“a population that despises us”

Andrew McCarthy summarizes our Afghan adventure in the title of his piece at NRO: We’re There to Help; And they’re there to kill us. His thesis is simple:

If our Afghan expedition seems all the more pointless now, nearly a decade after the U.S. invasion, it is because we long ago stopped pursuing the American interests that brought us to that hellhole. We came to dismantle al-Qaeda and its Taliban hosts. We’ve stayed — and stayed, and stayed — to make life better for a population that despises us.

Key words: “we long ago stopped pursuing the American interests.”

GEN Petraeus keeps telling us that there are fewer and fewer hard-core Taliban. Swell. The real problem appears to be the Afghan people, in all their Muslim fundamentalist loveliness. From McCarthy, there have been 17 U.S. troops

killed in just the last four months by the Afghan security forces they are mentoring. The total climbs to 22 when the killings of other Western troops are factored in.

This isn’t going to change any time soon: these people don’t want us there. They didn’t want the Soviets; they don’t want Americans or our allies.

Is Afghanistan still a direct threat to our nation? Perhaps. But we keep hearing that the real threat is in Pakistan, in their Northwest. Even if there is some residual threat to us in Afghanistan, it is hardly going away just because we build roads, schools, and other projects. They make such lovely noises when the natives blow them up, and such hearts-and-minds things seem to me just as likely to engender even greater resentment among the natives.

Let’s face reality, and stop losing our best men to third-world tribal primitives.

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