The crime is not that America walked away from Afghanistan and the country was overtaken by the hated Taliban in a matter of weeks.
No, the crime was that we were there in the first place. As the The New York Times discusses, the crime was that more than 2,000 young American lives were lost fighting a "police action" that never should have been fought and certainly never could have been won. The crime was that thousands and thousand of other soldiers, who thankfully did come back from that hell on earth, are broken by their experience and many will never get back the innocence of their youth.
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But Afghanistan was the perfect country to attack. Controlled at the time by the Taliban, an insane group of religious fanatics dressed in colorful pajamas, Bush did not have to make much of a case for war with the American public. Besides, unlike its neighbor to the west, Pakistan, Afghanistan has no nuclear weapons. Heck, it did not even have much of an Army, just a few million of the aforementioned Taliban, living in caves with anti-aircraft missiles and who can't wait to die in a religious cause and get to heaven as fast as possible.
Bush and the military forgot to ask the British or the Russians how their own military adventures into Afghanistan turned out. The answer, of course, is not good. Both of those countries abandoned their escapades into this country before we did. Both got whipped by a bunch of zealots with anti-aircraft missiles and machine guns and living in caves. I guess history does repeat itself, especially if you don't pay attention.
Our leaders also decided to go into the country in the typical and new American way of fighting a war. Half-ass. Instead of going in and wiping out the Taliban, the stated objective, our military went in to win over hearts and minds, which, by the way, is the same strategy we used to win the war, or police action, to save the people of Vietnam from the hated communists. Oh, wait, we lost that one too, but the good news is that Vietnam is now a great trading partner and might be one of the best tourist destinations in the world for us. So much for hating communists.
Now, Afghanistan is gone, retaken by the Taliban. Say goodbye to civil liberties in that strange little kingdom for the next 50 years, especially if you are female and have about the same rights as the animals in a farm.
We wasted 20 years, 2,000 dead and thousands more broken there fighting a war with one hand tied behind our back and little chance for victory. And, many are placing all the blame on President Biden for this failure, when it is clear that all of our leaders, Democratic and Republicans, plus our vaunted military over the last two decades are responsible.
I am as angry and ashamed as the Marine officer who wrote this column in the Times. Hopefully, we will not forget the next time we decide to attack some strange little land.
Just my angle.