Afghanistan

Nothing Was Gained From 20 Years in Afghanistan

Why did it take presidents so long to realize this?

|

President Joe Biden hit the right points in his speech on the Afghanistan debacle. He acknowledged the failure of the country's western-backed government, the limited options after 20 years of occupation, and the need for Americans to withdraw and let events take their course. It was a realistic speech, almost enough to make us forget the years he spent promoting military intervention in Afghanistan and his role as vice president when the Obama administration concealed evidence that the war was unwinnable—evidence that should have prepared him for the Afghan government's inevitable implosion. Yes, he learned hard lessons about the costs of intervention, but others pay the price.

"American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves," Biden told the world on Monday. "We spent over a trillion dollars. We trained and equipped an Afghan military force of some 300,000 strong — incredibly well equipped — a force larger in size than the militaries of many of our NATO allies."

"We gave them every chance to determine their own future.  What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future," he added.

This is all entirely true, and it is long past time that a U.S. president acknowledged these unpleasant facts. The previous three administrations knew this moment was coming and did their level best to hide hard reality from the American people.

"A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable," the newspaper reported in 2019. Implicated in the report were the administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Biden, of course, was vice president under Obama.

"We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn't know what we were doing," Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who headed up White House efforts in Afghanistan during both the Bush and Obama administrations, admits in the documents.

But American officials should have known better. In 2015, the U.S. Army War College Press published The Strategic Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Why the Afghan National Security Forces Will Not Hold, and the Implications for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan arguing that the U.S. was as doomed to fail in Afghanistan as in Iraq and South Vietnam because "all three countries were artificial colonial relics with no pervasive sense of national identity." Author M. Chris Mason, professor of national security affairs at the Strategic Studies Institute, cautioned that the Afghan National Army had "virtually no logistics capability," was incapable of maintaining its equipment, and was hobbled by corruption. But experts who gave the bad tidings to American officials were ignored, he added.

"U.S. officials tried to create — from scratch — a democratic government in Kabul modeled after their own in Washington," the Washington Post noted of similar conclusions in the documents it obtained. "It was a foreign concept to the Afghans, who were accustomed to tribalism, monarchism, communism and Islamic law."

Among the politicians who spurned warnings was Joe Biden. While he claims now that he "opposed the surge when it was proposed in 2009 when I was Vice President," that came relatively late in the game. He was better known for years as an advocate of military intervention in Afghanistan.

"And like it or not, our leadership role must include soldiers on the ground," Biden argued as a U.S. senator in 2002. "If others step forward, fine, but whatever it takes, we should do it. History will judge us harshly if we allow the hope of a liberated Afghanistan to evaporate because we failed to stay the course."

Biden remained hawkish on the campaign trail as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 against Barack Obama. But he seemingly changed his mind when he realized the extent of corruption under then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"Whereas he had once felt that, with sufficient U.S. support, Afghanistan could be stabilized, now he wasn't so sure," New Republic's Michael Crowley noted of the disillusioned Biden.

Biden's long-gone "hope of a liberated Afghanistan" also highlights the revisionism of his insistence that "our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy."

Bush was especially unrealistic on this point, emphasizing his intent "to build a flourishing democracy as an alternative to a hateful ideology" in 2008. Later, Obama not only doubled down on troop commitments, he boasted in 2014 that the U.S. and its allies "have helped the Afghan people reclaim their communities, take the lead for their own security, hold historic elections and complete the first democratic transfer of power in their country's history."

That Biden seemed to grasp the hopelessness of the U.S. position in Afghanistan is apparent from his adoption, with a few months delay, of the withdrawal from Afghanistan negotiated by his predecessor. It's a welcome shift in policy after years of heavy cost.

As of November 2019, Brown University's Costs of War project estimated deaths in Afghanistan at 2,298 for the U.S. military, and 3,814 for contractors. Deaths among Afghan military and police were estimated at 64,124. Other allied troop deaths are estimated at 1,145. The civilian death toll is put at 43,074. Then there is the "over a trillion dollars" spent on the lost cause cited by Biden. If government leaders learned anything from the debacle, it has been learned at great expense, and after enormous delay.

That the price has yet to be fully paid can be seen in the faces of those flooding the Kabul airport in a desperate bid to flee the Taliban after the western-backed government collapsed. It was an implosion predicted not just by experts over the years, but by recent intelligence assessments, yet the U.S. government was unprepared. 

"The collapse has been sudden, our exit too ill planned to evacuate the vulnerable Afghans who worked with us," points out former Marine captain Timothy Kudo this week in a New York Times essay. He wonders of those who fought "how we could have given the best parts of their lives to such a lie."

So, it's good that a U.S. president is capable of learning hard lessons about failed policy, and of making the tough and thankless decision to end a war that dragged on for decades. But he's not the one who shouldered the burden through these long years, nor will he pay the price that will continue to be extracted from those who aided the U.S. and now remain behind to discover their fate.

NEXT: Brickbat: Three Bedrooms, Five Police Officers

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Why did it take presidents so long to realize this?”

    Presidents since at least Obama have known that it was a failure. They have lied to everyone about it. If there was any justice multiple people at every level would face charges. But thats not gonna happen.

    1. TooSilly’s article marks Reason entering the Bargaining Phase of their grief over Biden proving himself a colossal fuck up.

      1. So your pro-Afghanistan forever war? I mean, Trump wanted to do what Biden did.

        1. Look, I realize you are a dipshit errand boy, sent mostly to deliver assigned talking points. But in case you have not noticed this trope has already been addressed repeatedly. So stop trying to put words in other’s mouths. Especially since you can barely manage the coherence of your own. Much less any semblance of honesty.

          The American Family gave befuddled Uncle Joe an errand to complete – Get us out of Afghanistan once and for all.

          He fucked that up. Disastrously Bad.

          1. How did you think the surrender of a country to a bunch of right wing nut jobs was going to go, under any President?

            1. Really digging deep down the bulleted talking points list, aren’t you? Gotten all the way to the universal reply section.

              LOL

              1. Lol, yes, experiencing someone that disagrees with you must be some kind of plot.

                Your mom told you you were ‘special’ a lot, no?

                1. Queen asshole really needs help with that pile of strawmen s/he’s dragging around. Where another lefty shit to help out?

                  1. Making extra salary every month from home more than $15k just by doing simple copy and paste like online job. I have received $18635 from this easy home job and now I am a good online earner like others.FHl This job is super easy and its earnings are great. Everybody can now makes extra cash online easily by just follow

                    The given website………. VISIT HERE

                  2. Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…DAq And i get surly a check of $12600 what’s awesome is I m working from home so I get more time with my kids.

                    Try it, you won’t regret it!…….. VISIT HERE

                2. Except that you’re the same asshole who run’s the Mike Laursen/ White Mike sockpuppets, and you’re obviously paid to shill here.

                  1. It was funny when Ken addressed White Knight and Mike responded as if it had been addressed to him. As if…

                  2. I made over $700 per day using my mobile in part time. I recently got my 5th paycheck of $19632 and all i was doing is to copy and paste work online.CFt this home work makes me able to generate more cash daily easily. simple to do work and regular income from this are just superb. Here what i am doing.

                    Try now……………… VISIT HERE

            2. GFY

              1. Your mom does that for me.

                1. He’s still right though.

              2. Since I started with my online business, I earn $25 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable FAw but you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.

                Learn more about it here……. VISIT HERE

            3. Well, Biden DOES have a long history of not giving a shit about the repurcussions of his actions and preferred policies (i.e S Vietnamese)

            4. Come on man. The withdrawal was done by someone with a (D) after his name. It’s obvious you liberal pukes don’t understand. Here let me put it in programming language like they understand here.

              If x=“* (D) then y=“President * (D) is a failure because he withdrew troops in August instead of May. What did he expect?”
              If x=“* (R) then y=“Look at this peace President! He finally ended the war that arch-fiend OBAMA started in 2009. Democrats are the real warmongers. I mean: just look at LBJ, FDR
              Print y

              1. Oh, here’s commie shit to add more lies!
                Fuck off and die.

              2. The abandonment was done in a chaotic, disorganized way almost as if there wasn’t a plan. Biden completely fucked this up. Incompetence with hubris.

          2. Thomas, this sounds a lot like projection. And ad hominem attacks are always a reliable marker that the attacker has no other viable argument to offer. You’re cancelled.

            1. And where do you live, soy?

        2. HURRRRRRRRRRR CITE? HURRRRRRRRRRRR.

        3. “Hey, ignore that my guy is massively fucking this withdrawal up, and showing an OODA loop moral collapse of leadership in real time, Trump wanted to pull out of the country, too!”

          1. There are 3 clear groups in their opinions on this:
            1. People who do actually oppose the withdrawal (by far the smallest)
            2. People who say all bad stuff is Trump’s fault, and Biden is a hero for withdrawing us (most Ds/leftists)
            3. People who agree that withdrawal was the right decision, but who recognize the colossal incompetence with how it’s being executed (largest group)

            The Ds/leftists/Reason are arguing against #1 exclusively, trying to pretend #3 doesn’t exist, and becoming #2 when cornered.

