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John at Power Line asks the question. And the answer is a resounding HELL YES!
In fact, it’s waaaaaaaay past time to get out of that hellhole and let the savages have it back. John thinks so, too:
I think it is. In the aftermath of September 11, we had no choice but to overthrow the Taliban, destroy al Qaeda’s training centers and kill and scatter as many al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists as possible. We did that, brilliantly. Bin Laden escaped by the skin of his teeth, but al Qaeda has never recovered from that initial devastation.
Since then, for going on nine years, we have pursued a somewhat half-hearted peacekeeping/democracy policy in Afghanistan. The Bush administration was right, I think, not to devote excessive resources to Afghanistan, which is virtually without strategic significance compared with countries like Iran, Iraq and Egypt. Moreover, the country’s human natural and human raw material could hardly be less promising.
Afghans are not just living in an earlier century; they are living in an earlier millenium. Their poverty, cultural backwardness and geographic isolation–roads verge on the nonexistent–are hard for us to fathom. They are a tribal society run by pederasts whose main industry is growing poppies. If our security hinges on turning this place into a reasonably modern, functioning country, we are in deep trouble. But I don’t think it does; and, in any event, I don’t think we can do it.