Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Afghanistan: What if they threw a war and nobody knew why?

When the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan in October 2001, America’s war aims were clear: capture or kill Osama bin Laden, overthrow the Taliban government, deny Al Qaeda training camps and a safe haven. Of course, there was also a fourth unmentioned war aim, a lie of omission: lay an oil and gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan.

President Obama has rebranded Bush’s Afghan War as his own. Afghanistan, Obama said during the campaign, was the war America should be fighting. And so we are. Obama has dispatched tens of thousands of additional troops to the “graveyard of empires,” many redeployed from Iraq.

But, unlike Bush, he still hasn’t told us why we’re in Afghanistan. Meanwhile ten and a half time zones away from Washington, American soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan. Afghan resistance forces are fighting and dying too, protecting their homeland.

When he took office, Obama’s stated war aims were muddled: propping up U.S. puppet Hamid Karzai, training local Afghan police, and reducing opium cultivation. The first two led to no clearly-enunciated end; how long would they take? If we really cared about number three, we might as well have put the Taliban–who’d had some success in getting rid of opium–back in charge.

[And bottom line] When you can’t tell whether you’re winning or losing, you’re losing.

[Excerpt of an article by Ted Rall]

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