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For What, All These Wars?


"I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. ... I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies."

As President Obama sent this letter of apology to Hamid Karzai for the burning by U.S. troops of Qurans that were used to smuggle notes between Afghan prisoners, two U.S. soldiers were murdered in reprisal.

Saturday, a U.S. colonel and a major working in the Interior Ministry were shot dead by an Afghan protesting the desecration of the Islamic holy book. All U.S. officers have been pulled out of the ministries in Kabul.

Sunday, seven U.S. troops on base were wounded by a grenade.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. John Allen, commander in Afghanistan, have also offered their apologies.

Remarkable. After fighting for 10 years, investing $500 billion, and losing nearly 2,000 dead and many more wounded and maimed to save Afghanistan from a Taliban future, America is issuing apologies to the regime and people we are fighting and dying to defend?

And how has Obama's apology been received?

Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a member of Parliament, stood with 20 other members to declare, "Americans are invaders, and jihad against Americans is an obligation." He urged mullahs to "urge the people ... to wage war against Americans."

In what other war would we have tolerated this from an elected leader of a government we had sent an army of 100,000 to protect?

Undeniably, the soldiers who burned the Qurans blundered. Yet there is no evidence that it was malicious. If vandals desecrate a Bible in America, burning and replacing the holy book would not be regarded a valid excuse for mayhem and murder.

If Afghans cannot understand this mistake and have no other way to express their rage than rioting and ranting, "Death to America!" what kind of raw material are we working with in building a Western-style democracy in any foreseeable century?

Two pertinent questions needs to be put.

While keeping Afghanistan free of the Taliban is a desirable goal, what vital U.S. interest would be imperiled should the Taliban take over again, now that al-Qaida is largely gone?

What price in blood and billions should we expend on what appears a dubious enterprise at best — creating a pro-American democracy in a country that seems mired in some distant century?

It is time we took inventory of all of these wars we have fought since the Army of Desert Storm restored the emir of Kuwait to his throne.

That 1991 war was seen as a triumph of American arms and a model of the global cooperation to come in establishing the New World Order of George H.W.


But the savage sanctions we imposed on a defeated Iraq and the planting of U.S. bases on Saudi soil that is home to Mecca was a casus belli for Osama bin Laden. Ten years after the triumph of Bush I, he brought down the twin towers.

This atrocity caused us to plunge into Afghanistan to dump over the Taliban and eradicate or expel al-Qaida. We succeeded, then decided to stay on and build a nation. After 10 years, what have we accomplished to justify the immense price we have paid?

In 2003, George W. Bush, seeking to complete the work begun by his father, invaded Iraq. But Saddam had no role in 9/11 and was no threat to America. Iraq did not even have weapons of mass destruction.

Today, after eight years of war, 4,500 dead, 35,000 wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, the 15,000 Americans we left behind are largely holed up in the Green Zone, as Iraq descends into sectarian, civil and ethnic war.

What did it all profit us?

How goes Libya after the U.S.-NATO intervention to dethrone Moammar Gadhafi?

Here is the Rand Corp.'s Frederic Wehrey:

"A weak transitional government confronts armed militias. ... Defiant young men with heavy weapons control Libya's airports, harbors and oil installations. Tribes and smugglers rule desert areas south of the capital. Clashes among various militias for turf and political power rage. ...

"Libya teeters dangerously on the brink."

Now we see a push for intervention in Syria from Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman. That would make us allies of al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, all of which also seek the fall of Bashar al-Assad and the rise of a Sunni regime in Damascus.

But it is the clamor for a U.S. war on Iran that grows loudest.

But why, when the U.S. intelligence community still claims to have no hard evidence Iran has even decided to build a bomb?

Since Ronald Reagan went home, the United States has attacked or invaded Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, and Libya.

How have Americans benefited from all this war? How have the Chinese suffered these 20 years by not having been in on the action?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



7 Comments | Post Comment
I'm fed up with the media reporters, photographers, news media trying to evoke sympathy and US/World intervention for a region and a citizenry whose people are Muslim and follow and are ruled by Sharia law. Who, when they are not killing each other are talking about and killing Americans. I'm fed up with my tax $$ and our children fighting and dying on foreign soil for Muslims and Israelis when more than 1 million Christians were exterminated in 1994 and America and the world did nothing!

