I don't think there's ever going to be an optimal point where we say, "This is all done. This is perfect. This is just the way we wanted it. This is a process, and it's sometimes a messy process."
Operation Enduring Freedom -- the patriotic euphemism for the war in Afghanistan -- began on October 7, 2001. Maximum Decider George W. Bush started the war by announcing it to Congress on September 20, 2001. He said young Americans would begin to fight and die halfway around the world in order to achieve certain, clear-cut goals, including...
"the destruction of terrorist training camps and infrastructure within Afghanistan, the capture of al-Qaeda leaders, and the cessation of terrorist activities in Afghanistan."
Nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered as a result of the attack on September 11, 2001. I wanted the bastards who did this terrible atrocity to die! And I dare say all but a small fraction of Americans wanted the same thing.
Now, over ten years later, over 3,000 coalition combatants (almost 1,900 Americans) have given their lives to accomplish the goals Bush spelled out. Have these goals been accomplished? Judge for yourself. You've been reading the same headlines and seeing the same pictures broadcast from that war-torn country as I have. My educated guess is No, No and No.
Groundhog Day. US troops spend days and years dying for their country, destroying "terrorists," bombing infrastructure, rebuilding infrastructure, capturing enemy Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, imprisoning them in Guantanamo, releasing them from Guantanamo, accidentally dropping a mortar round on a friendly wedding party, apologizing to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, paying reparations to what's left of the wedding party, investigating Karzai for corruption...and then doing it all over again the next day and years! We've been doing this for over ten years!
Meanwhile our brave guys are still being blown up in Afghanistan by roadside bombs rigged by Taliban terrorists.
And there has recently been some debate about whether or not the Taliban are the enemy. Vice President Biden recently announced that they weren't. Karzai agreed with him.
Moreover, it's common knowledge that our guys are fighting the enemy (which may or may not be the Taliban) with their hands tied behind them. How many times have you read this headline: "Under Obama, Rules of Engagement in Afghan War Are Extreme Political Correctness Which Slow Down US Troops?"
Under the Obama Administration, the rules of engagement in the Afghan War are extreme political correctness, and this has brought well-earned criticism of the military's prosecution of the Afghan War from a very decorated source, Major General Robert Scales. Imagine if you're a Marine in Afghanistan, charged with fighting terrorists, yet you can't shoot at Taliban terrorists unless you see them actually holding weapons in their hands! If the Taliban terrorists only temporarily put their arms down, Marines are forbidden from shooting at them! Imagine that you also can't treat the captured terrorists "roughly"-as in using "harsh" language against them that may hurt their little, wittle, terrorist feelings-and that you must release your terrorist foe after 96 hours if you don't hand them over to the Afghan police. Think this is a bad dream, a cruel joke or simply a liberal's wildest fantasy come true? Think again, for this is actual war policy going on in Afghanistan right now under Obama.
And remember, the Taliban mentioned above may not be the enemy.
And this guy Karzai. What a piece of work! Every other day there's a news flash about this guy being corrupt, his brother being corrupt, him being offended by US troops, by US policy, by US politicians. The other day he banned a Congressman from visiting "his" country until the Congressman apologized for disrespecting him.
Hell, two years ago this moron threatened to join the Taliban unless he got what he wanted from the US. Of course, this might be understandable if, indeed, the Taliban is not the enemy.
I couldn't make this stuff up. Pretty funny, huh?
Yeah, if it wasn't for this:
CHICAGO (CNN) -- NATO leaders signed off Monday on President Barack Obama's exit strategy from Afghanistan that calls for an end to combat operations next year and the withdrawal of the U.S.-led international military force by the end of 2014. [!!!!!!!!!!!!]
Remember the faces of the fallen this weekend.