Twenty Years of Nothing

Afghanistan shows what our government is really made of.

So the United States has been kicked out of Afghanistan, as were the Russians, British, Romans, and if legend be believed, Alexander the Great before.

Recriminations will be flowing for awhile, as our media flounders around seeking for a way to blame Republicans when there are no Republicans holding any national power whatsoever to be responsible for anything requiring leadership.  About all they can do is to blame a Republican, George W. Bush, for getting us into Afghanistan while hoping that everyone will forget the fact that Mr. Obama, he of halting the seas from rising, kept us there.

What old W had promised was in fact accomplished about the time he left office, namely, an Afghanistan not actively run by savage barbarians bent on world terrorism - and that's about the only vaguely possible goal in a medievally benighted place like that.  Even impossibly-Utopian W knew better than to imagine the Afghans were going to be converted into Swiss in two, twenty, two hundred, or two thousand years.  It was never going to happen; the terrain is just too rough, and the barbarism just too ingrained.

Decades ago, the Soviets fought with barbarity equal to the barbarity of the Afghans; that didn't work either.  We mainly threw dollars, which the Afghans gladly scooped up and then used for their own nefarious purposes entirely counter to our own.

Were there honest, decent Afghans who liked Americans and wanted to fight to make a decent country for themselves?  Likely so - but, either not enough of them, or they were not smart enough, and in any case they were fighting against a culture that militates against anything that could be described as modern, decent, just, fair, or free.

To but scratch the surface, we're now hearing that a major cause of the collapse is the utter corruption of what claimed to be the Afghan government and army; Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, reportedly carrying so much cash that his helicopter couldn't fly and he had to leave some of it behind, poor him.  We can readily imagine Hunter Biden doing this, but not even Sleepy Joe would be so infamously venal.

Even half a decade ago, the New York Times reported that, as their headline put it, "U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies."  How enthusiastic about defending pedophiles could you expect American soldiers to be?  How confident in their own generals, that tolerated vile abuse under their noses?  And, how competent an Afghan military that was suffused with such a debauched culture?

That's the problem: The enemy in Afghanistan wasn't the Taliban particularly, or the Afghan people, or the terrain, or the double-crossing Pakistani ISI secret services, or the amused Russians, though all those surely qualify as secondary opponents .  It was, in a word, Islam - the utterly barbaric, evil, inhuman wickedness that is in every way opposed to all that Americans would view as decent and right, unmitigated by the slightest shred of civilization, as it's practiced in Afghanistan in a way that would make a Saudi blush.

Are all Muslims debauched pedophiles? Of course not.  Do all Muslims demand that all women be permanently imprisoned in burkhas, never to leave their homes unaccompanied by armed male guards?  No.  Does every last Muslim dedicate his life to eradicating Jews and other infidels from his home, his country, and his world?  Certainly not.

But that's what the new leaders of Afghanistan have proclaimed as their goal.  What's worse, by their lack of sufficient desire to opposed them with armed force while they had the chance, that's what the rest of the bulk of the Afghan people have chosen as an acceptable outcome.

Yes, Joe Biden seems to have sabotaged the Afghan military, for reasons not entirely clear.  Fine: is their a shortage of guns and ammo rattling around the place?  Are the decent, freedom loving Afghans, if such there be, incapable of walking into the abandoned American bases and firing up a Humvee as the Taliban have done?

Gen. Petraeus claims that the Afghan Army was perfectly willing to fight, and perhaps they were, back when he was leading our forces.  But as Osama bin Laden famously observed, people want to back the strong horse not the weak one, and they don't come any weaker than our current Commander-in-Thief.  Afghanistan itself doesn't appear to have the capability of generating leaders for good, only evil, and when we stopped providing good leadership, that's what was left.

Do we thus condemn Joe's decision to exit the field?  Not really: the entire nation of Afghanistan is not worth a single drop of American blood.  It wasn't twenty years ago; it wasn't when Mr. Obama was president, or Mr. Trump, and it is not now.