            1. No, you fucking right-wing dicks don’t acknowledge #4– that withdrawing from a 20 year long imperialist war was going to be fucked anyways and that anyone could have told you that back in 2001 when you fucking morons were telling us how great it was that the U.S. was invading Afghanistan.

              1. “…that withdrawing from a 20 year long imperialist war was going to be fucked anyways…”

                Yeah, steaming pile of lefty shit, making up bullshit to excuse Biden’s disaster is all you got.
                We had a POTUS with a deal which was being honored until droolin’ Joe tore is up and then proceeded to screw the pooch to the applause of lefty ignoramuses like you.
                Fuck off and die, asshole.

              2. I know it’s not in your talking points bulletin, but you may want to address the fact that Trump, the Afghan government and the Taliban all had a a comprehensive withdrawal plan worked out that they were adhering to; before Biden decided to treat it like used toilet paper and broke all of America’s promises.

                This is the gaping hole in your rhetoric that you’re dancing around, and you’re trying to pretend it’s not there, but everyone can see it.

              3. Are there no degrees of problems, though? Are you insistent that this action could not have been handled any better nor any worse than it was? This was exactly the only option for how the evacuation of troops could happen?

              4. He had you covered as #2 already.

                1. Lol, thanks.
                  Should’ve scrolled down before hitting reply.

              5. That’s not a 4th group, it’s part of the second clause of #2, you low IQ little bitch.

              6. If Biden had left Bagram Air Base intact until after the evacuation he would not have even had to hurry. President Trump insured the Taliban he would unleash American military might the likes they had never seen if they did not hold up their end of the bargain. They respected Trump and knew Biden would go hide in his basement if anything bad happened. When he deserted Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night like a thief they laughed at his ignorance. He was in such a hurry he forgot about the billions of dollars in American weapons being left that should have been destroyed at all cost.

        4. Trump’s timeline coincided with the normal lull of fighting in the winter and early spring. It would have limited the amount of Taliban forces in the field. Biden changed the timeline to the fighting season when the Taliban would be in the field in force. Biden fucked up the deal and this is what happened.

          1. Oh fuck off you mendacious test.

            1. Stuff it up your ass, commie shit.

            2. How’s he being mendacious? Even your fellow extremists acknowledge the former timeline’s existence and the existence of fighting season.

            3. Do you have a problem with any of those points? Do you disagree that the withdrawal was scheduled to happen during a non-fighting period and was then changed to happen in a season when the Taliban tends to launch offensives?

        5. If Trump wanted to end one war, he had the power. If he wanted to end all the wars (there are many more most don’t know about), he could have tried, as JFK did. And got the same result, RIP -D.L.T.

      2. His approval rating is pretty high still. A minority disapproves and a super small subset like you think he is some “colossal fuck up”.

        But keep crying snowflake.

        1. Delusion (n) – A persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.

          shitlunches.

        2. It is under 50%…

          1. When you’re a DNC shill like Tony, any figure over zero is “pretty high”.

            1. Any figure above 0 is certainly higher than it should be

          2. Under 50% with selective samplings, even.

        3. His approval rating is pretty high still.

          I’m sure that’s a massive comfort to the 5K-40K Americans that are still stuck there, with no confidence by the people in charge that they’re going to be able to get these people out.

          You fucking waste of carbon molecules.

        4. We live in a time where scientific opinion is openly censored by a partnership between the government and media monopolies, and you’re citing approval polls?

          I hope you’re at least being paid for this nonsense.

    2. The parallel’s to this and Vietnam are staggering.
      I have to believe that they know full well that Nation Building is a fool’s errand. Still they persist out of ego, and profit.
      If it cost the lives of a few of the “great unwashed” to fill the coffers of the ruling elite, so be it.

      1. Nation building works great…with white people. But you just can’t transplant a society designed by whites to fit a white mindset onto a non-white population. It’s like putting monkeys on a farm and expecting them to start farming.

    3. Why did it take presidents so long to realize this?

      Inflation fears -> Roll back $250b/year war and put handouts in its place 😉

    4. Well other than giving a whole generation of Afghan women, at least in Kabul, a chance to get educated, there were no benefits.

      The other thing is there are no terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, that’s why we went in the first place, and we haven’t had another 9/11, here at least. But we fixed that problem a long time ago, whether it stays fixed is another question.

    5. Will the same be said about the Cold War? North Korea? Taiwan?

  2. America began withdrawing under Trump. Biden then unilaterally extended the negotiated end date, ostensibly as a public relations enhancer. But the Taliban had other intentions and took the entire country just weeks after Biden said that would not happen. The US was caught completely off guard, having to audible its way through an evacuation that is requiring US citizens to maneuver there way through Taliban controlled territory to the Kabul airport. Why? Because Biden is not sending anyone to rescue them.

    Instead of rhetoric about using F-15s on the US people and coercing social media outlets to ban accounts posting arguably if not verifiably accurate information, maybe Biden should have done his job and developed a withdraw plan that safely got US citizens, troops and equipment out of Afghanistan. And a decision should have been made months ago what to do, if anything, regarding our many Afghani allies there.

    The Biden administration owns this disaster

    1. It’s not a diaster for us. We’re leaving.

      1. By ‘we’ you mean “those not left behind and largely abandoned.”

        That later group apparently including thousands of US citizens, and possible tens of thousands of Afghans who aided the US and now face a grim, brief future.

        1. Those Americans knew the Taliban was taking provincial capitals for weeks now and yet they didn’t help themselves? You’re trying to make something out of other people’s calculations. You don’t know what motivates those Americans who are still there. They choose to be there.

          1. IOW

            Joe Biden, addressing all those in Afghanistan: “You fucked up, you trusted us”

            1. There was no “Afghanistan”. There weren’t any real national institutions. They existed on paper and in the imagination of some people but didn’t exist in a tangible way where it matters.

              1. That’s a stupid retort, even by your standards.

                Here’s an article laying out the current known extent of the fiasco.

                https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9904031/Afghanistan-evacuation-Chaos-Kabul-airport-women-beg-troops-help.html

              2. Yep. A bunch of warring tribes a nation does not make.

                1. Lol. Now you’re backing up admitted leftist trolls. God damn man. Hilarious.

                  1. So you fully admit to opposing what people say not based upon what they actually said, but because of their politics. At least you’re proud to admit your prejudice. Got news for you bub: even a broken clock is right twice a day.

                    1. So you’re saying Joe Biden didn’t fuck up because Afghanistan isn’t a real country just a bunch of tribes?

              3. GFY

                1. Someone’s not getting laid. Hi, Incel!

                  1. Hi, asshole!

              4. Hey, shitlord! Change your story overnight?

          2. Those Americans knew the Taliban was taking provincial capitals for weeks now and yet they didn’t help themselves?

            Woof, how rich is that copium you’re huffing?

      2. It was a diaster for us. Get that straight. We were being taken advantage of by plenty of people (corrupt Afghans, Americans and others) and scapegoated for the problems of that country.

        1. “It was a diaster for us…”

          Yes, it is. Thanks, droolin’ Joe!

      3. Biden left five to ten thousand Americans in the Kabul area to find their way to the airport. If this was say Toronto, not a biggie. But the area is controlled by the Taliban (the organization we have been fighting for twenty years).

        We developed no plan to address what to do with the tens of thousands Afghani allies in the country. There is an argument for letting them fend for themselves; if this is the case, that should have been clearly communicated months ago. In either case, it weakens our ability to gain the trust of others in the future.

        We also abandoned operational military equipment that the Taliban has seized. Some of it state of the art. While half the country and most of our media can drink Biden’s Flavoraid, the rest of the world doesn’t. China, Russia, North Korea and others would love to have some of that hardware to reverse engineer. And now they can write a check for it.

        According to European pressers I watched yesterday, our NATO allies were kept in the dark about the developments in Afghanistan. Biden told them the same things he told the American public. And they are pissed. Again, an international credibility disaster.

        Not all of our allies left there will be purged. And when the terrorist training camps reopen, they may be first in line to join.

        1. Those Americans left themselves in Afghanistan. They were watching the same news we get and they had every opportunity to hit the airport. But obviously they like practically everyone including every monday morning mfer were taken by surprise by duplicity of the Afghan.govt.

          But it appears the Taliban isn’t interested in starting a war with America by fucking with that airport and our people still there. It’s actually a good test of the Taliban.

          1. Waterboys to the left of me, waterboys to the right of me…

          2. You seem really desperate to blame everyone but the guy whose plain utterly failed.

          3. The civilians should have received a better message from the guy that was being provided the intelligence. Biden kept saying this wouldn’t happen. By the time it happened, the roads to the airport were blocked. Watch the Al Jazeera drone videos. The US abandoned Bagram airfield on July 4. In the middle of the night. Without telling the Afghanis. So that was’t an option. I’d agree if this was a hurricane evacuation. But Biden was the only weatherman and he kept saying sunny days ahead.

