Our erstwhile ally Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is back reminding American citizens of the waste of thousands of dead and wounded U.S. soldiers and hundreds of billions of dollars. Karzai has refused to sign an agreement to keep a significant number of troops in the country for training and counter-insurgency operations — an agreement guaranteeing more U.S. losses in lives and treasure that the Obama Administration wants signed. Karzai however has been negotiating with the Taliban to force the U.S. out and return them to power in a sharing arrangement with this government. In the meantime, he is repeating his condemnations of the United States as a “colonial” power and alleged that insurgent attacks were actually staged by U.S. forces. I understand that the “enemy of our enemy is our friend” but what about the friend of our enemy?
We have been discussing the continuing gushing costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while we cut basic programs and services. I was happy to even see a member ask about the costs. Most politicians have refused to risk the political costs of being blamed for a withdrawal or a perceived defeat. As a result, our personnel were left in harm’s way, even as the country’s president called us “demons”, our allies denied basic rights to woman and religious minorities, and polls showed intense anti-American sentiments. Hundreds of billions were spent to provide political cover for leaders who needed to show that they were tough on terror. Of course, while calling the U.S. demons and liars, Karzai continued to demand billions in aid and bags full of cash delivered to his personal office.
While publicly suggesting that he has fought to end the war, the Obama Administration has been struggling to keep troops in the country with the promise of the continuation of huge amounts of aid in one of the most corrupt governments on Earth. Ironically, with their fortunes improving on the field, the Taliban do not appear that enthusiastic about teaming up with Karzai and he may be forced to sign the agreement. The Obama Administration will then have another foreign policy victory: an agreement with a man who declared us to be the enemy and tried to reach an alliance with the Taliban who has killed U.S. soldiers so that we can spend billions more to prop up his corrupt government.
In the meantime, U.S. citizens are being told of the need to cut environmental, scientific, and educations programs for lack of millions while we are fighting to given Karzai and his government billions more in support, military operations, and government contracts.
It reminds me of that great line in Three Days of the Condor when an intelligence officer (Higgins) speaks to the head of the agency about his storied career as they plot the death of an innocent former employee played by Robert Redford:
Mr. Wabash: I go even further back than that. Ten years after The Great War, as we used to call it. Before we knew enough to number them.
Higgins: You miss that kind of action, sir?
Mr. Wabash: No, I miss that kind of clarity.
Perhaps the thing I miss the most is not the loss of principle (which was abandoned by the Obama Administration years ago) but the clarity as to who exactly is the bad guy in this war.
Source: NY Times