The war in Iraq is not the only issue on which President Bush’s words diverge wildly from reality. It’s been well over a year since President Bush summarily announced that the Taliban had been “put out of business forever.” It’s been well over a year since President Bush addressed an assemblage of military personnel and their families, telling them that “the Taliban is history.” He repeatedly pushes the notion that “Afghanistan is a world away from the nightmare of the Taliban.”
His continued mischaracterizations of our half-forgotten war are absolutely maddening when one reads today’s story on how U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan have been caught completely off guard:
When Spec. Nick Conlon and the other members of his infantry battalion learned they would be deployed to the Afghan province of Zabol this spring, many expected their worst enemy to be boredom. In preparation, Conlon stocked up on more than 20 DVDs, such as “Alien vs. Predator,” “X-Men” and “Daredevil.”
But in the three months since the battalion set up camp in this isolated, mountainous region of southeastern Afghanistan, Conlon has not had time to watch a single movie. Instead, the battalion has found itself at the center of a heated though somewhat forgotten war that is still underway 3 1/2 years after the extremist Taliban militia was ousted from power.
“I thought the Taliban had fallen,” Conlon marveled recently. “I thought this was going to be a peacekeeping mission.”
Yes, the American people back at home deserve the truth. But for our soldiers on the front lines, it is an issue of life or death.