Where were we, American government, the American people, the UN, Europe, when the genocide of the Christian Tutsi's by the government of Rwanda was occurring? The majority of people in Rwanda both Hutu and Tutsi practice Christianity and Roman Catholic is the most dominant denomination. A minority of people are Muslims.
So where were we, Newt? You who feels we should protect Christians in the Middle East, Where were we and why do we only involve ourselves to helping the Muslim, Jewish cause?
Where was the concern and massive media coverage during the massive slaughter of Christians? Civilians slaughtered, tortured, hacked and raped by machete wielding Rwandan military and the Hutu militia.
From April to June: 10,000 murdered every day, 400 every hour, 7 every minute. Estimates were that between 250,000 and 500,000 Christian Rwandese women and girls had been raped. They sought refuge in their Christian churches where they were killed by the thousands.
Reportedly, 70% of all sexual assault victims in the Rwandan genocide are infected with HIV.

You say we didn't know?
in April 1994 a Hutu man with a guilty conscience high in the ranks of the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain de Parmehutu sent a fax to the United Nations and to the United States detailing the plans of genocide against the Tutsis that would take place shortly. The fax detailed where, against whom and with exact what materials the genocide would be carried out. The information was never dealt with. The media was nowhere to be found. The attempted genocide happened as planned.
Comment: #1
Posted by: demecra zydeem
Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:30 PM
Good article and so very true. No matter how much money and how many bodies we send over to the middle east, there will never be stability over there. This is not a war we can ever win.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:45 AM
That we have no business messing with the Middle East is true. However it is our dependence on the gasoline engine that causes us to be there. (Cars were originally electric, they should have left well enough alone. Also whatever happened to the Alaskan pipeline that was supposed to fix the problem?) To say that the act did not have a malicious intent is absurd, unless Mr. Buchanan can read minds. Anyone with a lick of sense should have known the reaction from a warrior/war-like people to burning their holy book. MAYBE most Americans would not have reacted this way to destruction of a Bible, but then again, maybe some would. Study your world history folks. Remember the Crusades? "Christians" went and slaughtered "heathens". What about more recent American history, what was done to the "heathen" Native Americans? Theirs is an ancient society that we probably will never understand. Are we not supposed to respect the beliefs of others? Much harm can be done in the name of religion. Read the seventh chapter of the book of Matthew.
Comment: #3
Posted by: MJ
Sat Mar 3, 2012 9:22 PM
Re: MJ

They are probably a buch of lazy mooches and as a collective not worth one Americans leg or arm. Thats what most of the sorry Iraqia where - LAZY MOOCHES ans wastes of time, money and lives.
Comment: #4
Posted by: SCOTT
Fri Mar 9, 2012 12:02 AM
Pat surely knows Osama had nothing to do with the bringing down of the twin towers so why does he spout this as factual. If it was an unknown enemy that had done that there would have been an in depth investigation to gather
proof rather then a coverup which is what would be expected if those in charge of an investigation were complicit
in the demolition and consequent enrichment of the Jewish owner, Larry Silverstein. So far as Afghanistan goes, they are there to protect the poppy fields for the lucrative drug trade which through money laundering by the large banking interests keeps them afloat. These wars against the Islamic nations is to install puppets as was done
to Iran with the Shah who was a tyrant to the people, with the object of placing them at the mercy of a central bank and introducing usury to enslave them as has been done with the western nations, thus bringing all under the
power of the integrated New World Order banking system, slavery that is unrecognizable to the slaves. We, the people need to demand that the treason against America ends and that we bring our men home as proposed by Ron Paul. A true statesman.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Jean
Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:27 AM
Re: demecra zydeem

Don't you think it is tome westerners stay out of those countries? How would feel if some foreigner bombed and killed your people? We are not defending them we are oppressing them.
If we gave a rats @ss about human rights Israel would have been invaded by American troops.
The third world countries know the the "west" is all about hypocrisy.
Comment: #6
Posted by: franz
Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:08 AM
Ralph Nader had it right in June 2004 when he said, 'The Puppets are in Washington D.C. and the Puppeteers are in Tel- Aviv. Republicanc and Commicrats disagree on everything but they al kiss Jew ass. This Jewish minority have gotten America involved in TWO WORLD WARS, ON THE WRONG SIDE. NUKE TEL-AVIV AND REMEMBER THE USS LIBERTY!
Comment: #7
Posted by: Johannes Pfaeffle
Sat Sep 8, 2012 11:57 AM
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