Thoughtful comments on war in Afganistan
A quick review of the history: The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. The C.I.A. spent $2.1 billion to support an anti-Soviet resistance, composed predominantly of fundamentalist Muslims. One of those was Osama bin Laden. The Soviets withdrew in 1989. Per Wikipedia, "FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who has been fired from the agency for disclosing sensitive information, has claimed United States was on intimate terms with Taliban and Al-Qaeda, using them to further certain goals in Central Asia." In 1994, the Taliban had captured Kandahar; by 1996 it controlled the country.
Meanwhile, bin Laden had turned against his former patrons, and called upon the Saudis to drive the US out of the kingdom. He was the alleged mastermind behind attacks on U.S. interests. In 2001, after 9/11, the U.S. launched air strikes against Afghanistan, supposedly in order to get bin Laden. We have been at war in Afghanistan ever since.
Estimated Afghan civilian casualties due to our invasion of that country is 24,676. Estimate of casualties among Afghan combatants is 34,348. We do count our own dead meticulously: US, UK, and other coalition fatalities to date are 2204, plus 8164 seriously injured.
So, in order to avenge the deaths of 2966 Americans on 9/11, which were caused by a man our own C.I.A. financed, we have sacrificed 10,368 of our own people, and killed or seriously injured approximately 59,000 Afghans. Bin Laden is still at large. Heckuva job, my fellow countrymen
November 13th, 2010