Afghanistan II: the Sequel We (and the Afghans) Don't Need

Haven't we seen this movie before?


It's the one where the US invades a country with the very best intentions. Where we are ignorant to or ignore the culture we are invading and assume that everyone will magically get along and want to be just like us when we stop bombing them. Where we think we'll be seen as liberators and friendly helpers, not occupiers.

It's the one where we assume that citizens of a country would be better off fighting each other than fighting an occupying foreign army (us). Where we figure our new subjects will easily forgive the fact that we occasionally kill scores of innocent civilians and never quite say we're sorry. Where we think everyone will love the puppet government we install for them. It's the one where we attempt to win hearts and minds with soldiers, bullets, and bombs, and when that doesn't work, we try sending more soldiers, more bullets, and more bombs. Where we fail to improve the lives of those we claim to liberate, causing them to yearn for the relative stability of the oppressive past we claim to have rescued them from. Where we don't realize that the people fighting us are not the fringe, but a popular movement committed to repulsing a foreign army that kills civilians.

We saw this movie when it was called Vietnam, and again in the sequel called Iraq, which repeated the mistakes of the original — no plot, a muddled message, poor direction, over budget, and no ending. Yet now we find ourselves in pre-production on another sequel that follows the same losing formula and is sure to be an awful, lethal, costly flop. It's called Afghanistan II — and we need to pull the plug on it before it literally bombs, taking untold numbers of Americans, Afghans, and our economy with it.

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