of floundering and ultimate failure.
â€œWeâ€™re not going to repeat that mistake,â€ he said.
â€œWeâ€™re tough, weâ€™re determined, weâ€™re relentless.
We will stay until the mission is done.â€
— George Jr. babbling near-incoherent, April 2002
(Illustration found here).
Today, of course, is the 10th anniversary of the war still going in Afghanistan, and despite some indications, the US will stay until that so-called “mission is done.”
What’s the mission, though.
US GI Robert Messel reflects on the way-long war in a piece at CNN:
“I joined to defend the country, and I feel that a lot of the things we were doing were not exactly that,” he said in a CNN iReport.
“In my opinion, it basically should have been limited to what we initially were going in to do: Hunt down bin Laden and the architects of the attacks.”
The knotty problem, though, as George Jr. was babbling in April 2002, Tommy Franks was already far along in putting together dumb-ass plans for the invasion of Iraq, and that ‘should have been limited‘ concept to Afghanistan went out the window.
The war in Afghanistan has cost near near $462 billion and counting with 1,801 deaths and 13,700 more wounded: As of July, 1,439 troops had limbs amputated from injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service. Until early 2009, Iraq accounted for most major limb losses from battle wounds in the Army. Since then, most have come in Afghanistan.
And a decade of the dumb-ass-named ‘global war on terror‘ has left 2,900 people without a husband or wife, and the parents of the 6,278 killed have lost a child.
The horror of George Jr., and now President Obama, in keeping this horrible shit going is criminal.
And this from Simon Jenkins in the UK’s Guardian:
Ten years of western occupation of Afghanistan led the UN this week to plead that half the country’s drought-ridden provinces face winter starvation.
The World Food Programme calls for Â£92m to be urgently dispatched.
This is incredible.
Afghanistan is the world’s greatest recipient of aid, some $20bn in the past decade, plus a hundred times more in military spending.
So much cash pours through its doors that $3m a day is said to leave Kabul airport corruptly to buy property in Dubai.
Everything about Afghanistan beggars belief.
This week its leader, Hamid Karzai, brazenly signed a military agreement with India, knowing it would enrage his neighbour, Pakistan, and knowing it would increase the assault on his capital by the Haqqani network, reported clients of Islamabad’s ISI intelligence agency.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the Pentagon is exulting over its new strategy of drone killing, claiming this aerial “counter-terrorism” can replace the “hearts and minds” counter-insurgency.
Down in Helmand, visiting British journalists gather to recite the defence ministry’s tired catechism: “We are making real progress on the ground.”
The occupation of Afghanistan has been a catalogue of unrelieved folly.
America is spending staggering sums on the war, which it is clearly not winning.
Congressional studies show virtually no US aid reaches the local economy, most remaining with contractors in the US or going on security or being stolen.
Local democracy has failed, as warlords feud with drug lords and tribal vendettas resurface.
The “training of the Afghan police and army” has become a dope-befuddled joke.
The irony of this great folly is that its chief beneficiaries are likely to be those who lost the cold war, Russia and China.
As the west’s leaders struggle to rescue embattled armies and embattled economies from morasses of their own creation, they have left their old foes laughing with glee.
Democracy has snatched defeat from the arms of victory — without a shred of a reason.
This has caused a terrible and not-so-funny attitude.
Tom McCuin, an Afghanistan war veteran and an outpatient at the Veterans Affairs Department Medical Center in Washington, D.C., snapped the photo at left of a hat emblazoned with the phrase: â€œWarning: This Vet is Medicated for your Protection.â€
The hat was available for sale in the lobby gift shop at the hospital, but has since been pulled by VA officials, who said: â€œThis does nothing except perpetuate stereotypes. Unacceptable anywhere near a VA Medical Center.â€
This deeply portrays the disaster of the past decade — what a horrible epitaph of a laugh.