Sunday, September 11, 2011

The legacy

Ten years after the destruction of the twin towers, perhaps the most telling legacy and symbol of the decline of the West remains Afghanistan. With half a trillion dollars spent, the country is still one of the poorest in the world, and no closer to being stable and peaceful than it was on 9/11.

"The foreigners are here for their own benefit. They came here by force and they will leave here by force", says Sayed Mujtaba Mahmoddi, a Kabul university student. "Afghanistan has developed a lot during the past years, but the development does not match the money spent. So I think the international Mafia, together with the Afghan government, spent all this money improperly".

For the nearly $450 billion Congress estimates the US alone has spent waging war there, every Afghan man, woman and child could have been handed $15,000. That sum is ten years' earnings for an average Afghan, according to UN estimates.

Life expectancy is under 45 years, and around a quarter of children don't even live to see their fifth birthday. Even for those who survive, expectations are low.

And that is but a tiny fraction of the litany of woes affecting that benighted country. The people who died on 9/11 and the many thereafter deserved a better legacy. So do we. But as always, our masters are good at taking our money. They are considerably less good at delivering value and even less good at furnishing a proper legacy for those who die in the name of freedom.