Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Afghanistan ...


I've held off on giving an opinion on what's going on there, because we Americans always hear of atrocities being committed to justify more war or military presence, which we've discovered too late are not always true.

At the same time, I am extraordinarily saddened by the images coming in of desperate Afghan citizens, running alongside or hopping on our military jets, trying to flee from Taliban control in Afghanistan :(

HOWEVER - our presence in these areas seems to only make things worse, as anti-American sentiment is also at an all-time high - it's not like we were welcome there by even most non-Taliban citizens, until now.   

Plus local poor civilians there are often threatened or bribed by the Taliban to do dastardly deeds while we're there, being forced to choose between what they consider the lesser of two evils, or what will benefit them most in the long run. 

As my husband, Mark, the former Army ranger, said ...


"It's one step forward and two steps back for us, in these civil unrest/war situations, all the time - we're limited in what we can do, and the realization later that the good that we do, or that we THINK we do, is only temporary anyway, is tough truth medicine to take."

"Mostly, people just want us to butt out and think we make it worse, even blame us for the unrest to begin with - but these images we're seeing are proof of the old adage "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it" because people often don't realize how much help we gave them until we're gone."  

"Regardless, the end is always the same when we engage our military in countries with civil unrest or civil war which we involve ourselves in - Vietnam, Somalia, The Balkans - the realization that nothing we did matters in the long run feels like another bomb dropping, yes, but it's  the unfortunate truth, with people hell-bent on controlling or destroying each other." 

"We cannot save the entire world from themselves and terrorism, and too many of us have died trying - and we're getting dangerously close to that ourselves in our own country, from our own people, now."


The sad truth is, we cannot police the entire world and wage war every time a particular country is hell-bent on civil war and destroying each other, over race, faith, or territorial control, as IF we know better - especially when we're again creeping towards that ourselves.

In fact, historically, in these civil unrest situations, our presence isn't as stabilizing as we'd like to believe -  as I said, it often seems to make things worse, and we lose many lives ourselves in the process of accomplishing very little.

Interestingly, though "atrocities" are always given as the reason for our entrance, we never seem to care about "atrocities" being committed by China or Russia enough to get involved, do we? 

 Look how we pointedly ignore atrocities being committed in Hong Kong and other countries around China (most notably, torturing peaceful Buddhist monks), as well as Russia and other countries around them, like the Ukraine and Crimea, or Belarus.

So despite the reason we're always given of "atrocities being committed," that cannot possibly be the real motivation for our military actions for the last few decades, or we'd get more involved, right? 

So what is the real motivation?

IMO, because any financial gain gleaned wouldn't be as precious as oil  - AND - mostly because taking on China OR Russia is a fight we know we couldn't win, the best we can hope for is a draw, at the cost of many lives :)

In fact, though I wouldn't necessarily support it, I'd prefer they just admitted it, like, "Hey, oil is the backbone of our economy and we're about to lose ground there, so we need our military there to keep our fingers on the pulse" - I would at least respect the honesty, rather than pretending it's about "atrocities" committed and trying to manipulate us with it.

Thus, IMO, though it may be unpopular, and as sad as it is, what other countries do, allow, or refuse to (or are unable to) fully unify themselves for and fight against, is their issue, unless their threat directly affects the U.S. in some way, and/or that threat is also intent on world domination like Hitler, rather than control just within their own country or region.

And trying to scratch the right backs (whoever that is)  for oil field rights and control has never been the right reason for war (though that's never been the reason we're given to manipulate us towards war, but it's actually been the real reason in that region).

Now, back to when this "War on Terrorism" began,  though I'm a long-time Democrat, I agreed, or at least understood, when Bush II initially said to Afghanistan:  "Give up Osama bin Laden or we bomb the crap out of you" - and they didn't -  so we did.

However, three months later, he turned the focus of war to Iraq in "pre-emptive" strike towards Iraq for imaginary "weapons of mass destruction," which he now claims was "bad intel."  

At the same time, Tom Ridge, the first Director of Homeland Security was on the Today show, telling us to buy duct tape and trash bags to tape up our windows to protect us from Anthrax!?!

Now, if even I knew that Bush asking Congress to support turning the war from Afghanistan towards Iraq in an unprecedented "pre-emptive strike" based on zero evidence -  and that duct tape and plastic bags protect no one, especially considering Anthrax is most effective in water - was total BS, then you know Bush knew, too, or at least suspected it.

IMO, the real reason the decision to turn the focus from Afghanistan to begin with, towards Iraq instead, was based on nothing more than personal vendetta with Saddam Hussein, after his father once put Hussein on the U.S. support/informant payroll, then Hussein turned around and committed the atrocities against the Kurds he did and became a threat to us - which is a (largely Republican) pattern.

We put sociopaths and psychopaths - and certain factions - on the U.S. payroll for support, thinking "the enemy of our enemy is our friend," when that's never been true with governments, because  the leader of whatever faction we back always becomes drunk with power, turns around and does horrible things to their own people, and invariably becomes a threat to us - as if that hasn't happened every single time we've ever done that before - duh?   

Then we finally shifted our focus back to Afghanistan, and lo and behold, where was OBL the whole time?

The Afghanistan/Pakistan border, of course :/

Had we stayed in Afghanistan the whole time, rather than shifting the focus to Iraq, not only would we have been able to get OBL and possibly leave sooner, but we may have been able to simultaneously work on pushing back the Taliban harder - but we didn't, which gave them more time to grow in power - and by then, it was too late for coulda, shoulda, woulda - but really, who knows if that would've been the right decision either, or even if there was a right decision in this mess?

Thus, we support President Biden in his decision on Afghanistan, and I pray for Afghanistan, just like I pray for Syria and other areas being torn apart by civil war and/or religious-zealot fascism - including the U.S., which is inching closer to that ourselves.

HOWEVER, though I believe withdrawing military troops is  sadly appropriate (and agree with President Biden that there's never going to be the "right time)," I still think we should offer sustenance aid for the non-Taliban citizens - IF - we can get it to them safely without falling into Taliban hands (which is what happens often in civil-war-torn countries in Africa).

Otherwise, let's save the lives of our young men and women in our military to fight another day, yes?



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