Frontier Former Editor

September 11, 2008

Seven years after . . .

Filed under: 2001, Afghanistan, colonialism, doomed to repeat, God, history, old times, politics, scumbags, Sept. 11, support our troops — Tags: , , — Frontier Former Editor @ 9:04 am

The television and radio are full of remembrances today. You’ll probably see no shortage of Sept. 11-themed photos on the web today, and public figures will make no end of references to what happened seven years ago.

I, like so many others, mourn the dead. But I also mourn that a nation has such a short-term memory and an unwillingness to understand more than the sight of a burning building.

Yes, we should well have invaded Afghanistan. We had a moral obligation to go in there and clean the place out like the rat-infested barn that it was.

After all, we created the rats. We funded and armed the groups that became the Taliban and al Qaida because we wanted to give the then Soviet Union the same kind of headaches and heartburn that we suffered in Vietnam. And after they helped send the Red Army home, they felt they had the same sort of license to begin oppressing their own. Eventually, they did what any well-conditioned Doberman would do – turn on those who fed and raised it.

We owed the world a cold, focused rage to go clean up a mess we had created two decades earlier.

And we botched it. We failed to give the troops who went there adequate numbers and materiel. We failed to maintain the focus on our responsibility, which allowed so many other countries to jump on a bandwagon of revanche against other groups and nations. We failed to tell other countries to stay out of our way in one small corner of earth.

And we failed to remember why we were doing it. We let evangelical and neo-colonialforces in our society twist and mutate it into an old-fashioned capital-C Crusade in which we were leading the world into broad, sunlit pastures. We failed to remember that we were, in fact, going back to clean up a nasty, brutal mess that we let fester and mold and spread.

And then we as a nation allowed a small group of people with visions of an American empire of resources twist the vision of a ‘war on terror’ into an excuse to go into Iraq. Forget all those who still say that there was evidence that Iraq wanted to sow terror in the U.S. After seven years, any semblance of connected, systematic evidence of such an Iraqi effort simply isn’t there.

And after five years of what is – and yes, it really is if you study the history – another damn Vietnam, we’re finally realizing that we lost sight of what we were supposed to do in Afghanistan. Except that, unlike Vietnam, we may very well have destabilized the region we were trying to uplift and control.

We have allowed our government to misuse our armed forces, stretch them thin, and then ask them to go back and do what we didn’t allow them to do – scrub Afghanistan with a wire brush. Assuming, of course, that we would have any better luck than Afghanistan’s previous occupiers.

Seven years after, the memory of all those dead people in New York and northern Virginia and Pennsylvania has been besmirched because we allowed a third-rate political scion and his Nixon-era handlers to corrupt an opportunity to make good on one of many errors of judgement.

The next time you hear someone say that we’re on a mission from God, please, please demand that they show a receipt or a work order or a certified letter from God. If they can’t, tell them to go to hell.


  1. My sentiments exactly.
    I am crossing my fingers that there isn’t an anniversarial attack today because that would almost guarantee that Caribou Barbie will be the next President…considering McCain’s chances of prolonging his inevitable date with destiny.

    Our Prime Minister announced that Canada will be pulling out of Arfghanistan in ’11…good luck with that.

    btw have you seen Charlie Wilson’s War? I loved Hoffman’s character Gust Avrakotos..”Imagine my relief” was my favorite line..but he also had lots of zingers about Arfghanistan like “you’d think that these people would consider building some f*cking roads.”

    Charlie Wilson: You mean to tell me that the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is to have the Afghans keep walking into machine gun fire ’til the Russians run out of bullets?
    Gust Avrakotos: That’s Harold Holt’s strategy, not U.S. strategy.
    Wilson: What is U.S. strategy?Avrakotos: Most strictly speaking, we don’t have one.
    But we’re working on it.
    Wilson: Who’s ‘we’?
    Avrakotos: Me and three other guys.

    Comment by Donnnnn — September 11, 2008 @ 11:33 am

  2. You’ll never be an editor in your country again with common sense views like that. When does the mob arrive?

    Comment by Richard — September 11, 2008 @ 12:30 pm

  3. Well said, sir. Damn well.

    Mrs. Palin, take a memo, please …

    Comment by Metro — September 11, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

  4. Nice one, FFE.

    Comment by azahar — September 11, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  5. The basic vice of democracy is that the common man is an idiot.

    That’s why, as Churchil said, it’s the worst form of government except for all the others. Only right now, I am wondering what really could be worse.

    60 years of television have given us a population who vote with the same part of their brains that they use to decide which TV action show they like to watch. God forbid that anyone do the boring work of thinking. So no one is going to question a government’s rush to war here, there and everywhere, but they’ll all say “awwww” and sulk and want to change the channel if that government opts for measured, thoughtful, focused action and sustained work.

    America is populated by the same nasty, whiny, wilfully stupid, snotty, self-satisfied little bastards who made grade-school a living hell for anyone who actually wanted to think. And they’re all grown up and still doing it, only there’s no place now to go home to.

    Comment by sledpress — September 12, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  6. Total loss of vision?
    Can’t agree with you more, dude.
    It’s turned into a clusterfuck of incomprehensible proportions.

    Comment by michaelm — September 15, 2008 @ 10:06 pm

  7. I thought this was ALL Clinton’s fault for letting bin Laden get away – according to the right.

    ‘We funded and armed the groups that became the Taliban and al Qaida because we wanted to give the then Soviet Union the same kind of headaches and heartburn that we suffered in Vietnam.’

    And just think, if we invade Russia we’ll have come full circle!

    Comment by Stiletto — September 15, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  8. ‘…we’ll have come full circle!’

    Just like OJ – on his second trial.

    Comment by Stiletto — September 15, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

  9. Oh, wait – my bad. Third?

    Comment by Stiletto — September 15, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

  10. Pssst. I love seeing five of me in your comments section. Imagine – quintuplets!

    Comment by Stiletto — September 15, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  11. Thinks: Stiletta quints?


    Comment by Metro — September 19, 2008 @ 7:39 pm

  12. She’d leave the Dionnes and the Doublemint twins in a distant cloud of dust and debris

    Comment by Frontier Former Editor — September 19, 2008 @ 11:03 pm

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