11 Years Ago Today

On October 7, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan ostensibly to revenge the attacks on 9-11 and to get Osama bin Laden. Although no Afghan was involved in the 9-11 attacks, we have killed over 20,000 Afghans and wounded about 50,000. Over 2000 Americans have lost their lives.

This is the longest war in American history and there is no foreseeable end although a tentative date of disengagement is scheduled for 2014. Despite the continuing war neither of the major candidates in this year’s Presidential election has mentioned it.

We’ve “got” Osama bin Laden so the rationale for the war has been eliminated. Now no one knows why we remain. Supposedly we are now engaged in a war to bring stability to Afghanistan. This is novel. There has never been a war to bring stability and no military authority is able to explain just how a victory would be obtained or what “stability” would look like.

Let us remember today the brave young people who fight and die in meaningless wars. Let us also remember with less favor the politicians who are willing to have other people’s children die so as to save face and evade the admission that they do not know what they are doing.

Mr Obama, if Afghanistan is important, would you send your daughters to fight? Mr Romney, if Afghanistan is important, would you send your sons?

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