LESSONS NOT LEARNED
Twenty years of war, 3000 American lives, a trillion plus dollars, and for what? We are evacuating Americans from Afghanistan but leaving behind translators and others who have helped us in this twenty-year good for nothing struggle. We are leaving behind women and girls to experience the repression of the Taliban again.
Uncle Joe is right. Whether we left 15 years ago, or 15 years into the future, the outcome would be the same. The problem is “the buck stops here” is at the foot of our current Commander in Chief. Now the Monday morning quarterbacks are out in full force. Those who are laying this debacle on the foot of Uncle Joe have no sense of history, or regard for the fact that the war started four presidents ago under a Republican and continued under Democrats and Republicans. At the time nine of ten Americans thought it was a good idea. Now most think it was bad to stay twenty years and it is time we got out.
The right-wing media is clamoring worried that this development will lead to an outpouring of Afghan refugees into our country. You know, Muslims, brown people, and people not “like us”. Some may be “perfectly fine people”, but others will bring disease and ideology not compatible to western democratic values—e.g., American white Christian views.
So where will they go? Already Europe has seen an influx of refugees, leading to an increase in xenophobic nationalism. The sign says: we don’t want your kind here.
I thought we might have learned our lesson in Vietnam, but I was wrong. Back then we thought that overwhelming military fire power would stem a civil war, but we were wrong. LBJ was caught in a hubris trap, listening to his advisors who said we were turning the corner, and that we couldn’t get out of Vietnam because America does not “cut and run”. It is this mentality—that all we have to do is to provide unlimited funds and fire power and we can impose our will on other countries—that puts us in a pickle leading to scenes of mass evacuations ALA Saigon and now Kabul.
History has warned us about getting involved in war in Afghanistan and the middle east. History of butts kicked: The British, the Soviets, and now the Americans. It is the place where civilizations go to die. We seem to think that America is exceptional—after all we have the most fire power and almost unlimited money (borrowed). Unfortunately, the only thing we have that is exceptional is an abundance of hubris. Lessons not learned.