Are these cracks in the neocon dam or just a sign that their attention is turning to Iran and/or Syria?
Today, in another war – as Mark noted — there’s been a spate of Afghan “friendlies” assassinating American and U.N. troops in the wake of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’s alleged murder of 17 Afghan villagers while they slept. This comes on the heels of widespread rioting over the incineration of Korans, which were used by Taliban prisoners to pass messages — and for which the U.S. profusely apologized. Restrictive rules of engagement hamper our troops even as a group of foolish senators – all of them irrelevant to today’s politics — proclaim the fight worth continuing.
This is not a Good War.
In other words, I’m with Andy: It’s time to wrap up this decade-long farce, time for both civilian leaders and military brass to take a long, hard look at the demoralizing mess we’ve made in Afghanistan, and to ask how America can avoid such mistakes in the future.
We might start by forgetting the concept of “nation-building” in places where there are no nations to build. The nation-state, it should be remembered, is very much a Western concept, forged over 1,000 years of often painful European history.
Of course, it is as foolish to believe that non-Western barbarians are going to magically be transformed into civilized Westerners by virtue of physical residence in the West as it is to think that barbarian societies will be magically transformed into Western civilizations by virtue of military occupation.
But since it’s taken 11 years for these brilliant commentators to recognize the obvious in Afghanistan, we probably shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for them to do the same in America.