            Agree with you on the Taliban’s restraint. Though a Deutsche Welt reporter in Kabul said yesterday they are now going door to door with lists looking for people.

          4. Those Americans left themselves in Afghanistan. They were watching the same news we get and they had every opportunity to hit the airport.

            Hey dumbfuck, those people are relying ON THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE FUCKING OPERATION

    2. Biden didn’t use rhetoric about ‘using F-15s on the US people,’ he noted the idea that people with guns effectively resisting governmental forces is far-fetched.

      “America began withdrawing under Trump.”
      “The Biden administration owns this disaster”

      FFS.

      1. The Taliban proved that a Biden led US can be defeated with AKs, RPGs and Toyota pickup trucks.

        Exactly FFS. Short of handing the Taliban nuclear weapons or surrendering, I’m not sure how much worse Biden could have botched this.

        1. Becoming ever more clear which socks are indeed Reason writers.

          1. Lol, conspiracy thinking is indeed broad.

            People disagree with your fringe ideas, I’d think you’d realize that by now.

            1. Just a month ago, the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan was a conspiracy theory that Biden was quick to dispel.

              1. Biden is a walking talking version of the Chinese Room. Words pop up on the telemprompter and he vocalizes them, but he has no actual understanding of what is being communicated.

                1. There really is no right wing talking point this guy won’t invoke.

                  1. Says the .50 center …

                    1. Yes, you’re so special I’m paid 50 cents to tell you your being stupid.

                      Surely you’ve seen enough of that to know the economy can’t bear it?

                    2. You are overpaid.

                    3. You’re not worth shit, queen asshole.

                2. To be fair to his handlers, it looked like he freestyled on that one. So point for the reporter. No points for the teleprompter operator. And negative points for President Biden for talking down to the reporter, for getting it completely wrong and for doing so with hubris.

        2. Botched? We’re out, which was Trump’s stated, but never achieved, goal.

          1. Tell that to the 5-10k American civilians still stuck there, instructed to find their own way to the airport in Kabul, the thousands of troops and the tens of thousands of Afghani allies.

            1. Was getting out not Trump’s stated goal?

              1. Did biden not change the date randomly on April? Something the taliban cited all summer? You seem to be inferring biden followed trumps plan? Are you that desperate to push blame elsewhere?

                1. So getting out *earlier* would have been…better? WTF.

                  1. Yes, asshole, getting out sooner would have been better and even better yet would have been getting out with some sort of, ho, plan in mind.

              2. Hitler may have had the goal of eventually getting out of Stalingrad but not the way he did.

                Chaotic abandonment =/ organized withdraw.

                President Biden fucked this up seriously. With hubris.

                1. There was no scenario where this went better.

                  1. So you’re saying the Biden administration was too incompetent to plan an 8-month withdrawal operation?

                    1. Which word in my comment you’re replying to do you not understand?

                    2. So you are saying the Biden administration was too incompetent to plan an 8-month withdrawal operation. Thanks for confirming.

                  2. There were many scenarios where this could have gone far better.

                    Get the civilians out in an orderly manner months ago. Not scramble after the Taliban had surrounded Kabul.

                    Transfer the military hardware to other ME bases instead of abandoning them in place.

                    Develop, implement and communicate a plan to address the US’s role in the future of our Afghani allies there. This may have been, “Translator, you’ll be on your own.” Them knowing that in February is a lot better than them still not knowing today what our plans are.

                    Communicate to our non-Afghani allies what is happening and what we are going to do.

                    President Biden dropped the ball on all of that. It is ignorant or disingenuous to claim otherwise.

                    1. You get out when it falls apart, and knowing when it falls apart is difficult.

                      I’m not a fan of Biden. He’s an at best mediocre party hack. Not smart at all.

                      But getting out of an occupied country tends to be a mess.

                    2. The civilians should have been gone before the May 1 deadline. Period. Biden’s hubris prevented that.

                      Operational Blackhawk helicopters should have not been allowed to fall into Taliban hands. Russian and China have diplomatic relations with the Taliban according to Russia Today and Al Jazeera. This too is on Biden.

                      Our NATO allies are pissed, as they should be. I’d like to get out of that organization but when someone joins to help you there is an obligation to be truthful with them. They have people stuck there too. They are saying they want to assist the Aghanis that helped them.

                      The last of the troops likely would have been touch and go. There should have been a plan to get to that.

                    3. “…knowing when it falls apart is difficult…”

                      To lefty ignoramuses like you and droolin’ Joe.
                      Trump had a schedule and an agreement; droolin’ Joe tore it up and winged it.
                      We shouldn’t really expect more from a demented lefty ignoramus, should we?

                  3. “There was no scenario where this went better.”

                    You’re full of shit.

                  4. Yeah, yeah there were. But you’re completely disconnected from reality, so I understand your difficulties.

              3. People can plan to land a plane AND still recognize that crashing it was a bad idea.

          2. Cha-ching!

      2. HURRRRRRRRRRR CITE? HURRRRRRRRRRRR.

        1. I like the CITE part. Uni is still butthurt that I asked him to, you know, back up his wacky claims.

          Vaseline will help with that my lil’ snowflake. Or just don’t repeat every crazy thing you read in right wing media.

          1. Nobody cares about your erotic fantasies, asshole.

      3. he noted the idea that people with guns effectively resisting governmental forces is far-fetched.

        The last 20 years seem to belie that assertion rather effectively.

    3. What a pile of crap.

      Trump gave the Taliban how fucking long to make agreements with local leaders?

      It’s on him if nothing else. The ease with which they rolled through tells you that.

      What a dumbass you are.

      1. Ie. see the fact that the GOP removed his “historic peace agreement” from their website. They know how much they screwed the pooch.

        1. This is desperate. When you are holding water even longer than MSNBC, you may be a retarded partisan.

        2. Cope and seethe, dilator.

      2. The Afghani people wanted an Afghan government, not a US puppet state. The Taliban may not have been their first choice but it was the reasonable, realistic one available to them. How Biden missed this is a mystery. How the US media mostly ignored this isn’t.

        There was a planned withdraw available to Biden but he decided that if he claimed something in a speech the Taliban would somehow, magically obey his wishes.

        A month ago, while Biden was talking down to a reporter suggesting the intelligence community was saying this will happen, China was meeting with Taliban officials to normalize diplomatic relations because they knew what was coming. Biden said it wouldn’t happen. China knew it would happen. It did happen.

  3. Another good question is, “Why didn’t the American people demand this withdrawal much sooner?”

    1. Mostly because the American people aren’t in a position to demand a damned thing. Good luck with that.

      1. Welcome to a volunteer army.

        1. Would conscripts be better? Impressment? The draft? What is your point?

          1. 20 years of war and no anti-war protests. Eliminating those protests – and the pressure to end a war – was the whole point of volunteer army.

        2. JFree, the cowardly piece of shit, wants the US to institute slavery once more.
          That way, he feels safe!

  4. For an old fart like me, the question is: why the fuck didn’t our so-called leaders learn from Vietnam? They keep doing the same stupid shit over and over again, and it’s not like the earlier debacles happened a hundred years ago.

    But no; those asswipes are probably already planning the next country to be invaded and “democratized”. Iran perhaps?

    1. The fall of Saigon happened several years before I was born, but Biden was already a Senator at the time. He literally was a leader at that time and failed to learn

      1. What was he supposed to have learned?

        1. LOL

          How much are you paid to be this stupid?

          1. In defense of Queen, President Biden is.

          2. So, no answer. Thought so.

            1. He was supposed to learn that parmesan cheese and crack are not the same thing.

              1. Hunter lied to him.

        2. How to organize a REMOTELY competent withdrawal?

          I know, expecting him to learn anything is asking a lot, but still…

    2. They learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

    3. Cochin-China (‘Nam) was the French version of opium-exporting British India and Burma and of American traffic in Persian opiates. China’s inbred dictatorship tried violent prohibitionism and banned the re-importation of silver currency–with the pathetic results Republicans now seek to emulate. Allies occupied a defeated drug-refining Europe as Soviets peddled looter dictatorships in postwar Asia. After communist Korea attacked its mercantilist half, drug money again became a source of political funding. Even the Krupp corporation that armed the 3rd Reich was rehabilitated to help mixed-economy mercantilism offset those other socialists.

  5. So, it’s good that a U.S. president is capable of learning hard lessons about failed policy

    Withdrawal is NOT the hard lesson learned. That is merely the ‘stop digging deeper’ awareness. The hard lesson has NOT been learned. Which is – why the fuck did we spend decades and hundreds of billions failing to understand Afghanistan as it is – and failing to understand our own strategy?

    I am sick of this facile bullshit that ‘we don’t do nation building’. The fuck we don’t. EVERY war that we have been involved in since Vietnam is basically a regime change war. That means we have to leave behind a NEW regime.

