You’re being lied to about Afghanistan: The terrorists there include us
When we treat civilians as collateral damage, no wonder Hamid Karzai trusts us as little as the U.S. trusts him
Some readers may recall the joke that went around when George W. Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. To prolong the tradition, it starts to look as if Hamid Karzai has endured the American presence in his country just about to his limit.
The Obama administration, which is to say the defense and intelligence establishments, is not getting its way with the Afghan leader these days. This is serious for a couple of reasons. One, it is our defense and intelligence teams that run U.S. foreign policy now — instruments of policy are now setting policy, tail wagging dog. The State Department’s role in the apparently eternal “war on terror” has devolved to limiting the very worst excesses — and then dissembling the best it can when the very worst comes to be. Which is usually.
Two, the war in Afghanistan and its silly name are to pass into history sometime this year, one way or another. And the end may be as ignoble as it is now proving in Iraq. Yet more American families will look at the framed photographs of their fallen and ask, “For what, exactly?”
Karzai warned Americans about this question long ago. “Military action in the country will … not deliver the shared goal of eliminating terrorism,” he said to the U.N. General Assembly in 2006. Let us keep this sound observation in mind as we interpret what amounts to a latter-day rebellion by the single most important client on Washington’s long list of them. It is an aid to understanding what we are not, in our media, encouraged to understand.
Here is what the Afghan leader has been serving up for the Obama administration of late.