After 17 Years of War, Afghanistan Is All But Forgotten

December 13, 2018 in News by Slad

 

Even if they don’t want to remember.

We remember.

PNAC… WAR HAWKS/Chicken Hawks…  A fouled up Middle East, and the U.S. to blame.

– Steve Elkins

via: Lew Rockwell

By William Rivers PittTruthout

Afghan security forces and investigators gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack outside a British security firm’s compound in Kabul, a day after the blast on November 29, 2018.

Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz and the other neo-con wild boys who came to power with George W. Bush in 2001 all shared a vision. In their minds, they saw a cowed, conquered Iraq as the stepping stone to a wider conflict that would, in the righteous fullness of Republican time, lead to broad regional transformation and the enforced peace of empire, all of it lubricated by “liberated” Middle Eastern petroleum.

Using Iraq as a jump-off point, they would knock off regime after regime, running up the stars and stripes as they went, and then watch as peace and prosperity unfolded like a desert blossom. That cauldron of seemingly endless conflict would soon become a happy democratic paradise filled to bursting with McDonald’s customers tying the laces of their new Nike sneakers with fingers stained purple from voting. All the wild boys needed was a catalyst, a “new Pearl Harbor,” to get the ball rolling. When the Towers came down, they took their shot, and we were off to the races.

It has not worked out exactly as planned.

Sure, they got their endless wars, and their friends all got rich profiteering off them, and the folks back home think conservative Democrats are socialists and anarchists (or terrorists, or bomb-throwers, depending on who you talk to) because the political “debate” has been dragged so far to the right. Sure, the culture in general — after all these blood-drenched years – is entrenched in a war-worshipping, racist siege mentality, so detached from reality that Donald Trump actually became president … but the peace/freedom/democracy/free oil bit pretty much comprehensively failed to pan out.

Fifteen years after Bush widened the war his father started 27 years ago, Iraq is a shattered state. Neighboring Syria, which collapsed into chaos and violence after absorbing millions of refugees from Iraq, is an equally brutalized graveyard. Egypt and Libya are in varying states of social and economic disrepair. Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war in Yemen, waged with direct US assistance that began during the Obama administration, has turned that country into an abattoir where tens of thousands have died and millions face the immediate threat of starvation.

And then, of course, there is Afghanistan, the war almost everybody seems to have forgotten we are still fighting. That war — the longest ever fought in US history — will be old enough to vote next year, or it could enlist and get deployed to Afghanistan. It has taken the lives of nearly 4,000 coalition soldiers, roughly half of whom were US troops. Three US troops were killed on Tuesday, and two others the week before. More than 20,000 US troops have been wounded in combat.

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