A few years back, my mother reminded me of a conversation that we had around Easter time in 2001, shortly after the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, during which I said that I thought that war with the Taliban would be inevitable. I'd forgotten the conversation, but mom brought it up years later, when my baby brother, Gomez, was going to Kandahar for the first time. My brother Vincenzo is there now- my two younger brothers spent some weeks together there earlier this year. Of course, both of them have also done tours in Iraq. As you can surmise, I take the awful, awful foreign policy of the U.S. personally.
I could write about the U.S. failure to systematically build a sane, stable society in post-invasion Afghanistan, but that's not really what I want to rant about. The real failure of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan goes back decades, when the U.S. armed and trained religious fanatics to fight a proxy war against the U.S.S.R.. American spooks taught the mujahideen how to deploy Improvised Explosive Devices and how to shoot down advanced military helicopters (yet another case of
When the Afghans finally drove the Soviets out, where the hell was our State Department, giving the Afghans aid in building a civil society? There was a time when we treated our enemies better than we were treating our allies. We didn't drain the swamp, and now we're futilely trying to swat mosquitoes (albeit ones carrying a virulent disease) with sledgehammers. Ten years of war, thirty-two years of immoral, poorly thought-out foreign policy, and what positive outcome is possible?