    If we don’t have the skill set to do that, then it is up to the Prez to tell the American people – loudly – that we are not competent at that. BEFORE we go in. Because a professional volunteer army is never going to admit that themselves. they are perfectly happy to keep digging – and if not here then over there.

    1. This. The U.S. originally went into Afghanistan to destroy the 9/11 enemy. That goal was largely accomplished– as much as it could be– the first year or two. Virtually everything after that has been a tragic waste.

      1. That is exactly where I am = The U.S. originally went into Afghanistan to destroy the 9/11 enemy. That goal was largely accomplished– as much as it could be– the first year or two. Virtually everything after that has been a tragic waste.

        It remains to be seen whether, or if, the Taliban honor the agreement they signed in Qatar. I hope that they do.

        1. I don’t see why they would, the government they signed the agreement with effectively doesn’t exist anymore

          1. Not quite. The man who signed the agreement on behalf of the Taliban is the current leader of the Taliban. Yeah, that guy. The Taliban made the deal. In their culture, honoring agreements is a big deal….just like ours. We will see if they hold up their end of the agreement; I hope that they do.

            1. In their culture, lying to get advantage over infidels is both legal and encouraged.

              1. Yes, tacquiya. Like I said, it remains to be seen.

      2. We went in because the Taliban created a place where 9/11 enemies could operate to harm us. Those guys are back in power now.

        1. And power “corrupts” or changes calculations. Come out into the open Taliban and take responsibility. Good luck! We’re stlll here watching. If you fuck with us we know who you are and where you are.

        2. “Those guys”? Don’t be an idiot.

      3. The big error we made was letting Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda gang escape to Pakistan. Had we cut them off at the (Khyber) Pass, perhaps the gang would have less likely spread and metastasized into Boko Haram and ISIS elsewhere.

        But yes, the gist of what you’re saying is correct. Get in, destroy the enemy and it’s harboring government, then get out without rebuilding is the best policy.

    2. Expecting an honest government is a lovely pipe dream.

  6. The idea of nation building is a Progressive one; conservatives might point out that some societies and cultures are so different that they will never change to become like us. Progressives see no limits to their moral and intellectual superiority.
    To say that that Afghans actually want to live in a country ruled by mullahs and warlords is racist and unforgivable. Especially if events prove you right.

    1. “The idea of nation building is a Progressive one”

      Lol, yes, Progressives like George W Bush and Dick Cheney.

      There was one vote against the Afghan war, it wasn’t a conservative. Almost all the votes against the Iraq war were ‘progressives.’ Give it up dude, conservatives love nation building because they are obsessed with ‘getting Vietnam right this time.’

      1. They were just trying to spread democracy. Studies show that democracy is the bestest government in the world and leads to the most happiness. It was a great plan.

        1. Lol, the ‘democracy spreading’ was PR, conservatives just wanted to bomb some brown people and ‘win.’

          1. That’s an interesting 8 year theory that doesn’t explain 20 years.

              1. Later, Obama not only doubled down on troop commitments, he boasted in 2014 that the U.S. and its allies “have helped the Afghan people reclaim their communities, take the lead for their own security, hold historic elections and complete the first democratic transfer of power in their country’s history.”

                1. And who, um, started these troop commitments?

                  1. And who, um, kept them going after promising to get out?

                  2. From 2009 on, Obama.

                    1. Nice qualification.

                    2. Nice qualification.

                      Hey, just because your guy broke his campaign promise is no reason to blame someone else.

                    3. “Nice qualification.”

                      How ’bout this one asshole?
                      “Starting in 2009, by a Nobel PP holder and continuing for 8 years”

                2. complete the first democratic transfer of power in their country’s history.”

                  And the funny part about that election is that it was a complete clusterfuck itself. Ghani and Abdullah ran against each other, and then Abdullah basically became Ghani’s Vice President after Ghani won (supposedly, who the fuck knows how legit the election actually was, since a recount added about 20 percentage points to Ghani’s vote total), and the two proceeded to have a years-long bitch-fest with each other over typical petty personal crap.

                  1. Such as who gets to ride shotgun when they abandon the country with $169M?

          2. Those “Conservatives” were 100% behind Biden. Weird, huh?

      2. Bush 2 was absolutely a progressive

        1. Lol, I’m sure you said so then (post a record to prove me wrong).

          1. That’s a convenient burden of proof.

            1. Is it? He ran against progressives and anti-proggresives voted for him

              1. In a two-party system, that means jack squat.

    2. “Afghans are a tribal people and will always want to live in their tribes” = Racist

      “Native Americans should give up their tribes and assimilate into western democracy” = Also racist

  7. “Why did it take presidents so long to realize this?”

    —-J.D. Tuccille

    Tuccile correctly cites the fact that Afghanistan was, “an artificial colonial [relic] with no pervasive sense of national identity” as part of the answer, but the same thing could be said about the artificial construct of Afghanistan we created ourselves in Kabul. The truth is that political legitimacy–the right and acceptance of a regime to exercise power–is a necessary condition both for governance and to make people want to defend it, and the Kabul regime didn’t enjoy much in the way of political legitimacy.

    Meanwhile, legitimacy can’t be inflicted on a population at gunpoint (without extreme conditions and measures), and most shockingly of all to neoconservatives, while democracy is often a necessary ingredient for the legitimacy of a modern government, democracy is an insufficient condition for legitimacy by itself. This is where libertarian thought can really help those who don’t understand what happened here–elections don’t even necessarily confer legitimacy in the USA.

    I’ve seen the political legitimacy of local government break down in the USA twice in my lifetime, once during the Rodney King riots and once in response to the murder of George Floyd. In both cases, the local government was elected, and in both cases, local government lost its legitimacy anyway. Political scientists used to measure the relative legitimacy of different countries by comparing the number of police per capita that were necessary to maintain order. A government that cannot maintain order (make people accept its authority) without putting police on every street corner is an illegitimate government.

    By all accounts, Afghanistan under the Kabul government (and the warlords) was a deeply corrupt place, where kidnapping and theft were commonplace. One of the surprising reports from yesterday was about the markets and shops opening in Kabul despite the Taliban, but that probably shouldn’t have been surprising. Everywhere the Taliban has taken over in the provinces, in recent weeks, they’ve executed kidnappers and local crime figures and strung them up in public as a warning. The Taliban is tough on crime, whatever else they are, and the Kabul government seems to have been unwilling or unable to do anything about corruption and crime.

    Libertarians know that because the government lets us pick from a list of masters doesn’t mean we aren’t their slaves. Plenty of Americans question whether Joe Biden really won a free and fair election in 2020, and the establishment looks at those views with contempt. In reality, regardless of whether the election of 2020 itself was fraudulent, the reluctance of so many people to accept Biden’s authority is what we’re talking about when we talk about legitimacy, and the reason they’re loathe to accept Biden’s legitimacy is because they believe progressives view them with contempt and because they’re disgusted by progressive policy positions on everything from defunding the police to free speech and from Covid-19 policies like lockdowns and mask mandates to the Green New Deal.

    A government that holds its own people in contempt and fails to adequately protect their rights–the ones they care about–can only enjoy a limited measure of legitimacy, no matter whether they won an election. Neoconservatives who imagine that democracy itself is the ultimate source of legitimacy are like progressives who think winning an election is all that matters. Democracy is supposed to be a reflection of legitimacy. It is not the thing it reflects. In fact, democracy that seeks to legitimize the contempt the government has for its own people and their concerns undermines rather than enhances legitimacy, and that seems to be what happened in Afghanistan.

    1. Neoconservatives who imagine that democracy itself is the ultimate source of legitimacy are like progressives who think winning an election is all that matters.

      First of all, d’accord.

      A problem with democracy and its legitimacy is whether the structure of that democracy adequately represents society’s various interests.

      Did expanding the voter rolls to 18-year-olds enhance the vote’s legitimacy? How about electing U.S. senators by popular vote? How about giving the vote to women?

      1. “Did expanding the voter rolls to 18-year-olds enhance the vote’s legitimacy?”

        I’ve read that the average age of soldiers sent to Vietnam was 19, and conscripting people to fight in a war effort they couldn’t vote against was probably undermining the government’s legitimacy. To the extent that the things you mentioned helped the government reflect the concerns of the people, they enhanced its legitimacy, but elitist governments that are contemptuous of large groups of their own people, their rights, and their concerns, can and do win elections. Populism in all its forms, from left to right, is always a reaction to that kind of elitism. It may be that holding elections has become a necessary part of establishing a legitimate government in certain places, but in no case is holding an election sufficient to establish legitimacy by itself.

        There are undemocratic governments that enjoy a certain amount of legitimacy. Putin and Xi both enjoy a certain amount of acceptance among their people to exercise power. They typically need to project themselves to their people as representing the interests of their people, often railing against foreign influence or foreign threats in order to achieve that. In that case, again, the legitimacy they enjoy doesn’t come from elections themselves but by representing the authentic desires of their own people.

