No later than 2pm ET on September 11, 2001, America should have nuked Afghanistan

The only good thing to come out of everyone’s refusal to take that advice of mine is that you get to read Mark Steyn’s ongoing reflections on the mess we’re in:

The Allies bombed Dresden and nuked Hiroshima in order to shatter not German and Japanese buildings but German and Japanese will. But that was long ago. America hasn’t nuked anyone in two-thirds of a century. It hasn’t tested a nuke in over 20 years. And whatever deterrent effect such awesome firepower might have had on the Soviet Union, it doesn’t seem to have any on inbred goatherds with fertilizer or any of the other enemies we’re actually fighting. They seem to grasp a central truth — that, behind the nukes and the cruise missiles and the body armor, we don’t mean it. And they do.

If we can’t subjugate the opposing will, we do a pretty good job of subjugating our own. America wages war like the world’s biggest NGO — a do-gooding non-profit for which armed conflict is not the sharp end of a nation-state’s interest but an act of global stewardship. It’s war as the ultimate NPR pledge drive: Your thoughtful pledge of $12 billion will open a schoolhouse in Kandahar and a women’s-health clinic in Shah Joy and provide everyone therein with a copy of Three Cups of Tea. Six months after the last NATO soldier leaves, there will be no women at the women’s-health clinic and no schoolgirls at the schoolhouse. We came, we spent, we left no trace.

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