Afghanistan: mammoth delusions and deliberate lies

Brick by brick-- together you can build a new Afghanistan (Leaflet produced by the U.S. Department of Defense for air drops over Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, a response to the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. Source: The Library of Congress)

Gregory Djerejian at The Belgravia Dispatch views our 10+ years of war in Afghanistan and states his belief that the best we can hope for now is a “honest exit” that would acknowledge our mistakes and try to repair some of the damage we’ve caused.

A smidgen of honest self-reckoning demands it, if only we can manage to cease deluding ourselves. But to admit we have been essentially dishonest about Afghanistan these many years given the near zero prospects of success–whether as result of the accumulated, mammoth delusions or the steady aggregation of more deliberate lies–would appear too exuberant an act of unvarnished honesty than we have seemed capable of late. Alas, we are instead likely to trundle along for a couple more years (and this only if Obama is re-elected, as the Republican alternatives are even worse), as more innocent lives are shattered, more billions squandered, all the while as our elites mostly disinterestingly shrug, and the mass public similarly issues a collective yawn. Perhaps this is the kind of society Teddy Roosevelt had in mind when he said: “Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of a plutocracy.” After all, policy choices this stupendously poor, with so little care for the collosal carnage, epic waste, lives torn asunder, strategic incoherence and fundamental futility of the mission–all the while as the war drums keep bleating on beckoning towards new theaters, and amidst a backdrop of abhorrent indifference by far too many of us–collectively reveal a society scandalously flawed.