        Historically, Chinese emperors enjoyed something called the Mandate of Heaven, which could be lost due to misrule.

        The Mandate of Heaven does not require a legitimate ruler to be of noble birth, depending instead on how well that person can rule. Chinese dynasties such as the Han and Ming were founded by men of common origins, but they were seen as having succeeded because they had gained the Mandate of Heaven. The concept is in some ways similar to the European concept of the divine right of kings; however, unlike the European concept, it does not confer an unconditional right to rule. Retaining the mandate is contingent on the just and able performance of the rulers and their heirs.

        —-Mandate of Heaven

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandate_of_Heaven

        Emperor Xi enjoys the Mandate of Heaven (AKA legitimacy) because he accurately reflects his people’s desire for increasing prosperity, public order, and national pride. If and when Emperor Xi fails to deliver on any or all of those things, he will lose his legitimacy, and the Mao dynasty could fall–elections or no elections.

        So, to answer your questions, insofar as expanding the right to vote made the government more responsive to protecting the rights and reflecting the desires of more people, it increased the legitimacy of the government. However, the ultimate source of the government’s legitimacy is not the elections themselves. It’s the extent to which the government protects the rights of the people and reflects their desires.

      2. Two of those last three, maybe. I think the popular vote move was one of the worst things to happen to the Federal government in U.S. history. The Senate stopped being representatives of sovereign states and became a weighted, smaller House.

    2. “…while democracy is often a necessary ingredient for the legitimacy of a modern government, democracy is an insufficient condition for legitimacy by itself.”

      The problem is that representative government/democracy presupposes the existence of and decent respect for a functional rule of law.

      We fetishize the external trappings of ‘democracy’ but turn a blind eye to the cold reality of how such societies actually work. Largely because changing those aspects require measures and extents we are unwilling to entertain.

      1. Yeah, like I wrote above, you don’t necessarily need to be democratic to protect people’s rights or reflect the people’s most cherished desires, and I’d go further and point out that elitist democracy can actually undermine its own legitimacy.

        The Weimar Republic, essentially, voted itself out of existence because democracy itself lost its legitimacy. This didn’t only happen because of the inflation and the economic turmoil. The French actually invaded the Ruhr Valley and forced German miners to extract coal from them at gunpoint to pay reparations in lieu of worthless marks. The Weimar Republic was seen as something like an elitist democracy inflicted on the German people–like we tried to do in Afghanistan. It is practically impossible for elections to confer legitimacy on a democracy when the people in that country are subject to occupation by a foreign government.

        To the extent that such efforts succeeded in Germany and Japan after World War II, it was largely because their former governments had lost their legitimacy over the course of the war, because we devastated the civilian population with nuclear bombs or mass bombing campaigns, like those in Dresden, Hamburg, and the firebombing of Tokyo, and in Germany’s case, because we represented a legitimate defense against Russian aggression during the beginning of the Cold War. The neoconservative experiment in Afghanistan enjoyed few or none of those advantages.

        Then there are relatively legitimate governments like the one in Singapore, where the president ran unopposed because only one person in the country met the strict qualifications for office. It is often the case that we libertarians wish people wanted more freedom than they do, but we can’t inflict a desire for freedom on people at the point of a gun any more than we can inflict legitimacy on them at the point of a gun. You can lead a horse to water, but it doesn’t make him a duck, and you can’t win hearts and minds at the point of as gun.

    3. “Why did it take presidents so long to realize this?”

      I appears that Tuccille’s TDS has been so bad that he couldn’t remember (or find out) that Trump took lots of heat from neocons in the GOP (who hated/hate Trump) in 2015 and 2016 when Trump promised to remove US troops from Afghanistan (if he became president) and criticized Bush for occupying the country from 2001 to 2008.

  8. “Nothing Was Gained From 20 Years in Afghanistan”

    I can see in 4 years a similar title being printed up with a little added touch….

    “Nothing was gained from Biden’s 4 years as president, but a lot was lost”

    1. Perspective is the only thing I can possibly hope to see the nation gain after Biden.

    2. Biden’s not going to make it 4 years. Best case – He leaves 1 year and 364 days in, so the 2 years+1 day is the extent of Kammy’s first term.

    3. the admin’s incompetence is very concerning and who knows what kind of shit they will get all of us into. At this point, I wonder what will be left of the U.S. by the end of Biden’s first term.

      Biden’s handlers are progs that will only double down on their failures and become more emboldened with each new, spectacular, humiliating debacle.

  9. The speech would have been great if:
    1) The person giving it wasn’t actively involved in the 20 year debacle from the start
    2) The actual withdrawal, which we had plenty of time to prepare for, wasn’t an unmitigated disaster

  10. Three sycophantic articles trying to blow slow Joe’s pocket whistle in a row. The mask is not even on…

    Let’s be clear; Biden made the call. You can blame Trump, Bush and everyone else until your fingers wear to the bone and it still won’t change his staggering incompetence and heartlessness.

    Afghanistan was fucked. But we had a moral responsibility to see it through once begun… Cutting and running in the middle of the night, abandoning allies and arms was about as far from a good plan as you can get, and a flagrantly political calculation proudly made by a moron who has been on the wrong side of every foreign and domestic policy since he first started suckling on the taxpayer teat.

    Fuck you, unReason.

    1. Senator Biden voted for the invasion. Biden also helped oversee the occupation for eight years as Vice President. So he has partial ownership of the start as well as the rudderless quagmire during. And he completely owns the directionless abandonment at the end. He is probably more involved than any other person on the planet yet he has been blaming everyone else. With humility, of course.

      1. The humility talking point is really riling me up here. There was nothing humble in his speech; pure deflection and politics.

      2. This is great, the person who actually pulled us out is most to blame for the occupation.

        Biden Derangement Syndrome.

        1. Absolutely. Seven years as a Senator, eight years as VP and now as POTUS. Even the Lions didn’t let Matt Millen have a set of keys that long.

          And we aren’t pulled out. He put more troops there and there are upwards of 10,000 Americans still trapped in Kabul. And tens of thousands of Afghani allies; we don’t even have a plan for them though the talk is we would like to get some of them out. Maybe. Possibly. Potentially.

          We had an agreement with the Taliban to be out by May 1 but Biden fucked that up by extending it to get PR points. With hubris.

          Biden is showing what the second term of the Carter administration would have looked like.

          1. Senators and VP’s have very little say about policy, but you know who does? Presidents! Like Trump, who, as you say, wanted to pull out *earlier*. Sure, that would have gone smooth like room temperature Country Crock!

            1. Congress effectively ended the Vietnam War when they refused to continue funding it.

              Weak VPs have little say about policy. You think Cheney didn’t contribute significantly to the Bush administration? He owns a lot of the start of this too.

              Nobody knows how Trump’s withdraw would have gone. Not even Trump. Though we do know how Biden’s abandonment is going and it is a disaster.

              1. It’s silly to think any withdrawal was going to be good, only those who believed Bush, Obama and Trump’s lies about what was going on there would think that. What’s important is Biden did what Trump promised.

                1. “Biden did what Trump promised …”

                  Demented Man Bad …

                  1. Yes, you’re suffering from Biden Derangement Syndrome.

                    1. ba dum tis!

                    2. The Americans still trapped in Afghanistan are suffering from Biden Dementia Syndrome.

                2. Leaving Afghanistan was not going to be a feel good moment. Agree on that. International terror activity originating there mostly if not completely ceased during the occupation. Osama Bin Laden was killed during the Obama administration. That was about all that could happen. The American public did not want to send billions of dollars annually at the additional cost of lives to continue to prop up the government. It needed to end.

                  Completely ignoring what was happening, communicating what is happening wouldn’t happen then throwing blame around has made it considerably worse. President Biden owns all of that.

                  The US will have greater challenges convincing third parties to help us in the future, our NATO allies are pissed about Biden funneling them bullshit info and some of our adversaries can now write a check to the Taliban in exchange for some of our latest military hardware. An organized and well-communicated withdraw would have minimized if not potentially eliminated these realities.

                  1. OK, this is a thoughtful reply.

                    I think Biden could have done this better. However, I really don’t see any scenario where we pull out going well. It’s funny people cite Saigon as a criticism, to me it shows that any pull out tends to go that way. How could it otherwise?

                    I can get people who argue we shouldn’t pull out. Powerful arguments, though I’m not convinced.

                    What I can’t get are people who are like ‘well, this was the goal, but not like this.’ That’s letting the (impossible) perfect be the enemy of the good.

                    1. President Ford’s handling of the embassy in Saigon is not an example of something to be emulated.

                      Us leaving permanently was going to include storm clouds. Biden’s botching of it for failing to withdraw civilians and important military equipment months ago, developing a plan for our native allies there and sharing all of this with our international allies turned it into a Nor’easter.

                      A touchdown or field goal were not on the table. Punting was the correct call. Running a trick play and fumbling in the opposing team’s redzone is worse. And is not the same as a punt.

