The next foreign policy decision Washington gets right will be a first
I was against the wars of choice in Afghanistan and Iraq from the outset. I said then that we no longer have theaters of war, we have suburban, mall-size, multiplexes of wars, none of which we should be in. And we never know when we are done because we have no clear objective.
Yet again, our politicians, military-industrial complex and Pentagon intelligentsia have come to find out that Afghanistan is not Kansas.
This week, and in much the same manner as Vietnam, the chaotic images of the United States military leaving another unnecessary war that we did not win should cause future generations to reflect on our role and our capacity. Afghanistan has been called the “Graveyard of Empires.” It essentially defeated the invasions of Great Britain, Russia and now the United States. I think the Taliban should get invited into the Southeastern Conference, just based on strength of schedule.
Considering the disorderly way the crime-ridden city of Atlanta is currently being run, maybe the Taliban could step in and bring some stability and order to that once great city.
Biden looked feckless in withdrawal and predictably blamed Bush and Trump. Then he put Afghanistan on the “honor system” so he could move on to fight fake domestic wars like the ones on white supremacists, global warming, and others like the “war on women,” “war on black men,” “war on the middle class,” “war on poverty,” “war on drugs,” etc. It’s easier to say you “won” fake wars. The only casualty in these fake wars is the truth.
I do not blame the honorable soldiers who fought. I blame a big, unaccountable, incompetent government morass for embroiling us in so many wars based on lies. From the false Gulf of Tonkin attack that got us into the quagmire in Vietnam to the Bay of Pigs; from the Shah of Iran to Iraq (lies about yellow cake and weapons of mass destruction); from Afghanistan (to get bin Laden) to Egypt, Libya and others, the USA just costs itself trillions and never makes the situation better or America safer.
And if you think that 15 years and trillions of dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan got bin Laden, you are wrong. We found him in his house in Pakistan.
What the USA really needs is someone who can keep order: a strong leader who can keep militant Muslims in line and the oil flowing, stabilize a country, make Shiites and Sunnis get along, keep the Iranians at bay and crack the whip when needed. We did have such a man, Saddam Hussein, but we hanged him a few years back.
Against all reason, America continues to meddle in other countries. In Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the basic error we made was believing that tribal “governments” and “local military” would fight beside us for our beliefs. These countries have people with values different from ours, and they are not going to fight like we did at Valley Forge or Normandy — for ideals. They are goons, thieves and religious zealots who steal our guns and equipment and run away at the first sight of the enemy.
This inept Biden administration handled the withdrawal as you might have expected: terribly. Just a couple of weeks ago Biden said the Afghan government would not fall. His administration’s idea of protecting the people in Kabul and other Afghan cities from the marauding rapist Taliban invaders is to make sure they are vaccinated and wearing masks.
Both Republicans and Democrats complained that Biden went on vacation in Delaware during this Taliban takeover. The GOP could not believe Biden would hide during this crisis, and elite liberals were appalled that Biden would vacation in Delaware.
It will give the Biden administration solace that, when the Taliban rolled into Kabul and the U.S. military fled, they found the Critical Race Theory and diversity training documents that our leadership left behind. Those materials will go a long way to inform the Taliban, and the world, just why we lost.
If there is a positive in all these wars of choice for us, it is that we run and abandon billions of dollars of military equipment in these countries, making them reliable customers for replacement parts.
Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author, and TV/radio commentator; you can reach him at [email protected] or Twitter @RonaldHart