Even when the government does the right thing, it manages to make a mess of it. After 20 years, The United States has withdrawn its fighting forces from Afghanistan. This a good thing. How it was done? Not so good. The President has taken a bath in criticism over the horrific events of the past week occurring on the other side of the world; much of it, quite deserved. He might, however, take comfort knowing he is not alone in his bathtub. Under the scum-line, he’ll find all the usual suspects getting soaked with him.
It all began that fateful morning on September 11th in 2001. Planes and towers fell from the sky. Americans died. Someone had to pay. The majority of the terrorist attackers that day were Saudi Arabians, but the Saudis are our allies and they already allowed us a heavy military footprint in their country. Nothing could be gained by attacking them. Damn! Not to worry, our masters in Washington would never let a good tragedy or emergency go to waste. Instead, we found a couple of other primitive and backward countries in Iraq and Afghanistan to incur our wrath. And, boy, did they ever. Dictators were deposed. The Taliban were seemingly cast from power and into the rocky hills. “Huzza! We won!” Or, did we? Lets take a closer at the scoreboard.
The price tag for 20 years of fighting in the Middle East is well north of $2 trillion. Of course, we did not use our savings at the U.S. Treasury to pay the tab. We charged it to our national ‘credit card,’ and that means interest payments. By the time we are finished paying off the issued bonds, the grand total will be over $6 trillion. That’s $5,000 for every adult in the United States ($10,000 per married couple). Also, none of this counts toward the expense of providing ongoing healthcare to the 4 million service men and women who served in these wars. What did you get for your $5,000?
- 2,400 dead American service members
- Devastated mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives & children of 2,400 American service members
- 3,800 dead American contractors (And their devastation of their families)
- 47,000 dead Afghan civilians, aid workers and journalists (And their devastation of their families)
- 66,000 dead Afghan security forces (And their devastation of their families)
- More than 600,000 M16 & M4 automatic rifles and guns forfeited into the hands of the Taliban
- 76,000 Humvees and armored forfeited into the hands of the Taliban
- 40 aircraft, including Black Hawk helicopters, forfeited into the hands of the Taliban
- 162,000 pieces of communication equipment forfeited into the hands of the Taliban
- An example to the world not to trust the U.S. if you’re considering aiding our military in any future engagements
- An emboldened Taliban, filled with the pride of outlasting a world super power
- 10,000 Americans behind enemy lines in imminent danger of becoming geopolitical hostages
I don’t know about any of you, but I would pay $5,000 NOT to have those things happen. Only government could squander such lives and treasure in making them happen.
“It wasn’t all bad, was it?” you ask. “Something good has to have come from our time and money?” Sure, if you are a defense contractor, you likely made 100’s of billions of dollars. The military industrial complex spent 10’s of millions of dollars on lobbying, so if you’re a politician you made out pretty well. Our generals, who told us everything was progressing nicely, got offered cushy jobs on the board of directors of companies like Northrup Grumman, Raytheon and the like. Saddam Hussein was deposed and killed (Shame about the Iraqi Civil War that replaced him.). If you’re in one of the above groups, congratulations on a job well done. If not, too bad. No refunds!
How could we allow ourselves to be taken so badly? It’s not as if it happened overnight. We had 20 years to watch this slow motion train wreck. What did we miss? It turns out a lot. Sure, there were some war protests early on against President Bush and his cabal of warmongers for their large part in starting this mess, but these protests evaporated like a Social Security trust fund the moment President Obama was elected. It’s almost as if the war demonstrators had politics rather than peace in mind. Obama campaigned on ending the war, but instead doubled down on the bombings and nation-building during his two terms. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that American defense contractors donated more to the Democratic Party in 2008 & 2009, than to Republicans. Oh well, as long as it was a Progressive doing the killing, I suppose it was okay. Anyhow, it would likely have been deemed racist to protest war during these years. President Trump, in spite of his myriad flaws, finally looked to bring it all to an end but allowed himself to be gullibly hoodwinked by his generals for four years. Besides, if Trump wanted to do it, it was obviously bad because, well…Trump. As for President Biden, he voted for the authorization of these wars while in the Senate. He campaigned for President as a war hawk against Obama in 2008, and towed the line once Vice-President in the Obama administration. To his credit, President Biden (Or, at least, his puppet-masters) forged ahead in ending this boondoggle, but the horrific exit plan they created for it will bring more tears than I care to spend on this particular blog.
We believed it when we were told that we knew enough about 8th Century-esque tribes to turn them into Western individualists without the need for their culture to pass through a Reformation or Age of Enlightenment. How could we be so naïve to think we could understand the Afghan people and change them when we can’t even understand or change the people of California?
Ultimately, the blame is ours, the American people. When our government plunders and kills, we are more apt to switch from the news to episodes of Tiger King and The Masked Singer, than we are to go find a mirror to look into. Our masters in both parties have you convinced that it’s Democrats versus Republicans instead of all of us against the few of them and their financial backers.
To have your $5,000 back, would you be willing to go back and vote differently?
I’m told I waste my vote voting for a third-party. If paying $5,000 to slaughter our American service men, kill foreign civilians and furnish Sharia terrorists with modern weaponry is what is considered a wise vote allocation, than count me out. I want no part of it.