“Thanks to our military and our allies and the brave fighters of Afghanistan, the Taliban regime is coming to an end.” – George W. Bush
I was 7 years old when the Vietnam war came to a humiliating end. The desperate image of US helicopters lifting off from the roof of the US embassy in Saigon were broadcast worldwide. Those same UH-1’s were then rolled off the deck of the USS Blue Ridge into the South China Sea to make room for more incoming aircraft as America, once again, threw massive amounts of tax dollars and lives at a cause without any thought of endgame or exit strategy.
Today, as Kabul falls, we’re treated to the same imagery, but this time we’re not even going down fighting. We’re turning it all over without a shot being fired. Not only that, we’re allowing massive amounts of serious ordnance to fall into the hands of the Taliban as we hastily retreat. This is happening so fast the Afghan president managed to leave first!
Warfare throughout the ages has had one simple truth: to the winner go the spoils.
That is, until the West decided to “play fair” in a world that does not.
We have reduced ourselves to ridiculous concepts of “winning hearts and minds”, “spreading democracy”, and funding the rebuilding of the infrastructure we blow up in order to hand it back to our “former” enemies when we’re done. On an individual level it’s like shooting your mugger and then paying for his medical bills and rent while he recovers.
I’m not so naive as to think anyone in charge actually cares about any of the indigenous peoples in Iraq or Afghanistan. As one who was a grown adult when 9/11 occurred, the idea of attacking Afghanistan when 15 of the 19 terrorists that day were Saudi, two were from the UAE, one was from Lebanon, and the last was from Egypt, seemed a bit off. Like someone at the Pentagon needed a better map.
When I mention how the Taliban instituted a poppy grow ban in 2000, but once the we had boots on the ground the tribal families had them replanted and under US military protection, I’m called a conspiracy theorist. Never mind that 6-months after the Afghan invasion there was a massive spike in domestic heroin usage.
And, let’s not forget that TAPI pipeline the Taliban wouldn’t negotiate for pre-9/11. It only took 20 years of occupation for that, with lots of political and corporate wrangling, to eventually be built. Of course, in those 20-years, geopolitics has taken a few turns, and what was once an objective may now be against the wishes of those who now hold power. [cough – China – cough]
By-the-way, why does everyone think Russia spent 9+ years in Afghanistan fighting their own Vietnam? And, how many under 30’s alive today even know Russia did that? And how many know Bin Laden was a CIA asset during the Russian-Afghan war?
But, let’s say I’m wrong. Let’s say America’s invasion of Afghanistan was never about money or corporate interests. Let’s say it really was about retaliation for 9/11 – where was it they found Bin Laden hiding, again? Pakistan, wasn’t it? Good thing we invaded Afghanistan! And if we really were trying to “win”, what does this say about the “greatest military in the world?”
Regardless of what any of us think is the cause, all we’re left with is the results.
Here’s the results: Billions spent, thousands of lives and limbs lost, and the Taliban now controls Afghanistan in its entirety while sitting armed and equipped better than ever before. No doubt, 10’s of thousands of Afghani citizens who assisted (or are simply accused of such) the US over the past two decades will be rounded up, tortured and executed, just as 30,000 Vietnamese were in the late 70’s.
Meanwhile, we have a president, JRB, that projects nothing but American weakness and appeasement to all who despise our nation. He’s on vacation right now, by-the-way.
We’re worse off than when we started, both internationally and domestically.
I can’t wait to see what happens next in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. And let’s not forget all those military aged, male “refugees” that have been flooding Europe of late.
I also noticed the domestic Islamic terror attacks seemed to drop off dramatically during the Trump administration. I wonder if that’s about to change? Something tells me all the recent European and Canadian churches burning are just an appetizer. And never mind that open Southern border of ours.
Hold on to your hats.
“Afghanistan—where empires go to die” – Mike Malloy