The mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern Afghanistan, presenting incoming American forces with an even harder job than expected in reversing military losses to the Taliban and winning over the population.
Villagers in some districts have taken up arms against foreign troops to protect their homes or in anger after losing relatives in airstrikes, several community representatives interviewed said. Others have been moved to join the insurgents out of poverty or simply because the Taliban’s influence is so pervasive here.
Afghanistan is an occupied country, governed by American puppets who appear to their own population to be so crooked that they have to screw their socks on the morning.
Imagine that your kid, wife, husband, mom, dad, or other loved one or friend had been blown to smithereens in a US airstrike: would you want to skip toward the representative troops whose military did this with flowers in your hands?
Our options in Afghanistan are stark, and very limited.
We could declare "victory" and go home.
We could develop a robust reconstruction, sort of like the Marshall Plan after WW2, provide investment for real economic growth, encourage more real political dialogue and inclusion. When things stabilize enough that the pipelines can be constructed, we could then declare victory, and come home.
Or, we could kill every Afghan still breathing, behave like a complete butcher in the eyes of the rest of the world and any people of conscience left in this country, install the pipelines, declare victory, and come home.
Unfortunately, there are some in the halls of power in Washington who see that last scenario as truly preferable to the other two.
You cannot, absolutely, win what is essentially a land war from the air. The lessons of Viet Nam should have taught this country's military and political leaders this, but apparently the lessons have yet to be learned.
Those who do not understand the past, and learn from it, are doomed to repeat it - and fail again.