Full Circle

The brutalized people of Afghanistan, who endured ten years of war with the Soviets, the Mujahideen-Taliban war, and then the American invasion, have never been further from finding the elusive peace and security the country’s protectors keep promising it. In his State of the Union address of January 22, 2002, Bush declared:

The American flag flies again over our embassy in Kabul. Terrorists who once occupied Afghanistan now occupy cells at Guantanamo Bay. (Applause.) And terrorist leaders who urged followers to sacrifice their lives are running for their own. (Applause.)

America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We’ll be partners in rebuilding that country. And this evening we welcome the distinguished interim leader of a liberated Afghanistan: Chairman Hamid Karzai. (Applause.)

The last time we met in this chamber, the mothers and daughters of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden from working or going to school. Today women are free, and are part of Afghanistan’s new government. And we welcome the new Minister of Women’s Affairs, Doctor Sima Samar. (Applause.)

Our progress is a tribute to the spirit of the Afghan people, to the resolve of our coalition, and to the might of the United States military. (Applause.) When I called our troops into action, I did so with complete confidence in their courage and skill. And tonight, thanks to them, we are winning the war on terror. (Applause.)

Five years after the “liberation” of Afghanistan, Karzai can hardly leave his palace in Kabul without his American guards, the Taliban have regained control of parts of the country, girls who go to school have to do so in secret because of threats, and now, according to an Associated Press report, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist tells us:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan war against Taliban guerrillas can never be won militarily and urged support for efforts to bring “people who call themselves Taliban” and their allies into the government.

The Tennessee Republican said he learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated on the battlefield.

“You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government,” Frist said during a brief visit to a U.S. and Romanian military base in the southern Taliban stronghold of Qalat. “And if that’s accomplished, we’ll be successful.”

So now one of our representatives wants the Taliban back. What a waste.

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