                    2. “OK, this is a thoughtful reply…”

                      Far more than you deserve, you steaming pile of idiotic lefty shit.

            2. What are you paid for posting this drivel? 50 cents an hour was the going rate I understand.

              1. I’m going to break some bad news for you here, and I’m sorry. Despite what your mom told you to compensate for that stuff about your Dad, you’re not special. No one is paying anyone to tell you what you believe in your basement is stupid.

                1. .10 cents at most for that lame attempt at a zinger …

                  1. Your mom often gives me something, like a baked good, after we’re finished. Is that where you’re getting this silly meme?

                    1. Your google translator’s gone apeshit on you, fifty center.

            3. “Presidents! Like Trump Biden …”

              Not so hard, is it?

            4. Yes, you fvckn moron, it would have been during the winter and early spring when the Taliban arent even constituted as a force.

              It would have been orderly, and not left 10s of thousands of people trapped behind enemy lines with no way to get to the airport

            5. “Senators and VP’s have very little say about policy,..’

              Yeah, they just control the purse-strings.
              1) queen asshole is really this stupid.
              2) queen asshole hopes others are stupid enough to buy his/her bullshit.
              I’ll take 1+2.

        2. “…the person who actually pulled us out…”

          Lefty queen asshole can’t quite spell:
          “got our asses handed to us and high-tailed it before we all got killed.”

        3. I see plagiarism trickles down from the top.

          Biden. Fucked. Up.

          …again, as usual.

          And he thinks Kamala’s hair smells better than yours, I’m sorry.

    2. We need another wet mop on the junk foods aisle, and a 5-gallon pail of Dr Trump’s “extra snowflake formula” Butthurt Salve. Semi-literate tear-streaked redneck having foaming convulsions may require a stretcher as well… Same thing happened in Positive Christian Germany after May of 1945.

    3. Afghanistan was fucked. But we had a moral responsibility to see it through once begun…

      Bull-fucking-shit.

      Our only responsibility was to go in, smack the Taliban in the face, put a bullet in Bin Laden’s head, and then get out. Bush fucked up by listening to his neocon advisors that we needed to “bring democracy to the Middle East” and not staying focused on killing Bin Laden. Obama fucked up by not beginning our withdrawal about 10 minutes after that bullet passed through Bin Laden’s head. Trump fucked up by not giving Liz Cheney and Jason Crow the finger, and pulling the rest of our people out of there by Christmas last year like he wanted to. Biden fucked up by reneging on the deal Trump’s people made to get us out by May, and then doubling down on that by fucking up the withdrawal for his stupid 9/11 photo op.

      Moral responsibility? Get the fuck out of here with that shit. That’s a Wilsonian pretense that needs to be put in the grave of the 20th century where it belongs.

      1. “Once it began.” You copied the sentence but failed to comprehend.

        If we had gone in, taken put Bin Laden and gotten out, I’d be fucking ecstatic. But instead we dug in, made allies and obligations. However wrong a decision, people trusted America with their lives and supported it. Cutting and running in the night like a craven moppet while leaving these people to be butchered should be unconscionable.

        1. You copied the sentence but failed to comprehend.

          I understood it just fine, fucko.

          But instead we dug in, made allies and obligations. However wrong a decision, people trusted America with their lives and supported it. Cutting and running in the night like a craven moppet while leaving these people to be butchered should be unconscionable.

          This is the very definition of a sunk-cost fallacy.

  11. “President Joe Biden hit the right points in his speech on the Afghanistan debacle.”

    JFC, Carry that water JD.

    1. I dont even think Jill Biden believes that

  12. If the Taliban had public policy degrees from Harvard, they would have realized there was no way they could take Kabul in 6 days.

    1. I absolutely loved the Taliban lecturing Twitter on free speech. It was just too fucking funny.

      1. Next they’re going to start talking about the NAP, and put Ron Paul on their money.

      2. It’s so interesting to say the least. Facebook should have responded with the argument the Taliban uses for suppressing speech.

        1. Yet, they cannot; the hypocrisy would just ooze from any attempt. It is the ultimate irony that a sworn enemy – the Taliban – are the ones to call it out. The truth here is stranger than fiction.

          1. The Taliban and you don’t understand what free speech means. It’s when the govt suppresses speech or forces private companies to host speech. You and the Taliban are confused. That’s the irony here.

            1. “What was that?” said a confused Strazele, as a joke passed high over his head.

              1. LOL….you got it. Sullum writes Ok, but he cannot think logically. Clearly a product of inferior schooling.

            2. So the Taliban, being neither government nor government-coerced private company can’t suppress free speech.

              1. Facebook doesn’t threaten to shoot people.

                You’re just butthurt because they don’t want to associate with Trump and Trumpistas.

                1. Facebook doesn’t threaten to shoot people.

                  So then the ‘government or government-coerced’ isn’t critical or, at least, nowhere as critical as threatening to shoot people?

                  Does it apply strictly to shooting (or threatening to shoot) people or does locking people in a building and setting fire to it count?

        2. Facebook should have responded with the argument the Taliban uses for suppressing speech.

          As if they have any moral high ground to stand on there. That was the whole point of the spokesman’s roast.

    2. Come on, man, they’d need F15s and nuclear weapons

  13. We did not lose the war. We failed in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The reconstruction is not a military problem and does not have a military solution, though it does require the support of the military. In fact, for the US forces, this was not much of a war for some years now. The problem is cultural, and there is very little foundation to build a western liberal state upon.

    That being said, not having Afghanistan supporting terrorist organizations operating outside of Afghanistan was not nothing.

    1. Observe the collectivist “we” plus the Orwellian “not un-…” grammatical construction. This is Newspeak 73 years later.

      1. Being a member of the sovereign population of the USA, it is accurate to describe what the government that acts in our name does as what “we” do.

        I am not sure what you are on about in the latter part of your post.

    2. “not having Afghanistan supporting terrorist organizations operating outside of Afghanistan was not nothing.”

      Yes. Also, the women and girls there would probably not call it nothing.

      1. “Invade to save the women!”

        1. The worst thing about this is what’s probably going to happen to women there, but hey, as a basement incel what does that matter to you, amirite?

          1. “The worst thing about this is what’s probably going to happen to women there ….”

            Are you prioritizing women over faggots?

            1. Lol, so incel definitely.

              1. Are you volunteering to save the women of Afghanistan?

                1. Ahem, the proper NPC code input is “women and girls of Afghanistan.”

                  1. The great delusion here is that leftist morons genuinely believe women in Afghanistan were living the American dream over the past twenty years beyond the manufactured headlines for the consumption of gullible idiots in the West.

          2. “The worst thing about this is what’s probably going to happen to women there, but hey, as a basement incel what does that matter to you, amirite?”

            Nope. The worst is the number of people Biden will manage to get killed, asshole.

          3. Wait, but I thought Biden made the right decision while overcoming the bad orange man? Since when do Dem shills actually give a fuck about the people they exploit for propoganda?

            Get your talking points in order.

      2. Except now both those things are lost, so its still a net nothing

    3. I would respectfully suggest that we DID lose the war, because the reconstruction of Afghanistan became part of the war. We failed specifically because we took something that has no military solution and made it part of military goals.

      1. That’s a great point. We might have won Enduring Freedom, but we clearly fucked up Freedom’s Sentinel.

  14. But he seemingly changed his mind when he realized the extent of corruption under then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

    In 50 years, Biden never witnessed a speck of corruption in D.C.

    1. “In 50 years, Biden never witnessed a speck of corruption in D.C. he wasn’t in on.”

      FTFY.

      1. Duh its not corruption if you’re in on it, then its just normal processes

    2. False equivalence fallacies, how do they work?

      1. HURRRRRRRRRRR CITE? HURRRRRRRRRRRR.

        1. Don’t cry, snowflake, people disagree with you. If you went out your basement more you’d get it.

          1. Joke’s on you, shitgibbon. My home doesn’t have a basement.

            1. So you’re in your parent’s crawlspace? Yuck.

              1. That word, “crawlspace.” I do not think it means, what you think it means.

          2. And one sign of intellect is the ability to understand a joke. You failed.

            1. So it takes intellect to understand your repeated posting of the same all caps HUUR…etc.?

              You’re funny.

              1. That’s the best you can do?

                1. Sorry it wasn’t a repeated ALL CAPS nonsense.

      2. False equivalence fallacies, how do they work?

        Not like this comparison/contrast.
        Biden has been in DC for 50 years. He has been directly involved in the presidential administration for 8 of those years. Surely with that much exposure to DC politics and its layers of corruption he is:
        Seemingly just recognizing the <extent of corruption?
        Or is your argument that President Biden has never seen this level of corruption, far and above what he has seen before so he is dumbfounded?
        After all, wasn’t one of his qualifications his immense government experience?

        1. There’s corruption in our federal government, but what’s going on in places like Afghanistan is exponentially different.

