After Russia finally admitted to the world (by quietly exiting as had the countless nations before them throughout history) that Afghanistan was unwinnable, just as we most certainly shall, be it this year, the next or the decade after that, John Kerry's quote comes inevitably to mind- the quote when his mind was young, and clear, and free of the political baggage that would later so compromise his ability to act, much as his wounds did his body in Viet Nam.
|Photo: Rodrigo Abd—AP|
The Iraq War is "over." It was a war we initiated on a country half a world away whose people never threatened us with harm; a war predicated on lies in the rush to make millions for a select few corporations and weapons manufacturers. The promise of cheap and everlasting oil blew up in their face as if caught staring down an upcoming geyser. And those who so vehemently supported the war, now claim they were lied to- surely, how could they have known? Perhaps, if they had stopped, just once, from ridiculing and laughing at Hans Blix, and anyone else who vigorously denounced the most obvious set of over exaggerations.
And when we finally declared it over, we left Iraq not as victors, or the liberators only we proclaimed ourselves to be, but as those that left a totally needless trail and legacy of carnage, torture and death. We massacred thousands of children, hundreds of thousands of civilians (those too poor to flee) right in their own homes, in their own country, as we destroyed the infrastructure of a land now on the very brink of civil war that will be plagued for decades with cancer and infant deformities from the depleted uranium we bequeathed them. Damn, you can smell that stench of freedom halfway across the world!
When the Russians turned tail (with the help of our Stingers), Congress was asked for a couple of bucks to help build some schools and hospitals in Afghanistan. They responded that they just didn't have the cash. They don't have a few spare bucks for building things that would establish goodwill or cooperation, they only have countless hundreds of billions to destroy homes, support child raping, drug profiteering warlords, build prisons, and fly people in planes to be tortured elsewhere- when they're not killing them outright. And that is the legacy we will leave in Afghanistan, whenever we leave Afghanistan.