BY WILLIAM C. HENRY The latest American butchery in Afghanistan (a hospital for Christ’s sake?!) is but a replay of yesterday and the day before and the decade and a half before that. And, for all the blood and treasure expended, we’ve accomplished little or nothing unless you’ve become sufficiently jaded to accept the enriching of every Afghan politician, tribal leader, and a bevy of enterprising plain old Afghan citizens beyond their wildest dreams as a victory for the benevolence of good old-fashioned American capitalism.
This time we “accidentally” bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital killing and maiming dozens including patients and staff. Never mind that just the day before we’d specifically warned Russia that they were opening themselves up to doing the very same thing in Syria. Quaintly ironic, no? Oh, and in case you’ve just awakened from a fifty-year snooze in an overlooked Capitol Hill cloak room, the Pentagon’s war-sterilization team long ago came up with a sanitary term for that of which I speak. They christened it, “collateral damage.” It’s their sort of supplicatory way of saying, “Please don’t take the excruciatingly painful and without excuse or justification separation of your flesh from your bones personally, we just got some bad intel.”
All of this obscenity is scheduled to come to a “final” end before January, 2017 (if you believe that, I’ve got some bundled mortgages I know you’ll be interested in). At least that’s Obama’s story and he says he’s sticking with it. Actually, the veracity of that particular commitment should be considered about as likely as a past U.S. President and Vice President admitting that they lied about the reasons for taking the country into the most unconscionable war in its history. Personally, I’m certain that I’ll not see the end of the carnage in my lifetime (I’m 75 and in fair condition) nor will my daughter in her’s (let’s just say she’s considerably younger and in great shape).
What makes me so certain? Well, number one, because our hubristic leaders refuse to learn ANYTHING from past armed intervention debacles, be it Russia’s fiasco in the same godforsaken place years before, or France’s humiliation in Vietnam. Secondly, because we’ve never given so much as a New York minute of consideration to what our “end game” was, is, or conceivably might be. And, thirdly, because said extractor(s) — whoever he, she or they may turn out to be — will always find themselves at a complete and utter loss to explain to the families and friends left behind why so many thousands of brave young American men and women had to be butchered or severely maimed in a forewarned-to-be-unwinnable-
I’ll not belabor the matter further, but I do feel that it’s important from time to time to remind ourselves that this contemptible foray into nation building in a poor, sharply religion-, ethnicity-, economics- and language-divided country halfway ’round the world persists to this day. Born on October 7, 2001, the war in Afghanistan shows little sign of abating. American armed services personnel still lose their lives or are seriously injured on a daily basis. Far more Afghan civilians suffer a similar fate. We were told we were going there to get al-Qaeda and bin Laden. We eliminated the latter almost 5 years ago. Al-Qaeda is a mere shadow of its former self. And people are still dying and suffering. It’s scary to think that Daniel Kofman could quite possibly have been prophetic: “First Afghanistan, now Iraq. So who’s next? Syria, North Korea? Iran? Where will it all end? If these illegal interventions are permitted to continue, the implication seems to be, pretty soon, horror of all horrors, no murderously repressive regimes might remain.” Stay tuned.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.