The War to End All Wars…Again

America must leave the Middle East, and the sooner the better. Capturing Osama Bin Laden was a good idea, but didn’t necessarily require a complete military invasion, and in all fairness to former president Bush, not an easy task to accomplish. But now the goal has apparently changed. The hot new idea thought up by the Obama Administration is Nation Building. Nation Building? In an area of the world that trades women as prizes and that rules with the strict laws of a holy book? How can America expect a culture this different from ours to quickly adopt our way of life? We can’t, and we shouldn’t. And is this even a popular idea? I would say most Americans, including myself, supported the war in Afghanistan simply because we wanted Osama Bin Laden’s head on a silver platter, not because we wanted to share our democratic principles with a region dominated by religious dictatorship. History has shown us that this kind of war tends to end poorly, the idea that we can get rid of a group that is not pro-America and replace it with a United States loving capitalist-democratic-republican-freedom loving-non-theocratic-moralistic society. But I think one thing is certain, when Afghanistan is ready to embrace some of the more modern and pro-freedom choices in government, they will do it on their own behalf. The American Revolution didn’t occur because some foreign power told us to do it, and the French didn’t overthrow the King because another country invaded. All revolutions have to be carried out by the oppressed people, and will prevail if the people truly believe in their cause.

Now if you don’t like my previous reasoning for getting out of Afghanistan, let’s try the history of the country itself. Over the years, many strong, powerful imperialists have tried to take over Afghanistan. Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan, the British Empire, and The Soviet Union are four of the big ones, and all four lost countless troops and soon after their Afghanistan campaigns, their entire Empire. They lost troops due to fierce rebels, blizzards, severe droughts in desert regions, and because of poor planning for mountain warfare. The rebels of Afghanistan always had the advantage of knowing the landscape, and being able to fight on the side of a mountain helped them out too. These four I mentioned were not peace bringing soldiers like the American Army; they were ruthless military forces that simply tried to obliterate the insurgents that tried to stop them. They didn’t have intentions of “spreading democracy” or educating the masses to prevent extremism. Their goal was to take over the territory, and they would do whatever it takes, with however many troops they needed, to take the country. America cannot afford (economically and in terms of human life) to fight the kind of war necessary to take control of Afghanistan, so what are we to do? Fight the war and go even further into debt? Have a military draft? Let’s see how well that goes over with America’s young voters.

General McChrystal just asked for more troops; translation: “we are losing.” It seems President Obama has two options: Send the extra troops that McChrystal wants (and probably more and more over the years we fight this war) and try and win it for the pride of America, or get out, take the loss, and save lives. Just like Vietnam, if we “lose,” do we really lose anything? We don’t need the territory of Afghanistan, and we’re not defending any democratic rebels that want our help in their valiant cause. In fact, the people there absolutely hate the United States and anything related to Western Civilization. That’s a funny parallel to Vietnam, since the people there hated us for trading them to the French government so France would join NATO. The Vietnamese simply wanted their own government, and if the only way was to embrace communism, it was fine by them. The people Afghanistan want their own government to. Do I agree with the current government in Afghanistan? @#$% no! It’s an oppressive theocracy that treats women like crap, keeps its people uneducated so that they will embrace distorted views of the Quran, and supports terrorism. We can’t build a nation in Afghanistan, and with the money we have spent in Afghanistan could have solved other national problems, such as healthcare or clean energy. This is why we need to pull out of Afghanistan, take the “loss”, and move on with our lives. We are not an imperialist nation, and the people of America are tired of being constantly at war. And I know one thing for certain; the American people are tired of being the military force of the United Nations. We should use our military to protect our own interests and our allies. However, if the people of Afghanistan call us tomorrow and say they want help with a revolution to overthrow the oppressive and corrupt government, then we’ll be more than happy to help.

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5 Comments on “The War to End All Wars…Again”

  1. markolepeterson Says:

    The US is not an Imperialist nation? Really? Sir we have been conquering and manipulating to our benefit since the very founding of this nation. We were a colony of England who rebelled, slaughtered North America’s native peoples, warred with Mexico , the Spanish, and even marched on Hawaii ,Guam, and the Philippines. We have military bases in 50 countries. We are imperialists.. the question is really why.. that is for what reasons, and are those reasons sufficient to justify our actions in Afghanistan, Pakistan etc.. You start on the premise that imperialism is bad, and explain how nation building is a doomed policy by using historical anecdotes which are not equivalent. The US and French Revolutions emerged in wholly different contexts and as such are not transhistorical lessons which can be applied in all scenarios at all times. The same can be said about all of the geographical and logistical problems with fighting in Afghanistan.. Even the not so far off example of the Soviet invasion is an outdated model given our improvements in military technology.

    I understand very much the spirit of wanting to reserve revolution to the will of the people in any nation-state, it was a position I once held myself, but you cannot justify it by providing incompatible or insufficient historical anecdotes.

