An old cliche most probably best describes the current situation in Afghanistan– those who are ignorant of the past are doomed to repeat its mistakes. In the 1940s America attempted to support the incompetent, corrupt regime of Chiang Kai-shek in China and the result was a Communist victory. During the 1960s the US supported corrupt governments in Vietnam and the result was a victory for the Communists. During the 1970s the US supported the Shah of Iran who was a dictator and oppressor of his people, the result was a victory for Muslim fundamentalists. In 2001, American forces swept the Taliban from power and installed the government of President Karzai. Professor Amin Saikal of Australian National University has best described this individual. “The corrupt, dysfunctional, and neopotistic nature of (President Karzai) is well documented. Karzai has instituted a system of governance dominated by patronage, unsavory strong men, ethnic entrepreneurs and incompetent policymakers.” A bit strong, but all too accurate description of the man who we believe will bring “democracy” to the people of Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama decided in January, 2009 to trust advice from members of the US military. There task in life is to fight wars, ostensibly in order to achieve peace. But, from their perspective a war is required in order to attain peace. Obama has followed their ideas for nearly two years and there is scant prospect of peace in Afghanistan unless we mean peace attained by the Taliban. Support Karzai and the end is known– an American retreat from the chaos of Afghanistan. Ah, President Obama, why didn’t you read a history book about what happened earlier in the twentieth century???