"One year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal I set -- to defeat Al Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild -- is now within our reach."
The alleged bin Laden killing was theater, not real. In December 2001, he died naturally. His death was reported at the time. Even US media covered it.
Explosions rocked Kabul shortly after Obama's brief visit. Taliban forces claimed responsibility. Reports said at least seven died. Others were injured. Resistance fighters showed disdain for Obama's "enduring partnership."
He came at night. He and Karzai met after midnight. A signing ceremony followed. It excluded "a new chapter" marked by "mutual respect."
US media media ignored what foreign ones reported. Among others, London's Telegraph headlined "US troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024," saying:
Obama's strategic pact provides for US trainers, "special forces and air power to remain." Handing over control to Afghan ones conceals permanent occupation plans.
Karzai's top security advisor, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, said America's long-term presence is needed. "In the Afghan proposal, we are talking about 10 years from 2014, but this is under discussion."
Russia's Kabul ambassador, Andrey Avetisyan, said:
"Afghanistan needs many other things apart from the permanent presence of some countries. It needs economic help and it needs peace. Military bases are not a tool for peace."
"I don't understand why such bases are needed. If the job is done, if terrorism is defeated and peace and stability are brought back, then why would you need bases?"
"If the job is not done, then several thousand troops, even special forces, will not be able to do the job that 150,000 troops couldn't do. It is not possible."
America came to stay. Afghans want them out. A recipe for protracted conflict persists. Another decade of war may follow. In 2001, who thought one was possible. It's America's longest war.- Advertisement -
An unnamed European diplomat said:
"Never in history has any superpower spent so much money, sent so many troops to a country, and had so little influence over what its president says and does."