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Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in International, Law, Media, Places, Politics, Religion, War | 6 comments

Afghanistan: ‘The Most Terrible of All Defeats’ (Le Jeudi, Luxembourg)

How should we characterize the impending end of Western military operations in Afghanistan? Was it a painful defeat, a hard-won success, or something in between? Columnist Danièle Fonck of Luxembourg’s Le Jeudi writes that nothing worthwhile has been gained by the Afghanistan invasion, and the soldiers who died – whether Westerners want to admit it to themselves or not – did so in vain.

For Le Jeudi, Danièle Fonck writes in part:

No war is good, because they transform human beings into professional killers. The one now taking place far out of sight, in Afghanistan, is no exception to this rule.

The initial goal being forgotten, the war is bogged down. Worse, it appears that once Western coalition troops depart, the barbarians will return to power. It is a sad lesson of history. You don’t impose your values on others with goose-down pillows you left behind.

Early on, the Occidental armada lost the battle to win the sympathy of the people. It despised the population. It failed to draw up plans for the future. And it has protected the superbly corrupt leaders in Kabul. It has committed one blunder after another. So now, behind every Afghan, Western troops sense a threat and no longer know who to trust.

Why then prolong the torment? Each passing day brings its own share of misery and death. It is pointless to bury soldiers who fall on the battlefield with all national honors; the fact remains that they will have died for nothing. That is the most terrible of defeats: to come home from war and know that the soldiers sacrificed and died for nothing.

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  • Enh. The usual defeatest nonsense. Yes, yes, of course, no good ever came of war. Except ending slavery, stopping genocide, and liberating countries like Luxembourg from totalitarianism I mean.

    I know people who’ve served in Afghanistan. They think they did some good. So do I. But the faux-morality of the “war is always bad” poseurs never ends.

  • slamfu

    The fact is we didn’t go to Afghanistan to make it a better place. We went there to kill Osama and bring the fight to Al-quida, which we did. Incidentally Afghanistan has an opportunity to become a better place, but as there were no real leaders there and its still rather tribal, the last 10 years were not really turned to their best advantage. But that is to be expected, no one there was really planning on making a new nation so we shouldn’t be surprised no one did so.

    That being said, we killed Osama and his organization has been taken to the cleaners. Lets get out of there and let the afghans have their country back, even if they want to let the Taliban run things again. And if they harbor another terrorist organization that hurts us, we will be back.

  • Can’t say I agree. The reason we went to Afghanistan and stayed there is because we realize that without changes there, Afghanistan will be a safe haven and breeding ground for organizations like Al Qaeda, and our biggest mistake in the 1990s was helping the Afghans fight the brutal and murderous Soviet occupation but then turned our backs and allowed the murderous and oppressive Taliban to take over.

    Those of us who’ve been watching this from the beginning predicted all along that Afghanistan would take decades of effort to help. For the last 10 years, the military has said this will take decades. The Obama administration tacitly acknowledges it will take decades. So why the surprise now that it’s taking time?

    Afghanistan is certainly better off today than it was before we went there by most objective measures. I think it would be horrible to stab the Afghans in the back and abandon them again, myself.

  • slamfu

    Yes but to do that you need to have an actual movement of some sort to work with. Back after they kicked out the Soviets, there was one. Now? Not so much. We basically rolled in there, removed the govt, and asked if anyone wanted to take over. Anyone stupid enough to take us up on that offer is going to be seen as an American puppet, and the people over there have very little interest in shifting over to a western way of doing things. So, how exactly are we going to “change” them? That is an old country, they are very set in their ways, we had one shot back in the 80’s, and we blew it. We are wasting our blood and money over there trying to implement changes that they aren’t interested in.

  • slamfu

    In fact the more I think about it, we have stepped into the shoes of the Soviet Union, and Pakistan has stepped into our shoes. You can not win a war like this when the majority of the population does not want you there. I’m sure we don’t want to view ourselves as the bad guys here, but to your average afghani, we are. We may have the best intentions in the world, but they aren’t buying what we are selling.

  • ShannonLeee

    The Taliban will agree to not harbor terrorist groups and we will agree to let them retake power. In the end, we will get what we want from the Taliban and they will get the country back. The fact that OBL is now dead allows us to make this deal.

    I consider this a win.

    and…that comic is misleading. We are actively talking with the Taliban…not sitting back and watching.

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