How to End a War

By JAMES RISEN
Published: June 13, 2010

WASHINGTON β€” The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials. …

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html?src=me&ref=general

Find something else to do.

Besides kill each other I mean.

Developing the mining industry will give people something to do that will put food on their tables and a roof over their heads.

Something to do besides swell the ranks of the local warlord’s militia and shoot at one another over who gets to claim the biggest penis.

Afghanistan has been at war for thousands of years, since before Alexander the Great marched through.

Armies have used and abused it’s lands and peoples for so long that those left standing have become some of the hardest, meanest, most feared warriors the earth has ever known.

They are holding the United States of America at bay in a war of what we had seen as our national honor.

We did not invade them as an act of conquest, for lands or riches.

We went there because of the Taliban, and what they were doing to actively help al Queda plan and fund the destruction and death of the U.S. and her citizens.

But we went with too little, and we got sidetracked in the middle, until weary of the loss of our sons and daughters we have lost sight of why we went there in the first place.

We forgot the feelings we had the day the two towers fell.

We forgot the wretched knot in our gut that bound us together as a nation again, and went about our daily lives as if we were all American Idols.

If you think that’s harsh, look at how quickly we’re losing interest with the fact that BP is (not so) slowly bleeding death into the oceans of the world, yet the Hummers still keep toolin’ down the motorway, don’t they?

Media Glare will wear thin our ability to focus on the problem and soon we’ll look up in wonder as they tell us it’s been two years since the leak started, and the last live fish has been caught and consumed by some ultra wealthy individual who paid millions for it.

When surfing is no longer an option.

And offshore oil production is now done with skimmers as a matter of course, not an emergency.

But I digress.

Afghanistan now stands to become a partner in the world’s economy, not a bit part player in it’s tendencies of aggression.

The cycle of war and misery can more often than not be tied to poverty and hopelessness.

Give people something productive to do, and they are far less interested in blowing themselves and/or others up.

Give them a means to provide for a family and they will figure out that shooting at the guys from the next village or hamlet isn’t really in anyone’s best interest, regardless of what some fanatic says.

Give them the means to create a real economy and roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, markets, homes and society of the normal human condition will follow.

This should be our exit strategy.

This is everyone’s way out.

This will prevent the Taliban from ever taking over again.

No one will be interested in anything the Taliban has to say if feeding and housing their families is possible by other means.

No one will see Allah as a vengeful God, if there is nothing to be vengeful for.

Well fed people are not looking for vengeance or retribution.

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