The United States' relationship with the nation of Afghanistan is a complicated maze of plausible deniability, conveniently applicable amnesia, two-faced policies, and political dick swinging. Oh, and blatant lies.
Now, as I have mentioned before, political memory is only about 30 years so it is no wonder to me that very few Americans have any idea what their country is doing over there in the first place.
I'll give you a hint. A few things happened about 50 years ago.
Fifty years ago the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962 is signed by J.F.K. This officially starts the U.S.'s involvement in Vietnam, and operation Ranch Hand is launched roughly two months later.
But wait, what-the-fuck does Vietnam have to do with Afghanistan?
Two things; Communism & Heroin. (Click for appropriate music: "Last Dance")
The Foreign Assistance Act of '62, "provides '...military assistance to countries which are on the rim of the Communist world and under direct attack.'" (Wikipedia) This not only opened the door for military operations in Vietnam, but also for assistance in training and supplying the Mujahidin, starting in 1980.
But we must back up here, much happened before 1980 to lead to the U.S.'s official involvement in the Afghan region...
Communism and Heroin are near inseparable when it comes to military actions in the third quarter of the 20th century... Heroin trade (generally backed by the CIA) funded many localized anti-Communist insurgent groups. The Democratic fight against Communism is a total fucking junkie.
History and example time... The oriental area of production of the 1900's via The French Connection was disrupted to the point of collapse by the rise to power of the communist party in China in the 1940's and trade between Asian markets and the U.S. ended completely as a result of trans-pacific trade collapsing due to the war against Japan in the 40's. A double whammy in the same decade to all the U.S. junkies thanks to Communism and Imperialism...
So after WWII, the Sicilians took over for a while... but where to grow those damn poppies? What was relatively close to Sicily's manufacturing labs? Oh yeah, the area later to be referred to as the Golden Crescent.
'Sup Afghanistan? You guys already grow this stuff, have an established trade route west, why not make bank by turning it into an even bigger export product?
Now, with the massive Asian proliferation of Communism following Stalinist Russia's defeat of Hitler in '45, (yup, they broke the Nazis, we (the U.S.) just kept them from defeating Britain and held them from capturing Africa and the entire Atlantic... no small feat, but hardly a 'victory.' We did kick the shit out of the Japanese Empire though. Russia just kept Japan out of their own back yard.) America's hard-on for hating the Communist threat of the 1930's was re-fluffed.
So first, the worlds greatest illegal drug-dealing operation headed to Indochina to trade guns & tactics for smack. And in the 60's and 70's the CIA helped establish the Golden Triangle in Burma, Laos, Thailand, & Vietnam with anti-Communist Chinese Nationalists... Meanwhile....
...In the same area, a little "hot" conflict was escalating in which the U.S. was busy poisoning and bombing the countryside to halt the advance of an idea of government south of the 17th parallel. This, led to hundreds of thousands of American G.I.'s fighting a long and arguably pointless war... and as the troops were stuck there some found out that when the pain and senselessness is too much to bare, sometime booze and grass just don't cut the mustard, however, there was something a bit stronger being manufactured in those dense jungles... Heroin.
And they brought their habitual chemical coping mechanism, being used to fund the shadow versions of the same fight that led them to have to cope in the first place, back to the States with them... Where the best local suppliers were usually getting it from two sources... Folks like Frank Lucas who were getting their dope from the Golden Triangle or the Mafia who were getting theirs from the Golden Crescent...
Now, a few years later, in 72, this hard drinkin' good livin' SOB of a Texan was elected as the 2nd District Representative to the House. Now it just so happens that I consider this man to have one of the truest moral compasses of government. To his credit are legislations such as The Safe Drinking Water Act, he fought to raise minimum wage, increase Medicare and Medicaid, for Veterans' rights, and he was pro-choice. Considering the base of his constituency was both women and African-Americans, Charlie Wilson was a legitimate defender of the "little guy."
It was same moral conscious that led him, in 1980, to use his pull as a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to allocate support for the Mujahidin so that they could fight the Soviet occupation of their homeland, Afghanistan. Over the 80's Congressman Wilson helped reallocate hundreds of millions of dollars to train and arm these "rebels" in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And with U.S. aid these fighters were able to integrate the technologically superior small arms with a hundreds of years old history of guerrilla fighting on native soil to bring the Soviet forces to a standstill, and ultimately crippling the U.S.S.R. finically (not that they were the only source of financial ruin, but you can see the parallel I'm making here to a similar war waged on an idea, say, terrorism).