          1. So, unrecognizable by immense government experience Joe then. Until. Pop! (or maybe, Cornpop!) the light of recognition comes on!

            1. So, you didn’t read or didn’t understand what I wrote?

              1. Read and understood.
                Your take is the Afghan corruption is so nuanced and subtly layered that it is incomprehensible to our experienced Joe. Our government is corrupt, but not nearly to the level and hence JB was not able to sniff it out initially, but then later seemingly realized his mistake.
                Is that about it?
                Exponential is a mathematical term. At what point does your exponentially different corruption become unrecognizable when compared to ordinary corruption?

          2. There’s corruption in our federal government, but what’s going on in places like Afghanistan is exponentially different.

            By what metric?

          3. How so?
            Explain how a Community Organizer affords a $12Million dollar compound after 10 years in government where he made less than $4M total, before taxes

      3. “False equivalence fallacies, how do they work?”

        You’re the expert, asshole; you tell us.

    3. Exactly how corrupt does a government have to be before everyone knows it’s supposed to fall?

      Because our government just lied to us about a war for 20 years. Does that count?

  15. So, it’s good that a U.S. president is capable of learning hard lessons about failed policy

    Oh, this is a satirical article. You almost got me, Tuccille.

  16. “ “We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future,” he added.”

    “ As of November 2019, Brown University’s Costs of War project estimated deaths in Afghanistan at 2,298 for the U.S. military, and 3,814 for contractors. Deaths among Afghan military and police were estimated at 64,124.”

    That’s a lot of dead Afghans for a people without the will to fight.

    1. “That’s a lot of dead Afghans for a people without the will to fight.”

      Or a good reason for the live Afghans to lose the will to fight

  17. Exporting freedom to superstitious satrapies is as hopeless as importing their brainwashees and expecting them to about-face and vote libertarian. When Jack Wheeler was covering communist v. mercantilist drug gangs under price-gouging Biden-Reagan prohibitionism, drug money was a source of outside funding for government torture and murder. Afghanistan has been a destabilizer of opiate prices since the 1830s–partially occupied by mixed-economy slaves and suckers since that time.

    1. Yep. Damn right.

    2. Russia Today did a YT story on an article about how select defense industry stocks have done between the initial invasion and now. It wasn’t surprising.

  18. How many apologies does everyone owe to Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan?

  19. President Joe Biden hit the right points in his speech on the Afghanistan debacle.

    No he didn’t. He’s a Democrat, which means he’s wrong about everything. That means that leaving Afghanistan must be a bad thing, because a Democrat is doing it.

    1. This, for so many here.

      In fact, Trumpistas are on record for getting out of there. But they have to find fault with this because, well, Biden.

      Biden Derangement Syndrome.

      1. Biden isn’t the real president anyway. He and his Democrat minions stole the election from Trump. NOT MY PRESIDENT!

      2. HURRRRRRRRRRR CITE? HURRRRRRRRRRRR.

        1. High level joke here, hope everyone has the intellect to understand it!

          1. Queen asshole’s here to help that steaming pile of lefty shit sarc drag the strawmen around.
            Fat shits like sarc need help

          2. When you two get tired of whacking one another, can you let Fat Tony get a couple strokes in?

      3. Biden Derangement Syndrome

        That’s twice in this thread you’ve inserted this label. If you are trying to trend it, put a hashtag on it.
        Since we appear to be such simple folk to you Queenie, you may want to simplify the hashtag. I would suggest Biden Syndrome, which can then be shortened to the simpler BS.

        1. The unintentional italics is the chef’s kiss here.

          1. Break out the lipstick then, Queenie.
            A missed tag is the bane of simpler folks like me.

          2. The stupid is strong here from queen asshole.

        2. Did you expect a leftist shill to have anything original?

      4. In fact, Trumpistas are on record for getting out of there. But they have to find fault with this because, well, Biden.

        Biden Derangement Syndrome.

        “If it weren’t for Biden, there would be no fault in the way we’ve handled Afghanistan in the past 8 mos. for Trumpistas to find.” carries both a literal interpretation and a figurative interpretation. Both are objectively true, even to people who hate Trump.

        It would seem that ‘Biden Derangement Syndrome’ is longhand for ‘sane’.

        1. Sorry, “and a figurative sarcastic interpretation”.

    2. Seems like most of the commenters here are on board with leaving Afghanistan, Sarc. Even you have to admit the method and result was clearly a catastrophic failure. When CNN is no longer carrying HO2 for the Big Guy, that is a major FUBAR.
      Even Psaki can’t circle back enough times to spin it right.

      1. Even you have to admit the method and result was clearly a catastrophic failure.

        I never said otherwise.

        1. So, a bad thing then. Regardless of political affiliation, which is what most of the commenters are commenting on.

    3. LOL, even Democrat media shills were dragging him for it. What the fuck are you going on about?

  20. If this were playing out under Trump does anyone seriously doubt how the writers and socks here would be talking right now????

    1. Well I imagine they wouldn’t be making fun of Trumpistas whose heads are exploding right now because they have to oppose everything Democrats do no matter what, yet they want the troops to leave because Trump started it.

      1. Enjoying your switchblade?

          1. I got the full-sized version, not the mini. The button was sticky so I had to take it apart and polish the contact surfaces. But now it flips right open with a press of a button! Probably going into my tacklebox.

          2. What makes it a Kalashnikov?

            It isn’t made by any AK manufacturer, and it doesn’t resemble an AK bayonet.

            Seems like they just slapped the name a.k.a. on it

    2. There’s also the other alternate reality: The US is locked in a forever war through an unbroken line of Presidential succession and you’re given the option between choosing the next leader in line (and the one after her…) or an outsider who, even if only in power for a brief moment, could bring the forever war to an end. Reason, both times, chose the status quo and openly disdained disruption.

      1. This ‘outsider,’ was he ever, you know, in power for four years where he could have ended this forever war?

        1. Democrats stopped him! It wasn’t his fault!

        2. Given that under his watch, Trump actually did far more to get us out of this region than any other administration (including the one that Biden was a part of for 8 years), I’d say he came closer than anyone.

          All the evidence points to Biden as a war monger. He has voted for every military intervention put in front of him as a legislator. As a Vice President, he presided over a surge in Afghanistan and Iraq, military interventions in Syria and Lybia.

          So to the extent that Biden is now getting out of Afghanistan, the only thing that has changed is that he entered office with a negotiated withdrawal already underway. So yes, as much as it pains you to admit it, any reasonable observer would have to say that Trump did more for this country to get it out of military entanglements than the last 40 years of presidents going back to Jimmy Carter. 0 new wars, and a complete withdrawal that would have been finished in May, had Biden’s administration not fucked it up.

          There is plenty to dislike about Trump. Plenty. But a person’s unwillingness to give him credit for reducing America’s presence in forever wars is a clear sign of partisan bias.

          1. Given that under his watch, Trump actually did far more to get us out of this region than any other administration (including the one that Biden was a part of for 8 years), I’d say he came closer than anyone.

            It’s funny just dumb to hear people decrying the GOP as supporting the war for criticizing Biden criticize Trump for not ending the war more expediently and haphazardly in accordance with their wishes.

            Almost like they want the forever war, they just want it to come home so they can punish the evil Trumpistas that live in their head.

          2. Trump did much in getting us out, but Biden in actually doing it is terrible!

            Lol.

            1. What…the….hell is wrong with you? I invite you to respond to the words I wrote rather than the…you know…voices in your head.

              No one reading what I wrote and what you wrote would ever think that your synopsis is accurate. In fact, many would probably assume you were suffering some sort of brain fever.

              Seriously. Get help.

              1. Queen asshole doesn’t have the intelligence to know s/he needs help.

              2. It consistently argues in bad faith. All it wants are your replies, to set up thread-jacking series of gibberish posts. Deny it your attention.

        3. I didn’t name the outsider. Additionally, you don’t get to dictate the when and how they end the war. More metaphysically to the question, you don’t/can’t know the outcome up front.

          Option A:
          The President who started the war.
          The President who surged.
          A President who supported them both.
          (Potentially another President who supported them both)

          or

          Option B:
          The President who started the war.
          The President who surged.
          Someone, anyone else.

          Take your pick. More to my point, techically option A has both a ‘male’ and ‘female’ option (so does option B but the gender is/was less critically important).

          1. Flailing, flailing.

            Why does your devotion to Trump make you say such dumb things? He won’t come and f*ck your wife/significant other, no matter how much you desire this (if, indeed, you have one).

            1. I didn’t say anything about Trump. I literally said “Someone, anyone”.

              The fact that you think I want him to fuck my SO without even being aware if I have one says far more about you than it does about me.

              Similarly, the difficulty in getting an answer to the question “Dynastic forever war or something else?” out of you is very telling.

            2. “Flailing, flailing.”

              Stupid, stupid.

