For many liberals, and certainly neo cons, while the Iraq War may be problematic, the war on Afghanistan was seen as 'the good war', for it could be more easily justified in light of the origins of 9/11.
But the war and occupation of Afghanistan led almost inevitably to the Iraq war and occupation, for the war in Afghanistan seemed a cakewalk, so why not Iraq?
What a difference a few years makes, huh?
Now, the Taliban is making a comeback, especially in the rural hinterlands outside of Kabul.
And the poppy plant, the source of opium and heroin, which was outlawed under the strict Taliban, is now Afghanistan's chief export. Indeed, 95% of the world's heroin supply comes from Afghanistan. And despite most news reports which blames the Taliban for the drug explosion, there is no shortage of drug dealers at the highest levels of the government of Hamid Karzai. Indeed, a recent report from the New York Times claims that one of the biggest drug merchants in Afghanistan is named Ahmed Wali Karzai -- the brother of the president.
Here's the point. In a matter of days, less than a month, a president will be elected (presumably Barack Obama) who will shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.
President Karzai's brief does not run beyond Kabul. He is a puppet in a nation that has never abided puppets. He fears his own people so much that he has a ring of Americans as armed bodyguards. Some of the biggest drug dealers in the country also serve in government ministries.
This is not even a pretense of a war for democracy -- it's a war for narcocracy.
This is proof of an empire on the wane.
--(c) '08 maj
[Source: Risen, James, "Reports Link Karzai's Brother to Afghanistan Heroin Trade," New York Times, (Sun.), Oct.5, 2008, p.1-16.)