The acceptance of the presumptive, challenging role of “the world’s sole superpower,” with the implicitly assumed responsibilities of World policeman, has proven to be unwise, in addition to being Quixotic. The latest, decades long, fiasco, known as the Afghan War, so costly in lives and treasure [and U.S. prestige] has proved to be a contemporary second catalyst, for our criticism of such undertaking, since the colossal tragedy of the ill-conceived and erroneously based Viet Nam War. The latter was declared to be based upon the then Administration’s proclaimed, existential fear of America’s future annihilation by a solid Asian- Communist bloc. After America’s costly defeat it [insincerely] apologized for the same, in Robert McNamara’s subsequent book, alleging a “sudden realization” [after twenty years of bloody horror and irreparable National division] that the relevant Asian Nations have aways been, historically, bitter mutual enemies. McNamara was a Harvard graduate.[!]
The government’s officially asserted aim, in America’s participation in the Afghan War, following 9/11, to the extent that we are able to comprehend, was to prevent the Taliban from providing Al-Qaeda a safe haven for their terrorist activities. It is disconcerting to note the jarring fact that the Taliban were in fact, the successors of certain guerilla groups jointly called, the Mujaheddin, who, in its conflict with Russia, [1979-1992] had been fully supported by the United States and others, with arms and treasure. In the chronological logic of these events, it would not be much of an ironical stretch to see the United States as a successor enemy of its personally [suicidally] armed Taliban.
The “rebuilt” Afghan Army’s hasty desertion, in the applicable words of the eloquent Abba Ebon, in remarks to the U.N, on the subject of the sudden withdrawal of the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces at the surprise attack of the Arabic military [commencing the Arab Israeli, Yom Kippur War], “What is the value of a fire department that disappears at the first sign of smoke?”
The result of America’s retaliatory decision to commence, an historically demonstrated, unwinnable war against a Stateless country like Afghanistan, has cost many lives and disabling injuries, has destroyed families and has depleted a great amount of America’s National treasure. Our Nation, the avowed universal moral exemplar and universal protector of rectitude, has left many thousands of Afghans, especially semi-liberated women, with targets on their back, or the sublime contemplation of expected decapitation. A great many female Judges have, to date, already been eliminated, and we have yet to assuredly prevent the execution of many hundreds of cooperative Afghans who have helped the U.S. forces, i.e., interpreters, guides, reconnaissance.
As a richly endowed Nation, America affirmatively has a responsibly moral and empathic obligation to render assistance to needy countries, with medicines, vaccines, food, clean water, and other necessaries. Yet, in addition to the empirically considerate issues of sufficiency of resources and limitation of cultural knowledge, America should, as a regular and realistic policy, withhold the rendition of its military assistance, unless it has knowledgeably been determined to be appropriate.
To avoid misconception, we are not advocates, to any degree, of the long past and unrealistic policies of isolationism; however, we agree fully, with Gilbert and Sullivan’s* choral refrain in their satirical opera, “Pirates of Penzance:” “When constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done, a policeman’s lot, is not a happy one, happy one.…”