If you’re wondering whether our exit from Afghanistan is going to be as successful as the one from Iraq, you might draw some insight from this military.com article. It reports that Afghan military interpreters have so little confidence in the regime of Hamid Karzai that they’re scrambling for visas to the United States.
That doesn’t sound much like victory.
The really sad thing is that we have lost so many lives and squandered so many tax dollars in Iraq since 9/11, even though the attacks were launched by a group headquartered in Afghanistan and backed by its former Taliban rulers. There’s no telling what we might have accomplished in Afghanistan without the Iraqi oil grab by former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dich Cheney – both Texas oilmen.
The Iraq war seems to be winding down in an orderly fashion, with a stable regime in place that was chosen in fair elections.
However, the Afghan war is a mess. Our opponents in the Taliban and Al Qaeda are deriving support from Pakistani intelligence. The nation is led by a man chosen in a scandal-plagued election, who has ties to the lucrative heroin trade.
The bi-cultural and bilingual Afghan translators are ideally positioned to prosper in the business world of a modern Afghanistan. However, they’re not betting on a stable future there.
At least 4,477 American service members have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 1,798 in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan so far, according to the www.icasualties.org website. Those numbers do not include Americans employed by private military contractors.
Economists estimate that the orginal $60 billion pricetag for the wars will eventually reach as high as $5 trillion, draining the U.S. treasury white in combination with Bush-era tax breaks for corporations and the rich.
Sure, we’ve won in Iraq thanks to the courage of the men and woman of our armed forces and the absurdly costly weapons of the industrial military establishment. But we’re losing in Afghanistan and that’s the place the Saudi-financed Al Qaeda and the Taliban call home and they’re the ones responsible for 9/11.
If Bush Deux wanted to honor the roughly 4,000 Americans that died in those attacks he should have focused on the nation that killed them, instead of making Afghanistan an after-thought.
The needless and costly invasion of Iraq, based on the erroneous idea that former dictator Saddam Hussein was hording weapons of mass destruction, helped push oil prices to $147 a barrel in 2008. Thereby precipitating the worst global slowdown since The Great Depression.
All in all, the unnecessary Iraqi war launched by the younger Bush president has been a kind of perfect storm for the undermining of American leadership overseas, and stability and prosperity at home.
Mission accomplished, Geedub.