Which may have been the reason all along. The search for Osama bin Laden is a long-abandoned ruse. Freeing women from the burqa has come and gone as a justification for war. Ditto for sending girls to school. Lately it has simply been "defeating the Taliban," and "creating security."
In other words, we're there, and the reason is we're us, and we can be wherever we want. We have the money, we have the men, and we have the guns.
At least that was the way it was supposed to work. In today's Morning Edition on NPR, it was pointed out that it is one thing to discover great potential wealth. It is another thing to turn that potential into actual wealth. "Afghanistan" has no mining industry, a weak infrastructure of roads, no railroad, no developed seaport, and an unforgiving mountain terrain. It also has a weak and corrupt government, and no social infrastructure for anything beyond its opium economy. Good luck with the dreams of boundless riches.
For all the plans for glory, the descent into the evils of invasion, murder, kidnapping, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and wasting of a trillion dollars of our treasury, we have nothing to show for the grand dream.
Have we learned anything? Not yet. As Johan Galtung, founder of the academic field of Peace and Conflict Studies put it in an interview aired on today's Democracy Now, we are likely to continue to make bad decisions until we become completely irrelevant.
There's not much else to say about this. We have a government and its corporate sponsors that are stuck in inertia, unable to break free of past habits. It's pure Newtonian Physics. This inertia will last until acted upon by "outside" forces.
At least outside in terms of the egos of the inert people involved. As we are seeing with the BP oil spill, the economy, the melting polar ice caps, the weather disturbances, and, last but not least, our failing efforts in "Iraq" and "Afghanistan," the "outside" forces are quite close to our daily lives.
As these outside forces to the egos of our ruling elite continue to synergistically act, they become, in effect, one big immovable force. Bigger by far than the inert ruling elite. It will break, and relatively soon. It doesn't need to be overthrown. It will overthrow itself. The revolution, which may or may not be televised, will be a self-immolation.
Here's a video to watch. Then, the iconic "rap" of so long ago.
The Beatles have a slightly different view. This is the more familiar version.
The Rolling Stones have a similar view.
Tracy Chapman varies on the theme thusly. Learn to play it here.
Here's the Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock.
The Four non blondes had their one hit with this song, a great one.
I summed up a presentation to an Economics seminar with this song when I was in graduate school. One professor stormed out in anger and disgust. It worked.