To continue: let's all do a little basic-Libertarian-think here. We're sending our young men and women to be killed on foreign soil that's worth nothing more than--face it--a few drops of oil. Certainly the people there are not worth the sacrifice, and they don't want us there anyway. We're fighting a war of aggression (wrong: founding-father-wise) that is un-winnable (wrong: Vietnam-101-wise). We shouldn't be in Iraq to begin with--even far-right Republican chicken-hawks and interventionist Democratic do-gooders are together on that now. Yet BOOM goes Afghanistan again. Golly whiz, Billy Pilgrim, we don't even have to invoke Vietnam--Obama has the Iraq mistake to learn from. (Reminder: the US has never won a modern "insurgency-war"--see DM #60 for me and Sir Michael Rose on this--and cannot now.)
And yet our President is ready to throw good money (and human beings) after bad into where the "real" war, he says, should have been concentrated in the first place. Bin Laden and 9/11 and all that. Well, where is the odious Osama--Afghanistan ... Pakistan ... Malaysia ... Newark? Let the local authorities deal with him, if local authorities exist ... and if they want to. Martyred by death or imprisonment, he becomes even more dangerous. Leave him in hiding, bounty-haunted maybe, along with his scant band of Arab exiles and non-Arab uber-Muslims. They are no threat to us.
And this needs to be put on the table: Sure, whatever Afghan or Pakistani government is in place--if and when Bin Laden is caught--would hang him in a New York minute, as the Iraquis did Saddam Hussein. But in real-life post-9/11 (notwithstanding) New York USA ... he'd not only slip the noose, but with a good lawyer get off with only some jail-time for accessory before the fact. And even that would trumped-up. Of course Mr. Al Quaeda himself took credit for the whole thing; that's his job. But fiendish crime though it was, let's be objective: Osama didn't do it. The 9/11 perpetrators were European-Muslim engineers from one place or another linked to Al Quaeda only by their fanatical brand of religion and Bin Laden's money. So we're going to throw the weight of most of our military might against this guy? He's worth nary a single American life.
As for fighting the nasty old Taliban, here the US is guilty of unabashed interventionism. It's a tribal, sectarian, CIVIL WAR over there, just as in Iraq. Once upon a time we thought the Taliban were just peachy when they were fighting the nasty old interventionist Russkies. We went so far as to secretly send them guns and bullets and missile-launchers and other what-nots of war (see DM #24-25 for "Charlie Wilson's War) that they could be using against American troops right this minute. LOL. The Taliban won; took over; and immediately began to demonstrate their fun forms of religious ritual: amputating various body parts; flogging, branding, stoning, and beheading fellow citizens; and blowing up Buddhist statuary. Tough luck for the Afghans. But like Mark Sanford for the benighted South Carolinians, they get what they deserve.
But speaking of "blowing things up" (especially Russians--it gets in your blood, evidently): the Taliban get such a kick out of maiming and dismembering and detonating anything that moves, their main source of entertainment these days seems to be watching American soldiers explode and burn by the side of the road.