Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Afghanistan, America, and Rot

It has been about a week since the eruption of what my own notes summarize as “clueless, pointless national shoutfest about Afghanistan falling back to Taliban control almost instantly, and with basically no local resistance, even as US is still completing retreat.”

I feel like some kind of commentary is warranted, here, although I’m not sure how much I can say which is more important than the basic facts:

  • When I was 23 years old, the United States invaded Afghanistan—after a terrorist attack carried out mostly by Saudis and plotted by a leader eventually found holed-up in Pakistan.
  • I’m now 43 years old, and two decades’ sacrifice of lives and immense treasure have achieved absolutely no durable result in Afghanistan.

The setting of this extended fraud against basically my whole adult life kind of colors my perspective, and I completely support President Biden making the correct bad choice of pulling the plug on the occupation.

Beyond this I feel like the rest of what I can say mostly amounts to notes.

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Sanctimonious hypocrite in chief

“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” President Barack Obama declares on Friday. He is tired of the empty ritual of being consoler-in-chief after one mass shooting after another. It is not enough to express sympathies and bemoan as “tragic accidents” what are, in fact, the consistent outcome of intentional policy. That was yesterday.

Today, a Doctors Without Borders hospital is blown up in Afghanistan, with no one really suggesting any explanation besides U.S. airstrikes. Which are an entirely plausible explanation, as American bombs and missiles murdering people for no other reason than their being in the way is not unusual. It is, indeed, the consistent outcome of intentional policy.

The comment of the U.S. Embassy, which reports to President Barack Obama? “Doctors Without Borders performs terrific work throughout the world, including Afghanistan, and our thoughts and prayers are with their team at this difficult moment.”

The comment of U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who reports to President Barack Obama? “While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected.”

It would almost be funny if it weren’t sickening and plain evil.