An Oldie But Goldie

Along with 2007's warnings about global recession and the digital money/derivative crisis, 2009's global cooling outlook, 2011's questioning of the Libya War and 2008's suspicion of the Iran agenda--and anything else which you read on here that has turned out to be true--I thought that I would give this post, from January 31 2008, another little outing. We are preparing to scuttle in Afghanistan, and the consequence will be comparably disgaceful to the Belgians in Congo in '60-62, or to what happened in Indochina after '72. God help those whose minds and lives awoke only to face the Taliban's whip and bullet, or the boot of some loony savage with a gun fighting a war that began either thirty seven or three thousand years ago depending on your point of view.

These stupid wars of choice must stop. We must adopt a new grand strategy in the arcs of instability, against terror, militant Islam, peak oil, and peak food. Barack Obama seems lately to have begun that effort, but the real story of what is now happening can obviously not yet be written. I just wish our leaders weren't so venal and so silly....
A Little List
Here is a list of all those major powers who have invaded Afghanistan at one time or another. I do not pretend that it is authoritatively exhaustive, but believe that it may be, and if you want to comment further I'd be happy to hear from you.

Alexander the Great
Arab Islam
Mahmud of Ghazni and the Ghaznavids
Genghis Khan
Tamerlaine
The Turks
The Moghuls
The British Empire
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1979-1989
NATO

Here is a list of those who managed to hold the place without any major massacres, corruption, devastation, or the ultimate collapse of their hold from exhaustion, bankruptcy or foreign invasion so far.

0.

Here is a list of those who ended up being accused of overstrech, brutality, the collapse of self confidence, and folie de grandeur (and that was those of the group not remembered by a species prone to psychosis as monsters).

All of them.

Young men and women (some of whom I know and all of whom I respect) are out there at the moment, and really, given that they are in the middle of a civil war that began after the deposition of Mohammad Daud Khan it is sensible to ask 'why?'.

Have a think about that question. Invading Afghanistan, however strategically important people think the act, has a tendency to lead to horror and exhaustion. It may be that the oil is slipping away, and that the security of the lines of trade and energy upon which we shall desperately spend ourselves in the coming years is worth it; I doubt it. It may be that the West will succeed in its aims. I'm not sure of that either. But what is obvious is that the Afghan War is not won, and whatever the strength of the weltvolksgemeinschaft it won't be.

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