There was a news item in this morning’s Globe&Mail about a civilian convoy that some dude called an airstrike on — believing that it was a Taliban convoy on the way to some fight. The dead civilians, 27 by last count, were surprised.
These latest deaths simply underscore the problem that we cannot tell who are ‘taliban’ and therefor evil and who is just upset because his home and fields have been smashed down by these foreign invaders. And since they all look alike, who is just trying to get away and who is purposefully moving to attack? And in the heat of battle (remember, the first casualty of war is ‘truth’ followed quickly by ‘the plan’) anything that moves is likely to be a target — and they all look alike (anybody remember Vietnam?)
Between the problem of ‘who is the enemy’ and government corruption it is unclear to my tiny mind if there is ANY path out of there that grows from the barrel of a gun. Remember, we invaded THEM. The pretext was that the Taliban were providing safe haven for Osama — but we seem to have lost interest in finding him. Personally I was more upset about the destruction of the Bamiyam Buddhas — but hey, there are a lot of funny ideas out there about how to ‘decorate’ a country. Look at strip mines or the oil sands…
While there are many arguments around why it is a good idea to reform Afghanistan into a western client state — opium control, oil pipeline from whattheheckistan, etc, it is their country and the solutions for what to do must come from them. Somehow it seems we have lost sight of that basic fact. Problem is that the people just want to be left alone (and who talks to them?). And the government just wants to suck more western dollars for as long as they can. So it continues untill someone has the guts (or lower) to call it quits.