Accepting a terrifying reality


Members of the American10th Mountain Division crawl through matted grass to take up positions above a string of tiny Afghan hamlets in Loya Gorigah.

The government agency whose officers once detained a man for wearing Google Glass in a theatre is at it again. The Department of Homeland Security recently proposed a national license plate tracking system and then dropped the idea a few days later, according to The Washington Post. This got me thinking about the ‘War on Terrorism’ that enabled insane and scary ideas like that to be taken seriously. 

Like Vietnam, the War on Terrorism ruined many lives and was an utter failure for the United States. This poor conflict has not benefitted mankind.

In Afghanistan, things are no better than they were before the U.S. led invasion in 2001.

The government is still corrupt and horrifically hostile to women, gay people, and religious and ethnic minorities. Amazingly, U.S. government officials also seem to think the $4 trillion spent on aid and infrastructure in that nation was not worth it.

America’s 16 spy agencies believe that gains made in Afghanistan will be eroded by 2017, according to a December 2013 National Intelligence Estimate. That is sad to think, and especially when we realize we spent 10 years in Afghanistan and have achieved close to nothing. To paraphrase British journalist Ben Anderson, the coalition is not leaving because they finished the job, they are leaving because they are beaten, broken and tired.

In Iraq, things are even worse. Yes, Saddam Hussein was a terrible scumbag of a human being. However, his forced removal from power had grave ramifications for the region. Mainly, it put a majority Shiite government in charge of Iraq.

As a result, that so-called ally of the United States has become a de-facto proxy state of Iran. Recently, the U.S. has done a lot for the rogue regime abusing that nation.

In July 2012, President Obama issued sanctions on Iraqi-owned banks that were helping Iran maneuver around sanctions on its nuclear program, according to The New York Times.

In September 2012, Reuters broke the news that Iran was shipping arms to the Syrian regime by flying through Iraqi airspace.

That is a far cry from George W. Bush’s vision for the middle-eastern nation. In the future, America needs to avoid these destructive and unwinnable conflicts. We failed in Afghanistan, and we failed in Iraq.

Much like former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, I too would say that an American President needs a psychiatric evaluation if they want to send in a large U.S. military land force to occupy any Central Asian nation in the future.

Although I have come to realize that America has lost this conflict, our leaders have not. The foreseeable future does not belong to smart and logical men like me, and the shadow wars will continue, and secret drone bases in Saudi Arabia will continue to exist. I’m sure our children will be proud of us.

-Evan Pretzer is a junior communication major from from Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.