Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Withdrawal Symptoms

 It's over.  After almost exactly twenty years, the Afghan War is over, ending with the withdrawal of over 120,000 human beings.  The seemingly endless grind, which claimed the lives of 2488 American military personnel, wounded 20,722 American military personnel, and claimed the lives of about 75,000 Afghan military and police personnel and 71,000 Afghan civilians, is over.  Done.  Finita.  The war was pretty much doomed from the start, initiated by an Iraq-intoxicated madman his pack of Project for a New American Century ghouls.  The initial objective, hunting down Al Qaeda members, especially Osama Bin Laden, was quite literally forgotten, or rather, discarded.  The full-scale invasion was foolish, an attempt to swat mosquitoes with a sledgehammer.

Biden, caught in a Catch-46 situation by Trump's disastrous peace deal with the Taliban, the release of over 5000 imprisoned Talibani, and the draw-down of US forces to 2,500 personnel, played the crappy hand he was dealt.  The right-wing propaganda industrial complex has already gone into overdrive to paint the remarkable mass evacuation as a disaster.  We will hear endless panegyrics to the thirteen American troops killed in last week's attack, while the names of their 2475 comrades will go unsaid.  We will hear endless bloviation about Biden gifting weapons to the Taliban, never mind that the finicky weapons preferred by American forces are too difficult to maintain and too resource-dependent to use for an irregular force which relies on uncomplicated AK-47s and Toyota pickup trucks.  The role of Trump and Pompeo in negotiating a 'bad deal' with the Taliban will be elided.  Any criticism from Trumpers for leaving Afghan women and children at the mercy of the Taliban is disingenuous, because the GOP is implementing Taliban-style policies wherever they can.

It's over.  Biden had the intestinal fortitude to see this thing through.  He will be criticized, mainly by shitty people, for the withdrawal, but it had to happen.  This war had to end.  It's a tragedy that thirteen young Americans (approximately the age of this war) lost their lives, but the death and maiming has ended.  The humanitarian crisis will be terrible, but it is the same humanitarian crisis that was extant twenty years ago, the same humanitarian crisis that we didn't solve at the muzzle of a gun.  It's over.  It's over.  It's over.  The decades of war that characterized this nation have finally ended.


StringOnAStick said...

Well said, thank you.

Becks said...

So right.