All wars have a beginning, a middle and an end. The last real war, WWII, we fought alongside our allies and won. For us it was a four-year war against definite bad guys with bad ideas. We were the good guys with righteous goals. All the other wars, police actions, occupations and peace keeping pale in comparison. WWII will be our last win.
After 9/11, America wanted revenge; it took a while, but we finally got it. But then, America had an attack of conscience, we wanted to help out the average Afghan. We wanted to instill the idea of democracy, that everyone, including women, had a chance at equality, a chance to better their lives according to our standards.
Problem was, we were a little late. Alexander the Great was there, he left. The Brits were there, they left. The Russians were there with their massive helicopters and, with our help, they finally left and we were there. For 20 years we tried nation building as well as trying to change a culture we never understand. Another 20 years would have resulted in the same outcome. As with everywhere else in the world we’ve been, they knew we would eventually leave.
Our being there united the many tribes, yes, that’s what they were, tribal communities constantly fighting each other. For them, as Chairman Mao once said, diplomacy was at the point of a gun.
When we arrived, they had a common foe, the United States. They were fighting against a lifestyle they never understood, an education for all, women’s rights, freedom.
Now that we’re gone, the world will see old habits die hard. In time, after the educated have been restrained or shot; they will go back to their old ways of settling problems with bullets.