Joe Biden's total incompetence and corruption is indeed on full display, but not because he's leaving Afghanistan - we should have done that long ago, and failing that, today is the best day for it.  Our beef with him is simply the contempt he shows for the Americans and other allies risking their lives there, by not lifting a finger to make any arrangements to get them to safety in advance of pulling a bunk.  That is despicable and contemptible, but what more could we expect from the man who famously has been wrong on every foreign policy subject for forty years?

If Joe Biden had any decency or honor - hah! - he'd resign immediately and slink off into richly-deserved obscurity, as Donald Trump has called for him to do.  That'll never happen.

Charges of impeachment have been filed against him, and if the Democrat party had any decency, honor, or even felt the need to remain competitive in free and fair elections characterized by free speech - double hah! - they'd pile on to remove their lasting shame before the damage gets any worse.  Again, that'll never happen.

It's not just Biden though - any decent or honorable American general worthy of his uniform would have resigned before obeying orders to abandon our own citizens this way, and and decent administration would summarily sack the Pentagon leadership that executed such a disastrous "plan", if it even deserves that word.  Once again, neither are even being discussed, thus demonstrating what we've been quickly coming to fear - our entire institutional infrastructure is utterly corrupt and rotten down as far as we can see.  The serving soldiers at the bottom may well be the lions they've always been, but they're led by jackasses if not something worse.

If we ever again are blessed with a reformist administration that actually loves this country, a Day 1 job must be the immediate sacking and forcible retirement of every single military officer of three or more stars or the equivalent, and a deep-dive investigation into the rest of the military leadership with an emphasis on successful field-command experience, with desk-jockey and political years being a powerful negative.

We pity the poor innocent Afghans who are about to suffer the degradation of a medieval barbarism that the civilized world left centuries ago - all, what, couple dozen of them that there might be.  For the est, they aren't worth the cost of the atomic bombs required to nuke them back into the Stone Age, not that anyone would even notice the difference.

We wish the Taliban every speed and advantage in destroying every last shred of Western technology, ideally starting with the airport and telecoms, for, save the odd rounding error, there is nothing and nobody in Afghanistan that should have any part or presence anywhere in the civilized world.  Unfortunately, what's far more likely is that the Chinese will buy it all - which, considering the sums they've showered on the Biden crime family, may have been the plan all along.

Yes, the Afghans will shortly be getting the government they mostly deserve - anyone willing to ignominiously lose their life clinging to a jet landing gear to try to escape their country, should be willing to gloriously risk wielding a firearm to save it.  They apparently weren't - and, it looks like, we aren't either.

Maybe Caesar Joe, Fascist Fauci, and Roundheel Harris really are the government we deserve?  There's precious little evidence to the contrary.  How long before we have our own version of the Taliban closing restaurants and places of public worship, forcing people to wear clothes they don't want to, confiscating private property... oh, wait...

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments

Wow! I NEVER thought to see that acknowledged in print! Yes, ISLAM is the very enemy, not just in Afghanistan, but in our world, from its deity, whose description in the Quran (in terms of character & nature), exactly matches that of the person in the Jewish & Christian holy books [Tanach & Bible] known as Lucifer & Satan), to its teachings & expectations of its adherents. It is truly most like a cancer in an human body, metastasizing, consuming, cells never maturing or producing, & eventually killing its host. So is Islam to humanity.
That said, we have Trump's folly in thinking he could negotiate with the Taliban, which he started last summer.

August 17, 2021 10:06 PM

@Shadra Lee Smith - Mr. T. will talk to anyone, even Mr. Kim. The question is how the interaction turns out. Since he pointed out repeatedly in a number of mean Tweets that Mr. Obama and then VP Biden were total twits to let ISIS capture so much American military equipment, it is TOTALLY CERTAIN that he would have ordered the military to destroy whatever they couldn't bring back.

Mr. rump thought that we had the best military in the world which would know how to disengage from Afghanistan, and there was a time that we did. The problem is that since we can't be certain that the military still knows how to extract our people and weapons. Mr. Obama fired a lot of officers who knew how to fight and replaced them with woketivists. You'll note that as soon ad the Commander in Thief took over, CRT sprouted throughout the military.

I'm concerned about that because we learned shortly before the Big Steal that the army had refused to draw back from Syria as Mr. Trump had ordered.

On top of that, the ground-pounders tend to vote Republican which is why Democrats shortchange the VA and soldiers' pay.

