Goodbye, Afghanistan


We stayed in Afghanistan so long, that political cartoonists can spell “Afghanistan” without looking it up. Probably.

A friend of mine is one of those far-left liberals, that in his eyes, liberal Democrats are the same as Republicans. Nothing is ever good enough and even though he’s nearly 60 years old, he’s as immature as an 18-year-old Bernie Bro. He went from claiming that Bernie Sanders was the only one who could beat Trump to the claim Bernie would have beaten Trump by a larger margin than Biden did…and he never predicted Trump would beat Biden. Yeah, he’s also a narcissist who works for Sputnik.

My friend has been consistent in one regard and that is he never supported the war in Afghanistan. He’s been demanding that we leave that nation since we got in. Today, we’re not leaving fast enough.

President Joe Biden has ordered a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. There aren’t that many left as Donald Trump has withdrawn it down to 2,500. Europe has more troops in Afghanistan than we do now, and they’ll be leaving too.

The date to get out has been symbolically marked for September 11, 2021. That’s the date we’ll be gone. The evacuation begins May 1. There is criticism that we’re leaving the nation vulnerable to be taken over by the Taliban again.

While I opposed the invasion of Iraq from the moment the idea was floated, I was in favor of invading Afghanistan. I was in favor of wiping out an enemy who had attacked us. Al Qaida was given sanctuary in that nation and that nation’s government allowed them to use it as a base for terrorism. The attack on our nation on 9/11 was not al Qaida’s first attack on the United States from Afghanistan. We had a responsibility to protect ourselves and that meant taking out the people who attacked us and the people who enabled it.

Afghanistan used to be an example in the newspaper industry for covering more local topics. Editors would explain that readers care more about downtown than Afghanistan. Then airplanes started flying into American buildings and everybody had a major stake in what was going on in Afghanistan.

Most issues are more complex and are not simply black and white. While we need to defend ourselves from terrorists, we need to understand why terrorists hate us. We can’t just go in with guns blazing without asking how we got here. Too many times in our history, going in fighting is all we did.

My Bernie Bro friend said yesterday that anyone who supported the invasion of Afghanistan should never speak again. That’s how he’d like it. But then again, he’s paid by Russia for what he says. While I was in favor of wiping out al Qaida and the Taliban, I was not in favor of a 20-year occupation of Afghanistan. I’m not in favor of nation building.

Our mission was accomplished in Afghanistan. Today, al Qaida is a shell of its former self, Osama bin Laden is dead, and the Taliban is not in power. Will the Taliban be able to come back now that there will no longer be a foreign presence? Maybe, but after 20 years, what else are we to do? The Taliban is like MAGA. Those people are indoctrinated and will never change. They’re too far gone. They justify hate and terrorism with their religion.

I have another friend and his name is Gary. I haven’t spoken to him in years because of time, age, he got married and had a child, people stop going to the places they used to go, etc, etc. But Gary was a military contractor. He may still be, but for a while, he was going back and forth to Afghanistan…and he loved it. He stopped going because his fiancée at the time wanted him to stop. Being a good guy, he did. But what did he love about working in Afghanistan? Mostly, he loved the money. Gary made big money being a military contractor. And that’s why we were there for 20 years. The military industrial complex demanded we stay in Afghanistan for 20 years.

We invaded Afghanistan to protect our nation but the defense industry made us stay. The defense industry got us into Iraq. The defense industry is richer today while we’re still paying off the debt for those two wars. We’ll never get back the lives or limbs lost in those two wars.

The argument for staying is that the Taliban will come back, the current government can’t defend it, it’s not modernized yet, etc. President Biden said, “We gave that argument a decade. It’s never proved effective.” We gave it two decades. Ten years was too long.

President Biden also said, “American troops shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip between warring parties in other countries. You know, that’s nothing more than a recipe for keeping American troops in Afghanistan indefinitely.”

We are supposed to learn from history. We didn’t learn from Vietnam not to stay in indefinite wars. We didn’t learn from the British or Russian history with Afghanistan. We stayed in Afghanistan longer than the Soviet Union did. We suck at history.

It’s time to come home.

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  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Yep, it’s time … “We are supposed to learn from history. We didn’t learn from Vietnam not to stay in indefinite wars. We didn’t learn from the British or Russian history with Afghanistan. We stayed in Afghanistan longer than the Soviet Union did. We suck at history.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I disagree with 50% of what you say. Starting with calling your far left buddy immature, and not grown up. If ever you grow up politically, you will realize Socialism IS the only way to govern nations in today’s world. I guess if you knew me, I am so far Left Berne Sanders looks right-wing to me, I would still be a baby in swaddling close after 71 years of life. Your way, Clay, is not the only way to run a country. In fact, it is one of the worst. Wealth Inequality, where 99% of the population has next to nothing, and 1% has more than they and their families can use in twenty generations, is a horrible way to run a country, yet you support capitalism wholesale. Who is the real baby?
    But having said that, no country should ever attack other countries for vengeful purposes. You want vengeance, attack the people who attack you. No nation in the past 75 years has attacked your country, your armies should never have left your shores. Al Qaida was not a country, it was a group of people. If anyone is guilty of wanton murder it is yours, you have murdered civilians from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan without being brought to justice. That is the atrocity you should be learning from history.
    Forever Wars? No one should be involved in them! The countries where these wars are fought, never in America, tear countries up, demoralising the citizens of those countries, destroy their infrastructures, and for what. For you to feel superior? For you to find justice for your own? Does destroying Afghanistan give you justice? It does not give justice to the Afghanistan, and if you had a heart you would know that, and work to prevent it.
    Yes, take your troops out of Afghanistan, but in this case, don’t bring them home. Send them to Myanmar where they can do some good. Stop the murder of innocent people in Myanmar, not by shooting the country up, but by bringing their army to its knees by a show of force, along with soldiers from all United Nations countries, and find out why the army there thinks it needs to gave power that it’s government did not give it. If the reasons are valid–uncontrolled corruption–help it to find peaceful means to rid it of corruption without killing civilians. If the reasons are not valid, take away their toys and bring the leaders to justice. The rank and file are just doing what they are told.
    In other words, DEFEND THE DEFENCELESS. There is a slogan for the United Nations! But do it as peacefully as possible, not with bullets and bombs, but with caution and safety for the citizens of the country.

