… Imperial occupations inevitably end with the occupier forced to make an ignominious withdrawal, leaving little but death, anger and broken hearts to show for their presence.
Lessons are rarely learned, and rather than try to heal the incredible psychological trauma on the soldiers who fight these wars, Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone will ensure that history is rewritten to highlight the suffering of the brave soldiers who were betrayed by weak leaders who didn’t give them the tools to win.
Meanwhile, untold numbers of real soldiers suffer all sorts of physical and psychic trauma, bringing the violence back to the US in ways that ultimately will prove every bit as damaging as the 9/11 attacks. And back in Afghanistan/Pakistan/Yemen/Your Country Here, poor and brutalised peoples will once again scrape by their meagre lives, with not even the glimmer of hope that those who are most responsible for their unending suffering – from Western leaders and corporate managers to local politicians, warlords and religious zealots – will pay for all the harm they’ve caused. And in Damascus, Bashar and his military commanders will surely offer a toast of gratitude to the unhinged American soldier who reminded the world that man’s inhumanity knows no ethnic, religious or national boundaries – before resuming their own, far more deliberate slaughter.
Mark Levine is a distinguished visiting professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden and the author of the forthcoming book about the revolutions in the Arab world, The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh.
For more on this story, visit: Afghanistan: The dead just keep piling up – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.