ONCE AGAIN, a Muslim suicide fanatic opened fire on allied troops in Afghanistan Tuesday — this time killing an American general and wounding 15, including a German general. It’s long past time to end America’s longest war in the faraway mountain zone. Washington should remove U.S. soldiers immediately and end the futile, pointless, wasteful conflict launched in 2001 by the former Bush-Cheney administration. Conservative “hawks” constantly want America to use its colossal military power to try to police the world — against Sunni zealots who grabbed northwest Iraq — against Russian loyalists who grabbed eastern Ukraine — against a dictator’s regime in Syria — etc., etc. But America mustn’t be the world’s sheriff, when other modern democracies don’t assume this militaristic role. Why should U.S. taxpayers shell out $1 trillion per year for a gigantic military machine for this purpose? Who appointed the United States to impose armed action on foreign places?
The former Bush-Cheney White House started the Iraq war on false premises, costing about 4,500 American lives and a $1 trillion U.S. financial loss. From the rubble, a crude Shiite democracy emerged. But Sunnis in the northeast grabbed much of the nation with relative ease, triggering hawk cries for another U.S. attack.
“Why America should let Iraq resolve its own crisis” is the title of a Christian Science Monitor commentary by Graham Fuller, former vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. He wrote:
“There is no way Washington should attempt to re-enter this Iraqi agony again. The United States already destroyed the political, economic and social infrastructure of Iraq, turning it into an anarchic free-for-all of every clan for itself. We in the West try to deny the ugly consequences of our own actions. ... ”
After the 2003 U.S. invasion toppled the minority Sunni government of dictator Saddam Hussein, he said, “the oppressed Shiite majority took over the state, determined never again to be relegated to political weakness.” The new government “further alienated Sunnis by excluding them from positions of power in Baghdad. The new Iraqi army became essentially an instrument of Shiite power operating with a heavy hand in Sunni areas.”
The situation in Afghanistan is equally unappetizing. America shouldn’t attempt to install one group of Muslim zealots against a different group.
Nobody appointed America to be the sheriff of the world. Get out of Afghanistan now.