I am angry. I can't bear to witness or read about the tragic collapse in Afghanistan, yet it is impossible to turn away. In the military, we had a vulgar term used to describe chaos such as this. It is a CLUSTERF**K.
After spending twenty years, trillions of dollars, and too many lives lost, this is how it ends? It was my understanding we went there for Bin Laden. We entered the country with the almost full support of the American people. We wanted Bin Laden, and we wanted some payback for 9/11. Then it turned into more. I remember reading how our military had him trapped, surrounded in those rugged mountains, only to hold back to allow the Afghans to go in and get him. He suspiciously and miraculously escaped. Eventually, we located and got him, conveniently harbored in a safe-house in Pakistan, our supposed ally. We saw similar occurrences in Vietnam. That is for another story.
I am not an expert on the region, but I do wonder if any of our leadership ever cracks open a history book? Did we pay attention to what happened to the Soviets during their nine years there? We are now witnessing the aftermath of our extended campaign. We diverted resources to create more havoc in Iraq. We went in with faulty intelligence, and I think most would agree that then President Bush was a bit hasty with the "Mission Accomplished." That is, unless the mission was to create chaos. If so, it is a resounding success.
Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex, and he was right. Pro-war politicians and pro-war military contractors get rich off these "splendid little wars," and will keep us fighting them...even for twenty years. They made millions, and how about the millions allegedly stuffed into the bags of fleeing Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani? The corruption is sickening, and it is always the same. Right now, our veterans are questioning what was it all for? Just as those of us who served tours in Vietnam, and saw friends maimed or killed, asked the same question when Vietnam fell.
Make no mistake, the Taliban will send Afghanistan back to the fourteenth century and women and children will suffer. I hope we are able to evacuate our friends and all who want to leave. My heart hurts to think we will not. Blame Biden if you must, but I suggest digging a little deeper. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others...all of those salivating for war in our supersized military complex. Remember also, it was under Trump that troop sizes were drastically reduced. It was under Trump a deal was made with the Taliban, which they predictably violated starting day one. It was under Trump that 5,000 fighters were released from prison. Do you think they immediately rejoined the fight? It was Trump who refused the briefings to Biden during the transition. Remember that?
Could we have planned the exit better? Certainly. It was doomed to be messy and here we are. For me, I have questions about Trump, Pompeo, and others that probably will never be answered. To all Americans I say be aware. As you read this, eyes are on the next conflict. When and where will it be? Who knows? Maybe Venezuela, or Iran. But there will be a justification to go...politicians and press will propagandize why it is necessary. There is money to be made. The next CLUSTERF**K.
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