Even though I was in favor of the war in Iraq, I understood that it was a war of choice. That being said, even though some countries (most notably Great Britain) helped the US, it was an American war to be won or lost by the US alone. Thanks to late changes in Bush’s policy, it was won.
The Afghan war on the other hand is a completely different beast. It was from the start a justifiable war as far as the so called “international community” was concerned and it has been executed as such from the very start. NATO countries and the UN have a big role alongside US troops. While the focus was on Iraq and things just limped along in Afghanistan, people used to brag that the main difference was the involvement of many countries and the total ‘transparency’ of objectives in Afghanistan.
But now that the fragility of that situation has come to surface, what do you see? Again you see the burden turning quickly to the US. Countries like the Netherlands are already leaving, and many others plan to leave soon. All of that happening while doctors and aid workers are slaughtered by the Taliban on accusations of ‘teaching Christianity’.
Nobody cares. Do you see anyone criticizing the Dutch as cowards? No way! Do you see people criticizing Obama for not handling the partnership well enough? Ah, if at least we still had Bush at the helm…
And the hipocrisy continues. Just like we had many phonies that called out the Iraq war “unwinnable”, many now want to paint the Afghan war as an insurmountable obstacle. We are not winning because that war cannot be won! It’s not our fault really… And by the way, there are so many bad guys in the world! Who are we to determine which ones should be destroyed or not? Let’s just stay home and call for gay marriage, now that is a human emergency!
So I say it again: if there was such a thing as a serious ‘international community’ this would never happen. If we had all the bleeding heart liberal going to the streets and telling their politicians that we need to help the Afghan people and not abandon them to the crazies, this would never happen.
If we leave Afghanistan the Taliban cowards will have their biggest victory ever. They will come back with a fury and it will be all our fault. They might take a while to rebuild and everything might look hunky-dory for a while. Let’s not forget that things only got this bad in the first place because we abandoned the Afghan people after helping them defeat the soviets. So it might take another 10, 15 years like it did before until we will pay the price. And the ‘we’ at that point might not be only the US.
But I guarantee you it will happen. And again we will deserve it.