We need take no more note of it than of a war
between two African kingdoms in the fourteenth century,
a war that altered nothing in the destiny of the world,
even if a hundred thousand blacks perished
in excruciating torment
--The Unbearable Lightness of Being,
And I don't know how you do it
Making love out of nothing at all
--Out of Nothing at All,
While our Bill of Rights applies to our citizens, the U.S. is also a signatory to the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) which applies to citizens in the rest of the world. As a ratified treaty, it is every bit the rule of law as our our own Constitution. Or so the story goes.
Along comes the events of 9-11, and here's the ball game so far, 11-06-09:
- NATO, which was and is a defensive alliance to counter the Warsaw Pact threat has now become a strike force to implement U.S. policy. This policy is that of aggressive invasions which lack a clearly-defined or evident defensive purpose.
- US/NATO forces are arresting, detaining and interrogating prisoners that they have no right to arrest, detain or interrogate.
U.S. military and intelligence agencies are employing drones and Hellfire missiles to kill, interdict and intimidate citizens of AFPAK, and are killing people based upon intelligence indicators and reports rather than upon legal decisions. However, belonging to the Taliban and/or being an insurgent is not a death offense.
Any nation has the legal right to oppose and foreign invasion with any power within their means. Unfortunately, that means the Afghan resistance fighters have every right to bear arms against any foreign invader. This is the same right accorded to U.S. citizens were the tables turned.
It makes no difference how the war ends in Afghanistan. Whatever the result, the people will be exploited and downtrodden whether it be by a U.S.-backed lapdog or an anti-coalition amalgam. Afghanistan will not become a beacon of democracy and continuing the war will not contribute to the destruction of al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is not bound by national borders.
The same short-sightedness and muddled thinking that motivates U.S. banking and corporate life is the same feature that defines the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©): You simply cannot make something out of nothing. You cannot make a democracy out of an antrenched clannish tribal hierarchy, and you can't win hearts and minds by dropping Hellfire missiles into mud huts.
The waste of this war is indefensible at every level -- philosophically, militarily, economically and morally. We have lost hold on rational thought, our actions based upon emotion and twisted logic.
It is obvious that Mr. Obama is not going to soon end the wars and bring the troops home, pledging as he did in the elections to trudge on in the Good War. But this is neither war, nor is it counterinsurgency. It is unbridled aggression, and as such, rife with ignorance and inhumanity.
This is something a good soldier has a hard time getting behind.