  2. Steve Masillo Says:

    Well i love how u tear apart my argument of previous invasions in Afghanistan because they are “historical anecdotes that are not equivalent” and then go on to give me historical anecdotes about America’s past imperialism that are “not equivalent”. Most of the countries America has troops in, such as Germany and Japan, are our allies, and they like our military force there. If they asked us to leave, I doubt we would have any objection. And dont give me that Native American crap. Most of the Natives were killed before the United States actually existed. Now thats not to say i believe that was a good thing, but I dont believe u can 100% blame the U.S. for that.

    Now the term “Imperialist” has a very negative conotation, which is why i don’t like to use it to describe Guam and Hawaii and the Phillipines, because we dont do anything bad to these territories, and they have their own local governments. Whats so bad about having the protection of the greatest military force in the world? Now im not gonna try and sound like a neo-con and defend the annexation of Mexico. It was stupid, and there was no reason to want texas in the union anyway.

    I believe u might have missed the point of my post because u got stuck on the “imperialism” sentence. I believe that we can’t help these people since they don’t want it. We are not the military force of the United Nations. Like i said, if the people of Afghanistan want our help, we will be there, but we dont have to put young americans in harms way for people that dont want there help. And just recently we found out that Karzi’s government there is corrupt, so were fighting for a corrupt government against a corrupt religious organization. We have NO allies in Afghanistan, and we must leave.

    Oh, and the last thing, u said that the geographical and logistical problems with fighting in Afghanistan are scenarios that cannot be applied at all times. Ummm, has the geography of Afghanistan changed in the past few thousand years? Do we not have to fight on mountains and in deserts and endure everything from blizzard to drought? The fact is history is always relevant, whether 30 years ago or 3000 years ago, simply because it will undoubtedly happen again.

  3. markolepeterson Says:

    Your point on the whether we are an imperialist nation or whether I am using historical anecdotes in order make trans-historical truths out of mere historical events misses the simple point that there is a clear and continuous legacy of foreign aggression and occupation by the US which has only been splotched with periods of isolationism. This is distinct from equating all examples of failed invasions into Afghanistan throughout history as one historical truth given that one deals with essentially the same policy justified with different thinking at different periods of US intellectual history, and the other tells a story of advances in military technology which give the unchanging, inhospitable geography of Afghanistan a clearly different meaning now than it did during previous invasions. From unmanned drones, to cave destroying bunker busters, to thermal imaging, and nano-bees that act as spies the rules of engagement are truly different now than they were then.Thus while Imperialism has been a relatively continuous course of US policy, whether over or covert, whether direct or indirect, it is not equivalent to saying “Afghanistan is a death trap look at what happened to Alexander or Khan or Soviet Russia.”

    Dude.. “The people of Afghanistan” you’re talking about a diverse collection of ethnic tribes in the rural areas and corrupt urban economic areas like Kabul. At the center of life in these regions is a deal breaker of a religious text which has all the answers, of which many of us here in the US are all too familiar. You cannot simply say the people of Afghanistan is if you were talking about the people of Valley Stream, or the people of Long Beach. There is a particular fusion of history, culture, language and present circumstances which makes it virtually absurd to make any mention of “the people of Afghanistan” as some imagined voice of solidarity.

    This mission is not about “helping the Aghan people” although that may be the result of ferreting out the infestation of grenade lobbing religious zealots that continue to terrorize Pakistan and Afghanistan. We are at war with a sworn enemies of our empire, people who would gladly have both our heads if given the chance. The root cause of the problem must and will be addressed.

  4. Steve Masillo Says:

    Well i think u just defended my anti-war position in the second paragraph of ur second comment. You are right, i was wrong to the call them “the people of afghanistan” cause they are different. Part of the problem with being in Afghanistan is we dont know who the @%#$ we can trust. We’re putting our soldiers out in the Middle East a.k.a. Hell on Earth, and we dont know whos gonna help us, who likes us, and who is gonna blow themselves up in the middle of one of our base camps. This is a problem for the Afghan people to figure out, and who knows, maybe they need to divide the country into many different ones so that each section of the “people of afghanistan” can do what it wishes. All i know is that America, empire or not, does not fit into this equation.

  5. markolepeterson Says:

    It is true, without a doubt, that the asymmetric nature of the U.S. occupation of these regions mixed with geographical and climatic issues presents us with numerous strategic and moral problems which are quite distinct from previous military engagements. But the difficulty of a task is not in and of itself an argument against the rightness or wrongness of such a task. Certainly we must take these into consideration but ultimately if you are dealing in the currency of pragmatism, it is far more pragmatic to increase troop levels to help secure Afghanistan than to deal with blowback that would occur if we withdrew our forces. A mixed campaign of precision attacks against Taliban strongholds and the dissemination of civilian propaganda will eventually lead us to victory.

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