So with Perestroika and the fall of the U.S.S.R., the legitimate "threat" of Communism was all but wiped of the face of the planet (sorry China, but you're such a mess that you were never much of a military threat... until lately). So, with Reagan's all but gift-wrapped & handed victory there... It was time to pick a new fight... but Communism was too politically identifiable a conceptual threat... Hmmm what did we have a ton of experience building and could arbitrarily "fight" for the sake of the military-industrial complex? Oh shit! Remember Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin? Now there is a guy who can pick a fucked-up fight, he gave us the Red Scare... Let's take another from his playbook, Marijuana, er; no… let’s just say DRUGS!!!
<< Never mind that we get our medicines from a place called a "drug store," if we fear monger enough, loudly and passionately enough the general God fearing American is so gullible that they will totally buy it! No all we need is a sick catch phrase... "Just Say No!" Bam. Packaged and sold... South America, Middle East here we come...>>
Combined with the lingering terror of a dictatorial state, the U.S. now had two fights that they could secretly back in order to combat each other...
...And add to that the largest known reserves of this nations true junkie fix... the new shadow wars were on!!!
So, the 70's, 80's, & 90's were spent wrapping up the Cold War and fighting Communism wherever we could find it, so we could install "friendly" dictators of our own. Who, in turn for the rule of a nation would keep the supply of oil flowing cheaply into our auto-mated veins... and when the Communist "threat" was in undeniable decline, the enemy of "drugs" was the next best scapegoat for our democratic, "peace"-loving brand of capitalist imperialism.
Now, I feel I should take a moment here. I am not opposed to this "democratic, "peace"-loving brand of capitalist imperialism," I just wish as the clear winners here we had enough balls to not have to lie to ourselves about this. It is the nature of living things, competition for resources. May the most intelligent, devious, underhanded bastard win! As Bill said, "The pen is mightier than the sword." But on occasion it does help to just shank a motherfucker in the gut and just have the discussion be over with. But I digress.
Back to the point... With the Internets and subsequent technology boom of the 90's added to the freewheeling "I didn't inhale" style of Slick Willie's the war on drugs could focus on the real bad guys; Coke & Heroin. So, off to the jungles of South America (where we were already) and to the western steppes of the Himalayas...
Now if there is one thing that history has taught the western world it is that no matter how big and hot and strong you think you are... DON'T FUCK WITH AFGHANISTAN! Every dumb cunt that has attacked and invaded those people since the 6th century has been whipped, beaten, and humiliatingly been sent home with what little of their tail remains tucked around their sore and bleeding balls! Come on!!!
I was 15 and stoned out of my mind when I first heard about the strikes to eradicate the poppy fields and change the government there, and even at that time I could've told you, dumb fucking idea guys... So, three years later - still stoned - it came as no surprise that some extremists got pissed enough to say "fuck you" back and used the training we gave them to fly a few planes into a few buildings... but then again, considering the evidence it was just another Pearl Harbor all over again... oops, digressing again...
So when ex-Generals like Stanley McChrysal say that the U.S. has only been in Afghanistan since 2001, they either don't know the history of the very conflict that they have been involved with for the past decade, or they have a political gun to their head to shut-the-fuck-up and spin this shit proper.
~Why can't I get a job with these idiots? I want health care too.~
We didn't win anything there. Just a bunch of shame, thousands of seriously disturbed young men who have been brainwashed through the rigors of military service (the number one complaint of vets trying to reintegrate to civilian service is that they cannot function without the "camaraderie" of the service, plus PTSD), oh, and a huge financial bill we cannot pay. We're still the number one consumer of drugs in the world, we just found a dealer much closer to home, Mexico. No people or religion we have demonized and oppressed hates us any less. And the bulk of the people in this country still have no clear idea about anything as their main sources of information come from one of two packs of mercilessly masturbatory lying fools. When we leave Afghanistan in 2014, very little over there will have changed, but here all we did was lose ground to stand on.