Nine years later, U.S. officials continue to justify the war in Afghanistan with the threat of another 9/11. On NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday, U.S. general David Petreaus said, "I don't use words like 'optimist' or 'pessimist.' I use 'realist.' . . . We're in Afghanistan to ensure it cannot once again be a sanctuary for the kinds of attacks that were carried out on 9/11."
However, Afghans perceive U.S. military efforts there as terrorism, as civilians continue to be killed through drone bombings and other strikes. Just today a NATO airstrike killed 27 Afghan civilians in Marjah, despite the U.S. proclaimed effort to avoid civilian deaths during its current offensive there, the largest since the war began. Ironically, in its attempt to wipe out the Taliban, the U.S. and its (increasingly few -- see below) allies continue to stoke the flame of anger, resentment and fear within civilians, creating an even richer breeding ground for "terrorists" filled with anti-American sentiment.
Meanwhile, the Dutch government collapsed Sunday over its role in Afghanistan. When, after a 16-hour debate, Parliamentarians could not agree whether Dutch troops would continue to work in Afghanistan under a NATO request, all members of the Labor Party resigned their 12 Cabinet post. They wanted to reject the request. Shortly after the collapse, Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende said troops would pull out of Afghanistan as originally planned.
If only the U.S. would figure out a way to follow suit.