[21 April Link] Six policemen have been killed by suspected Taleban insurgents in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. The gunmen attacked the police post in the Maiwand district in the early hours of Friday, a police official said. In a separate incident, a US soldier was killed and an Afghan soldier wounded when their patrol came under attack in central Uruzghan province.
[15 April Link] Suspected Taliban militias in their latest wave of violence, gunned down a district chief in the southern Helmand province on Saturday, an official confirmed. Taliban's loyalists have intensified their attacks since the heralds of spring and so far over 200 people including 14 American soldiers have lost their lives in Taliban-linked insurgency.
Regardless if you agree or disagree with the decision to intervene, the rationale for war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan was legitimate--as opposed to the case for war against Iraq. And our forces performed brilliantly in the rugged countryside of Afghanistan--at least until the long screwdriver from the DoD was brought to bear. Donald Rumsfeld of course happily took credit for the early success on behalf of the White House. He became a media darling.
But the fact is that thousands of American fighting men and women trained for two decades using Afghanistan as a model in which to mount an insurgent war of our own. In the aftermath of 9-11, using contacts and credit perilously gained during the Soviet Occupation, our forces swung into action, established coalitions of Afghan allies, and sent the Taliban running for their lives. But then the Neocon obsession with Iraq reared its ugly head, the war in Afghanistan was put on the back burner, our promises to 'stay the course' were quietly downplayed, and that war torn nation was mostly forgotten, along with the 9-11 masterminds.
It didn't have to be this way. With the world on our side after the events on September 11, 2001, with the contacts in place we had painfully gained during the Soviet occupation, with brave Americans quitting their jobs and signing up for military service while the Twin Tower wreckage was still smoldering, and because of the hard work and careful preparation of thousands of fighting men and women under several Presidents, we could have given the Afghan people the first decent shot at prosperity they've had in modern times. With the kind of resources we had available, applied under the watchful eye of wise leadership, we could have turned Afghanistan into a shining example and demonstrated to the Islamic world what We the People are really all about. All in a region that has endured brutal poverty and devastating warfare for generations.
Our hard won credibility with the Afghan people was pissed away into a Baghdad cesspool along with lives, limbs, blood, and hundreds of billions of dollars. Now, Afghan opium production is soaring, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zahrawi are making videos threatening more attacks against the US and our allies, the Taliban is growing bolder, and the Afghani people are caught smack dab in the middle of another civil war. And our men and women in harm's way there are quickly being relegated to forgotten warriors. All because of the colossal errors of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld.
To our forces who have served or who are serving in Afghanistan, and their anxious families elsewhere, you are not forgotten and America will not allow your effort and sacrifice to just fade away, despite what the powers-that-be may wish. Operation: Enduring Freedom KIA & WIA.