These sites have pictures showing just how badly we've been routed. I HOPE it was because Mr. Biden ordered them to retreat chaotically. Since I don't think Mr. Biden is coherent enough to order anything more than "get out," I FEAR that this is the best we can now do given our debased military.

Watch and weep:

August 17, 2021 10:45 PM

On thinking about it, the Afghan army could have plundered weapons from the stuff our idiotic Commander in Thief left behind, why didn't they?

Having observed US-style freedom, sort of, they didn't decide it was worth fighting for, even thought most of them KNEW what the Taliban were all about.

We have gun owners who TALK about it. I wonder what will happen if the rubber meets the road?

Or should we say "when?"

August 19, 2021 4:52 AM

They didn't have to confiscate anything, it was GIVEN to them!

August 19, 2021 9:52 AM

You're right about Mr. Obama purging all the apolitical military officers - the rot is spreading:

Exclusive: Space Force Officer, Punished After Denouncing Marxism, to Leave Military

The Space Force officer who was removed from his command post for condemning Marxism and critical race theory is leaving the military.

Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier told The Epoch Times' "American Thought Leaders" that his last day in the service will be Sept. 1.

"I wrote a letter to then-Acting Secretary of the Air Force explaining certain circumstances, which I don't plan to make public, but also requesting an early retirement, and a separation honorably from the service," he said. "And they've denied me an early retirement, but agreed that they would separate me. And so my family and I have decided that that's the best course of action for us right now, given the circumstances."

"I believe I'm able to continue serving my country outside of the service and out of uniform, perhaps in a better way than I was able to, given the circumstances, in uniform at the moment."

August 19, 2021 4:03 PM

Yes, I saw that story too. Disturbing, but no surprise, really.

August 20, 2021 12:13 AM

The pattern is becoming clear - Mr. Obama and the Democrats REALLY ARE trying to destroy America Their mess-ups are deliberate.

The Afghanistan Debacle is Exactly What the Left Wanted

Simply put, the left thinks America is not only evil but irredeemably so. Hence, any policy, be it foreign or domestic, that weakens our nation-state should be pursued, the goal being that the nation-state will eventually corrode to the point of collapse. They don't care that the hollowed-out dystopia will be long past its desirability for subjugation, so long as they get to be in charge. As Lord Varys said of Littlefinger, "He would see this country burn if he could be king of the ashes".

What started with Woodrow Wilson finally came into full force and in open view under Obama. Every time he could, Obama favored strict Islamist regimes over Western-friendly governments. Whenever overseas pro-democracy demonstrators flew American flags, Obama reflexively sided with their oppressors. He removed sanctions from Cuba and Iran and asked for nothing in return. The JCPOA, the Paris Accords, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership were specifically designed to weaken American power behind the flimsy guise of noble causes.

What would strike the neutral observer as unabashed idiocy comes across as cold, deliberate Machiavellianism to anyone reading between the lines of Obama's head swivel speeches. Obama is a mechanical Leftist, harboring the paint-by-number faculty lounge dictums of America as a negative historical force. Hence, almost every action he took was to weaken that force. Through this lens, one can see the pattern clearly, and his actions make perfect sense.

Obama is too arrogant for his own good, and his governance was rooted in yard sign aphorisms rather than any real understanding of how the world works. But one can't deny his strategy was both coherent and effective.

One can't say the same of Joe Biden, that moth-eaten sock puppet who, to paraphrase Billy Bob Thornton from Bad Santa, doesn't know his ass from last Tuesday. The man is an unparalleled moron, used lackadaisically as a mouthpiece by the ventriloquists behind the throne when they need to convey the message, "We know this clown wasn't our first or tenth choice for mascot, but he's a company man through and through, and he'll do exactly what we tell him to do so long as the ice cream keeps coming". Biden can't be pro-American or anti-American or anything in between because he lacks the capacity to formulate a value system necessary to organize and prioritize such concepts.

