Afghanistan – It’s Been a Thorn in America’s Side for a Long Time

I must admit, I never heard of the place until we started sending our young men and women there to die. Why? I truly wish I did not know why. Have you ever seen pictures of the place? Makes the North Dakota badlands look like the Garden of Eden. The whole country is not worth one American life. Unfortunately, there have been many more lives lost than just one. And they are still being killed or maimed. We regularly see their mangled bodies and destroyed lives being promoted on TV by country vocalist Trace Adkins and others to raise money, supposedly for their benefit. But you seldom hear about them elsewhere. The number of Afghan casualties is seldom listed, or even mentioned, in the news these days.

Years ago we put US boots on the ground to protect the Afghans from Russian aggression. I don’t know why, but we did. And they did. Russia retreated.

In more recent years, Afghanistan has come in handy for US presidents wishing to divert attention away from embarrassing events on the home front. On August 7, 1998, while American attention was directed toward a certain stained blue dress, then president Clinton sent cruise missiles into Afghanistan to destroy some empty tents, said to have once been used to train terrorists. On the same trip, he also blew up what was later identified as an aspirin factory in the Sudan.

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Then, in the emotional aftermath following 9/11, President Bush sent troops to Afghanistan to punish members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda for bombing our World Trade Center buildings. Only problem is that most of the terrorists came from our friendly nation of Saudi Arabia. But we certainly couldn’t bomb them. That’s where we get our oil! But eventually we declared victory; the Taliban done for, and Al Qaeda on the run. So we pulled out.

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But those pesky terrorists. They started popping up again. And speaking of poppies, which is about the only thing that will grow in the Afghan desert, we have now spent $ billions to convince Afghans that the neighborly thing to do would be to grow corn or wheat instead. Just like we do in Kansas. Sadly, those crops require water, which is in rather short supply over there.

So, in spite of our good intentions, poppy cultivation has increased over 4,400%, and although colorful, the blossoms are not generally used in Mother’s Day floral arrangements. Thus, Afghanistan remains the world’s largest opium producer, with the US being their largest customer. 2014 is expected to produce another bumper crop of poppies.

But back to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the like. More troops. A whole “surge” of troops. Nothing. Largely because our other friend in the area, Pakistan, keeps supplying and harboring them. But we can’t attack Pakistan. They’ve got NUKES!

So with a whole host of embarrassments brewing on the home front; NSA, IRS, Benghazi, VA, etc., President Obama made a sneak Memorial Day trip to Afghanistan to encourage the troops, and to remind them, and their enemies, that most of them would be withdrawn by the 2014 election date and that the remaining 9,800 or so would be home in time for the 2016 elections.

It must have sounded like a good diversionary tactic to his political planners. But:

  1. The timing wasn’t too good for promising our young men and women that if and when they return, a grateful nation awaits to provide them with all sorts of goodies through the offices of a corrupt, and possible criminal, Veterans Administration. And;
  2. The White House release of the name and identity of our front-line CIA Station Chief, our top undercover agent in the area, didn’t go over too well, except to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Such a blunder is described as being the equivalent to having issued a death warrant, or if you prefer, a “fatwa,” on the life of our top spy. One would hope that Mr. Obama provided space on Air Force One for our man-on-the-scene to escape and that by now he has been provided a new identity and governmental protective custody for him and his family.

But life goes on. It was just announced that for the second time in his 5-year tenure as president, on June 6th, “D-Day,” Mr. Obama will return to Europe to visit France’s Normandy beach to pay our nation’s respects to those who died there in protecting the freedoms and liberties he has so wantonly squandered.

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