By Mike Whitney: Operation Enduring Misery Shambles Into its 13th Year:
Happy Anniversary Afghanistan! October 7 marked the 12th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, but you wouldn't know it by reading the papers. In fact, "America's longest war" has become so unpopular that both the media and the Obama administration have done everything in their power to sweep the whole matter under the rug hoping that people just forget about it. But it's hard to forget about it when US troops keep getting blown up like they did on Sunday. Just look at this from CBS News: "A bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, American and Afghan officials said. They were the latest casualties in a 12 year conflict that shows no signs of slowing down despite a draw-down in foreign forces." (Four U.S. troops killed in south Afghanistan", CBS News. And it's hard to forget about it when Obama keeps killing Afghan kids that are out playing tag or walking the dog. Take a look at this from Saturday's Al Jazzera: "At least five civilians, including three children, were killed overnight in a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan after they were hunting for birds with air guns, local officials said Saturday. They were targeted and killed by a foreign forces airstrike," said Hazrat Hussein Mashreqiwal, a provincial police spokesman." "Afghan civilians reportedly killed in NATO airstrike", Al Jazeera. And it's hard to forget about it when Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, keeps blasting NATO in the media, like he did on Monday. Here's what he said: "On the security front the entire NATO exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of live, and no gains," Karzai noted, elaborating on comments from his spokesman yesterday. Karzai went on to say that NATO and the US had repeatedly launched operations in express opposition to his government's wishes, notably night raids, and was clearly willing to violate Afghan sovereignty whenever it suits them." "Karzai Rejects US Security Pact, Says NATO Causing Great Suffering", antiwar.com. Karzai might be a puppet, but he did the right thing by criticizing the drone attacks and defending the nation's sovereignty. Even so, the issues here go way beyond Karzai or US casualties or even the deaths of innocent children. The problem is the war itself and the ongoing US occupation. It was a bad idea from the very beginning, and it is a bad idea today. War is too blunt an instrument to fight terrorism, that should be obvious by now. The American people were duped into believing that invading Afghanistan was an appropriate response for the attacks on 9/11, but it never was. It was always a stupid, wasteful, bloody idea without merit. The war in Afghanistan has never made any sense. From the bombing of Mazar-i-Sharif in November, 2001 to the droning of children chasing birds in 2013, its been one homicidal debacle after the other. On top of that, none of the strategic objectives has been achieved. The warlords and Taliban still control much of the countryside, the reconstruction effort has been a complete farce, women are no safer today than they were when the invasion was first launched, and the central government is a comical Potemkin regime riddled with corruption and incompetence. Oh yeah, and the dirt-poor country now produces 90 percent of the world's opium.