Not so for every bureaucrat underneath him who was at best complicit, at worst a willing executioner, of his disastrous Afghanistan pullout. The same fool-me-once suspicion that Americans apply to the supposed 99.99998% of FBI field agents who, we are assured, are disgusted at their "few bad apples" who tried to overthrow a presidential election...yet from whose noble ranks emerged not a single whistleblower...should now be applied with equal force to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon employs 26,000 people, and from September 12, 2001, to August 15, 2021, not one of them alerted the American public. theoretically, the people they claim to serve. that our beribboned parade generals were doing little more than throwing darts at a flowchart to decide what our Afghan strategy should be. Indeed, the only "whistleblower" during that time was ol' Porkchop Vindman, who "came forward" not with evidence of any actual wrongdoing, but with the opinion that, as an unelected mid-level drone whose foremost duty was to carry out the orders of the commander-in-chief, he himself should dictate Ukraine policy.


August 20, 2021 4:48 PM

@Jamie: I'm a veteran of the Vietnam era, & I grew up on the same island, at the same time as Trump did. Have been aware of his family since then, as his dad was prominent back then, politically & socially. I kept loosely aware ofhisdealings including several debacles, & did not vote for him, because I didn't trust him to not to do with America as he did with those partners.
That said, he actually did a better job than expected. But he made a number of truly disastrous decisions, of which trying to negotiate with the Taliban was 1. His negotiations with Kim did garner some positive results, strange as it seems, but Biden has trashed those.
These days, as under O, our military spend far too much time on social experiments & too little on military training, unit cohesion, & the necessary skills to DO the job for which they are hired. The purged officers & NCOs were, unfortunately, ones who bucked the sick agenda being shoved down our throats, & whose loyalty was to the CONSTITUTION, not the office or person of POTUS, 1st, as per their oaths. Those O left were NOT so oriented, hence the rebellion.
I guess you're not old enough or weren't aware enough at the time... To me, that was like seeing the rerun of Saigon '75, right down to the setting itself (the bldgs were virtually identical in the shot with the chopper landing on a roof). The chaos, the people clinging to aircraft, jamming into them to the point of risky overloading, the desperate mothers trying to get their children out, all of it lokked all too familiar to me, & I'm sure to other vets of my age. I seriously doubt that was ordered this time anymore than that time. Our "leaders" didn't even learn from out assistance during the Afghani war against the USSR in the '80s; we armed them thentoo, & soon after we left them w/ those weapons, they were turned against us. Reaalistically, I would expect the same thing again. As this article states, ISLAM is the enemy here; it can't be negotiated with, will not be, or become, "reasonable", anymore than a cancer in your body; either you kill it, or it kills you. No other possible outcomes.

August 20, 2021 5:04 PM

You really are tuned in; excellent comment!

August 21, 2021 1:55 AM

Here's a comment from the NY Post, the paper that documented the first Hunter Biden laptop:

Foreign desk: Did Gender Studies Cause Rout?

At The Spectator World, the pseudonymous Cockburn wonders - only half-jokingly - if "gender studies" caused America "to suffer its most humiliating defeat ever" in Afghanistan. US government reports say "$787 mill­­ion was spent on gender programs" there, though "that substantially understates the actual total, since gender goals were folded into practically every undertaking." One report cites the difficulties, such as the fact that there's no word for "gender" in Dari or Pashto. And a 10 per­cent female-participation quota in the Afghan legislature's lower house might have made sense "in a Marvel movie, but didn't to devout Muslims." Even as America "built an Afghan army that ended up collapsing in days, and a police force whose members frequently became highwaymen, it always made sure to execute its gender goals."

August 24, 2021 12:11 AM

I would say it's at least in part responsible, as is the refusal of American " leadership's" refusal to understand & act on the TRUTH about Islam itself, not tomention how it impacts its practitioners. Neither our, nor Afghan's, military was as "battle ready" as they should've been, because so much time was wasted in those "social engineering" studies.

August 24, 2021 6:21 PM

Just goes to show you can't govern for somebody else. That you can't fight for somebody else. That you can't maintain peace and do well for others. The afghans have to do it themselves. And it doesn't matter what excuses they use, at the end of the day they simply can't maintain a civilized society. Just can't. That's their fault and they will sleep in the same shit they creates for themselves.

September 4, 2021 5:46 AM

Well put & quite accurate. We can teach a better way, but not learn it for them, let alone make them use it.

September 4, 2021 4:28 PM
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