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  •  Didn't we 'win' in 2002? (0+ / 0-)

      The Taliban government was overthrown, Bin laden was on the run, our buddies in the 'Northern Alliance' (remember them?) were set to run the country, and we were going to sponsor a traditional 'loya jirga' to set up new leaders and create a new government.  AND we had accomplished this without a massive invasion army - more through air support for the Northern alliance fighters and smaller-scale special operations.
      So let's not forget what happened next: as usual, everything George Bush touched turned into shit.  We didn't engage in meaningful nation-building or anything more than the most half-assed 'training' of security forces for the new government.  We could have hired a million Afghan men to work on infrastructure and reconstruction projects at $1000/year - a VERY good salary in that part of the world - and had them supporting their families and relations in the bargain, at a total cost of $1 billion per year.  We could have been repairing the damage of decades of war right from the start.  Instead, we soon ramped up for a massive invasion of Iraq, which turned into a quagmire sucking up all the oxygen in the room, and Afghanistan was neglected.  Look at the increase in American and coalition deaths from 2004 to 2008 - up and up every year, all on Bush's watch.  We let corruption flourish.  We flailed around for a counter-insurgency strategy and a nation-building strategy while the Bushies sneered constantly at the idea of 'nation-building.'
        And when the Bushies walked out the door, they left Obama standing hip-deep in shit, handed him a gardening trowel, and said 'Good luck digging out from the mess'.
        I for one, am going to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt and assume good faith on his part - not cynical war profiteering a la Cheney and Halliburton.

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