So now our president makes the argument that the war he inherited in Afghanistan and recently escalated is “a just war.” Who knew? We thought it was just war. Others thought it just ridiculous, or just tragic, just stupid or just too damned long. Now we are informed that this war is just “just.” Got it?

This war, when it started, made sense, since Afghanistan is the nation that provided a haven and a base of operations for the criminal terrorist gang al Qaeda that attacked America so devastatingly on September 11, 2001. The whole world was pretty much on board with this attack that was designed to kill and/or capture Osama bin Laden and the rest of his gang. By no stretch of anyone’s imagination is al Qaeda an army, or a militia, or anything other than a criminal gang, and the idea was to go in, get these bastards and get the hell out.

Any resistance put up by the government who hosted this gang would be crushed, and it was within a matter of weeks. For good measure we toppled their government, which as it turned out, was a huge mistake, since no one had a clue as to any alternatives. What happened was, the crazy instinct to build a mini-America out of Afghanistan kicked in, and all of a sudden the hunt for bin Laden and his gang was put on the back burner while the main energies were spent attempting to turn a bunch of tribal goat herders and opium salesmen into Utah East.

Then, less than two years into this war without a clear goal, President Bush The Younger attacked Iraq, a nation where there is actually something to steal; oil, making it a real war since the vast majority of wars are fought for spoils, no matter what any leader says is the reason. So Iraq’s armies were defeated in a matter of weeks and the big oil corporations proceeded to steal all the petroleum they possibly could, uncounted billions, perhaps trillions of dollars worth so far, no one really knows. So this war took precedence over the Afghanistan war, since in Afghanistan there are no spoils for the victor.

What about Osama bin Laden? Bush the younger admitted candidly that he spent no time thinking about him, which was not surprising since he spent almost no time at all thinking about anything. He had people to do that for him. Unfortunately for those seeking justice for their loved ones that bin Laden killed on 9/11, the people who did Bush’s thinking for him thought about very little but money, such as how to siphon vast fortunes from the American working classes to the very wealthy via tax laws, and how to siphon petroleum from Iraq. Within weeks of America’s invasion, every meter measuring how much oil was pumped from the ground or loaded on ships somehow got “broken.”

So the main war quickly became the Iraq war, with more cosmetic and futile efforts to create a democracy in yet another place where it never occurred to anyone to have a democracy. We even had the Iraqi people hang their leader for us to underscore our resolve to remake their nation, all the while pretty much wrecking the place at a cost of 5,000 American lives and an estimated 100,000 Iraqis killed, not exactly hearts-and-minds-winning activities.

Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, the feeble puppet government installed by America is useless, with the Afghani people pretty much giving their loyalties to their tribal leaders and warlords, just like they always have for their entire 5,000-plus year history. Osama bin Laden is still around somewhere, possibly across the street in Pakistan. And only now is his name is being mentioned in government circles once again, almost as an afterthought, even though he and his gang are the only reason we invaded Afghanistan in the first place.

Perhaps President Obama needed to invoke the bin Laden name to justify the “just war” label. The truth is that this war got away from us the moment we invaded Iraq to steal their oil. The Afghanistan war went from being a search and destroy mission to a nation-building comedy of errors, minus the comedy part since a lot of death and destruction is involved. While America claims to have killed dozens of “#2 men in al Qaeda” (an unenviable position to hold), the #1 man is still at large and the rest of our activities there are just war, war and more war in a war we won years ago when we annihilated their army.

But President Obama, like Richard Nixon before him, claims to want an “honorable peace.” In other words, how the hell do we get out of this stinking pile of dung smelling like a rose? That would be a nice trick, to kill or capture bin Laden and leave behind an Afghanistan that reminds everyone of America’s 51st state. It’s also impossible to roll in shit and not stink of shit, so maybe he should settle for just killing bin Laden and leaving Afghanistan to their own devices, with which they’ve managed to muddle along as a nation for as long as China and India have, like 20 times longer than America.

What sort of a nation they are is up to them, not us. As far as this whole “just war” idea, and the assertion that America is under direct threat from illiterate goat herders and opium growers? That’s just bullshit. He knows it, we know it and the world knows it. After all is said and done, it’s just war.

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