I tend toward being an internationalist. I usually can appreciate the interdependence of nations and the trend toward globalization of the modern world. When people throw their hands up regarding "blood for oil" I can discuss the national self-interest of the United States in a stable Middle-East. Talk about Eastern Europe, Asia, South America and I'm your guy for stable relationships and developing trade, culture and the people of the third world.
But, when we get to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran I now see little hope for the future. This is a society which has absolutely no desire to emerge from the Dark Ages. They relish their medievalism. The wallow in their primitive culture. They are proud of their dirt, squalor, ignorance and oppression. They don't want to be helped, stabilized, democratic or egalitarian.
When the supposedly trained, trusted and capable security forces can be whipped into a frenzy over an issue such as the Quran burnings it becomes apparent that we will not reach a satisfactory solution. Their people defaced the holy books. Their people! Our forces took the sacred texts out of circulation as appropriate and sought to properly destroy the defaced books through burning. That is exactly what their own mullahs would have done. But to them we are the guilty ones and an affront such as burning a book is worth death of those who have tried to improve their country.
Our generals and our President grovel in abject apology. They don't explain what occurred nor do they try to avoid debasing themselves before this rabble. That is disgusting and serves us poorly in terms of gaining respect in these regions of the world.
When you are strong and powerful it is necessary to be just and fair. But it is not necessary to grovel. It is much more critical to be respected than to be liked. Fear me and we'll talk about building your country tomorrow. Have no doubt that if you displease me, it will not be to your benefit. Run no risk of offending ME and we shall see if I will worry the slightest about whether or not I offend YOU.
I am now convinced that we have no hope of success in Afghanistan. That means that we need to withdraw. But we should not withdraw with our tail between our legs. We should not skulk away but rather we should demonstrate our extreme displeasure with the conduct of our erstwhile friends. They should be provided a memory of what happens when you make the big guy on the block extremely displeased with you.
We should leave Afghanistan with nothing left standing to show our presence. Destroy the buildings, remove the equipment, crater the runways, spike the guns, disable the rolling stock, tear up the rails and remove the wire from the circuits. They had our support but they lost it. They should not be left with reward for their ingratitude.
Plow their cities, salt their earth, let no stone rest upon another where we have been.
And let others be warned for the future. Kabul delenda est.