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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/4/14

The Super Bowl of War: Three Decades of Failure in Afghanistan

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Lieutenant Chuck Nadd rides in a wagon pulled by Budweiser-sponsored Clydesdale horses in the company’s “A Hero's Welcome” Super Bowl ad. (Youtube).
Lieutenant Chuck Nadd rides in a wagon pulled by Budweiser-sponsored Clydesdale horses in the company’s “A Hero's Welcome” Super Bowl ad. (Youtube).
(Image by (Youtube).)
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A Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl, that annual celebration of violence as sport, featured a most joyous homecoming for a U.S. veteran of the Afghan War. It was a fitting tribute to the fact that he survived, but you would have to be drunk on Bud not to notice that the three decades since the United States first meddled in Afghanistan have been an unequivocal disaster and that those who did not survive -- NATO combatants and far larger number of Afghan natives -- died in vain.

This was a point made clearly but largely unnoticed on that day of obligatory patriotic flag waving in an interview with Hamid Karzai, the U.S. anointed leader of Afghanistan, who told the British newspaper The Sunday Times of London that "I saw no good" resulting from yet another American adventure in imperial democracy:

"This whole 12 years was one of constant pleading with America to treat the lives of our civilians as lives of people," Karzai stated, continuing his denunciation of the terror of anti-terrorism exemplified by Bush's orgy of torture followed by Obama's drone attacks that traumatize the Afghan countryside. Karzai, no stranger to corruption and contradiction, has refused to sign a pact authorizing a continued and much reduced U.S. presence in his country unless all such unilateral military attacks on his people are ended. As for the Taliban enemy that the U.S. invasion had temporarily deposed, Karzai referred to them as "brothers" while he dismissed his erstwhile American sponsors as "rivals," indicating that Obama now has his own "mission accomplished" embarrassment.

Maybe that dismal outcome of the Obama-ordered surge, comparable to the ultimate failure of Bush's in Iraq, is why Karzai observed that he and Obama have not spoken directly since June. For the Democratic hawks, Afghanistan was going to be the good war, but Obama has learned, as did then-President Jimmy Carter more than 30 years ago, that the Afghans are not to be toyed with.

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Robert Scheer is editor in chief of the progressive Internet site Truthdig. He has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his 30 years as a journalist. He conducted the famous Playboy magazine interview in which Jimmy (more...)
 

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