    Apparently you upset me even more than I thought you did. Well, there it stands!


  3. I apologize. I was so pissed off I published the comment without proofreading it. Spelchek and typos are a bad mix, especially with indigent anger involved. I will try to do better next time.


    1. Maybe you are misunderstanding me and maybe you’re not. This isn’t your first time here so you know I’m not a fan of wealth inequality or uncontrolled capitalism. What I was talking about with my friend and his being a Bernie Bro is that his way was the only way. We’re talking about a guy here who refused to vote for Biden. Did you refuse to vote for Biden? Do you believe there isn’t a difference between Trump and Biden and spent more time attacking Biden? If so, then maybe you don’t misunderstand me. But you’re free to be upset, disagree, and comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I know your stance on wealth inequity and such, but I was speaking on a deeper level. I won’t go into it here. I’m not American, I did not vote for Biden. But was I American, and still the person I am today, I would not have voted for anyone, because I do not believe democracy works. The election of Trump in 2016 proved that beyond a doubt. I have not participated in the democratic process for some 45 years now. I live as I want to live, with the understanding that I do my best to do no harm to anyone. What others do around me, like voting for what they think is the best of only bad options, is up to them. I’ll vote again when I can choose from good options. Under democracy, that time will never come.
        I think the contrast from your posts of late, which I have openly praised, and the above post, took me by surprise. I do not know your Bernie Bro friend, but I thought it in bad taste to call him immature. Then you mentioned going into Afghanistan seeking vengeance. That tore me apart. The rest followed from that.


      2. Neither. Democracy depends on having good people to choose from, but in my 60 plus years of political awareness, I have seen only one (1) totally good person run for office. He even won the seat he was running for. Two years later he resigned that seat, chewed over and barfed out by the old boys’ network. The old boys’ network controls the legislatures/Houses of Congress. They refuse change. And they are all out for themselves. Until my choice is between the better of two good people, I will never vote for the better of two bad choices.
        Capitalism seemed good in the start, but it did not take long to show its real face. “We have the money, and we are in control. You can exist, but only we can really live.” Now they, the 1%, have more than 99% of the wealth of the world to live on as they please. That leaves 1% of the wealth of the world to 99% of the people in the world. And the 99% of the world pays more in taxes than the 1% of the wealth owners. We are nothing but cannon fodder to them, wage-slaves for the wealthy.
        Should anyone willing to look at the realities of democracy and capitalism like what they see, they are brainwashed by the ruling class. The reality is, we exist so they can live.


  4. I did not say to go into Afghanistan for vengeance. You’re being dishonest to describe my comments that way. I said we had to go into Afghanistan for our own protection. We were attacked from Afghanistan. I will forever stand by that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t want to go on about this Clay, but I think now this post will not have too many readers, it’s mostly just you and me. I quote you above, “I was in favor of wiping out an enemy who had attacked us.” If this is not vengeance, my definition is decidedly different from yours. I rest my case.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s not as much about vengeance as in preventing them from doing it again. Jesus, dude. Let it go because you’re on my site being dishonest about what I said. That’s exactly what Trumpers do.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I can understand the argument that after we leave, the Taliban could attempt to take control of the country again. However, I don’t know that any amount of time or troop levels would guarantee peace. If we couldn’t do that in 20 years, then it’s probably safe to say it cannot be done. Not the way we’re doing things. Let’s bring the troops home and support Afghanistan in other ways.


  6. I never thought it was right to invade Afghanistan. The country, let alone its citizens, did not commit the terrorist acts of 9/11. Al Qaeda took advantage of a country under the control of the Taliban to do its training there. Bombing the training camps is as far as we should have gone.
    After 20 years, if we haven’t been able to train the Afghans to defend their government/society I don’t think more time will help. I firmly believe that the changes need to come from the people themselves and yes it will be a long hard fight. You just have to look at us. We are still debating many of the issues that the founders did. I feel for the people of Afghanistan but is it really our duty? right? to be there militarily??

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Afghanistan has the nickname “The Graveyard of Empires” Over the centuries they have been invaded over and over. The Mongolians and Huns invades Afghanistan in the Medieval Times and so did India. The British Empire and the Soviet Union. The Afghan People resisted these occupations each time and wore out the invaders. We thought we could make Afghanistan into a democracy and that failed. I really hope we leave Afghanistan this year. But knowing the military industrial complex and how they own almost everybody in Washington DC I will just have to wait and see.


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