    3. Youtube deletes thousands of dislikes daily from Biden’s video postings. This is an opportunity for for semiliterate Trumpista catamites to hurl expletives at the other half of the Kleptocracy… people exactly like themselves in IQ and basic beliefs. Here’s a link: https://tinyurl.com/yhqvt9wz

  21. “all three countries were artificial colonial relics with no pervasive sense of national identity.”

    “virtually no logistics capability,”

    “incapable of maintaining its equipment,”

    “hobbled by corruption.”

    IOW, not post war Germany or Japan; the lesson? Nation building, spreading democracy, whatever label du jour, DOES NOT WORK and is a terrible waster of lives and resources.

    Can we just remember this simple lesson the next time any administration or party in charge to tempted to engage in such? Also comes to mind is the the road to hell is literally paved with good intentions.

    1. I was on board Bush 2 for term 1 under the banner of ‘No new nationbuilding.’ Term 2 is when I left specifically because of ‘No new nationbuilding.’

      Biden, et al.’s calls for the Taliban to adopt feminism or else we won’t leave is the exact same nationbuilding that I dumped the GOP for.

  22. This is complete bullshit. The United States has gained a shit ton of useless weight, graft, and bad habits.

    20 years funneling TRILLIONS of dollars into that region was tantamount to spending an entire year on your couch eating potato chips. Our military, intelligence agencies, state department, contractors, political establishment- pretty much every department in our government with foreign policy responsibilities- has been completely reorganized towards fighting a bunch of cave-dwelling insurgents hiding in the mountains.

    Think on that.

    We have officers who have never had to plan an attack under enemy air cover. Soldiers whose sum total experience is going out on patrols from a forward operating base and returning home. Generals who have never had to deal with logistics problems, and intelligence agencies who just take for granted the ever present ability to reach out and touch an enemy from drones at any time. Our entire military was reconstituted with a primary goal of “Winning Hearts and Minds”.

    We have developed a career progression pipeline working in the sticks, funneling millions to contractors- contractors that you will one day work for. In 20 Years, the area around the pentagon has gone from “meh” to stacks of high-rise luxury apartments filled with these contractors who have learned dentist-like precision in extracting billions upon billions upon billions of dollars from a region about the size of Texas.

    And all this time, we have gained a surveillance state that increasingly treats its citizens as suspicious because they dare to object to this centrally planned ossification of our government into a skeleton of group think and woke theorycraft.

    And to what end? To demonstrate that all that skeleton cannot last a month against a determined enemy rabble.

    1. Here’s the thing that a lot of people don’t know–“getting rid of the Taliban” was NEVER on the table, at least not after NATO fucked up and let Bin Laden slip across the border during Tora Bora. There was always a certain percentage of land they held that we were willing to live with, and we had to get them down to that percentage as a condition for pulling out. That was the whole point of getting the Afghan Army trained, was so they could engage the Taliban on a better geographical footing.

      That we never got them down to that acceptable percentage in 20 years is probably why Trump made the executive decision to get the fuck out of there–we were just spinning our wheels and wasting money on target that we were never going to hit short of ethnically cleansing them. If some lowly pleb like me could see that, I can’t imagine that he or at least Pompeo didn’t realize that, too.

    2. Dare I say, preach it, Overt! Preach it!

    3. Sockpuppet confuses enemies with bemused involuntary spectators. “When Women Ruled the World” should be subtitled for Afghan consumption

  23. Criticize the initial war and “nation-building” all you want, but credibility is discarded by saying no good was done.

    Millions of people got to live Taliban-free lives for almost two decades. Given their frantic efforts to escape now, it seems obvious that they are losing something significant. If we believe in human rights, we can’t pretend theirs don’t matter.

    We can debate the cost, but pretending the benefit was zero is just dishonest. In fact, with just 2,500 troops there over the past year and no deaths, one could argue we just defunded the world’s most cost-effective police.

    And now a whole country is CHAZ.

    1. In fact, with just 2,500 troops there over the past year and no deaths, one could argue we just defunded the world’s most cost-effective police.

      Fucking Christ. The only reason there were no deaths in that time was because the Taliban agreed to not attack our troops between February 2020 and May 1, 2021, contingent upon us pulling out by that latter date. And they lived up to their bargain, which is more than we can say for our side.

      Furthermore, there wasn’t just 2,500 troops there over the past year–Trump only drew them down to that level in November 2020.

    2. ” they are losing something significant.”

      Exactly, anything that was gained is now lost, so the net result is nothing

    3. “it seems obvious that they are losing something significant”

      Given their lack of effort in repelling Taliban advances, you may be overestimating what they’ve lost. The heroin business will take a blow. The NGO offices in Kabul will close down, and the river of yankee dollars will dry up. I don’t want to minimize the trauma that score settling Taliban fighters will inflict on the population, but with the US gone, they will be forced to come to terms with each other somehow. I hope that pervasive war weariness will help them along.

    4. All of South America is CHAZ thanks to Nixon-Biden-Reagan exportation of superstitious prohibitionism. Observe no conservatives are heading East to impose a slightly different mystical dictatorship on Afghanistan.

  24. There’s a lesson here in trying to force democracy on people.

    1. America’s installing a corrupt regime of drug warlords with rigged elections is not democracy. Democracy means rule by the poor, and Afghanistan’s poor are not ruling the country.

      1. Where are the poor ruling?

        1. The poor do well in the world of sports and popular culture. In governance, not so well.

          1. Have the poor ever ruled in governance?

            1. don’t bother trueman when he’s trying to deflect from one of his asinine statements.

            2. “Have the poor ever ruled in governance?”

              Maybe the poor do best when there is no government. Humans survived for over 2 million years and spread throughout every continent, save Antarctica, of the globe without governance.

              1. Maybe trueman is full of shit.

                1. Naah, not “maybe”.

      2. Democracy means rule by the poor

        No it doesn’t. Rule by the poor in proportion, maybe, but ‘rule by the poor’ is not democracy. Given the underlying notions about poor being an inherent virtue or the poor being generally wise, despite the evidence to the contrary*, it sounds closer to a theocracy.

        *That’s not to say that being poor is a vice or sin, but for all the myriad of morally neutral and unscrupulous ways in which one can become wealthy, there are dozens by which one becomes and/or remains poor.

        1. “Rule by the poor in proportion, maybe, but ‘rule by the poor’ is not democracy. ”

          Rule by the ‘demos’ ie those who are not aristocrats or wealthy. The preterite, or those who are passed over.

    2. On foreign people, in a different jurisdiction… But the DemoGOP Kleptocracy does practically nothing else, day and night! Maybe after Saudi terrists nuke DC the Nixon subsidies will dry up and democracy return to These Sovereign States.

    3. And that lesson is: you can’t put monkeys on a farm and expect them to start farming.

  25. “all three countries were artificial colonial relics with no pervasive sense of national identity”

    I’m not sure this is correct with respect to Afghanistan. Especially not in modern history. Afghanistan was a buffer state that separated would be colonizers like Russia and Britain, and called the graveyard of empires. Denigrating Afghanistan as ‘artificial’ makes little sense.

    As for its lack of national identity, Afghans compensated with a strong sense of tribal identity, which served them well over the millennia. The fact that we don’t seem to accept or recognize this might help to explain the American failure. Dealing exclusively with Northern Alliance tribal warlords while freezing out the Pashtun tribal warlords who traditionally held the position of dominance in Afghanistan.

    I think that rather than the effort of nation building, the US should have made it about bringing the tribes together to co-exist peacefully. Afghanistan history has plenty of periods of peaceful co-existence among her tribes.

    1. As for its lack of national identity, Afghans people compensated with a strong sense of tribal identity, which served them well over the millennia. The fact that we don’t seem to accept or recognize this might help to explain the American failure.

      Both in and outside of Afghanistan.

  26. >>Why did it take presidents so long to realize this?

    war is good for business. you’re asking the wrong question.

    1. Right. Everyone loves the gravy train. Trillions of dollars were just sloshing back and forth. In Afghanistan particularly, there are so so many accounts of the just plain silly payments back and forth for this and that.

      Yet the media never focuses on this.

    2. I remember reading somewhere that soldiers’ pizzas and even ice cubes were flown in regularly from a base in Saudi Arabia. But I think in the long run, Afghanistan wasn’t good for business, or at least not good enough. Otherwise we wouldn’t have pulled out.

      1. “Good for business” is too vague, but for 20 years it was insanely good for lining the pockets of fortuitously positioned Afghan and US individuals.

      2. Sounds like it was in need of someone who wasn’t in on the gravy train, could recognize a bankrupt business venture when it was slapping him in the face, and knew when it was time to cut and run.

        1. Perhaps we can thank the Chinese and Fentanyl for this. It’s made Afghanistan’s lucrative near monopoly on heroin not the attractive prospect it once was.

      3. Observe that “we” refers to the actions of gutless looter politicians able only to order others into harm’s way.

    3. Some businesses. Without all those Trillions going to military contractors, perhaps we could have capital for private space travel without billionaires begging to ride the government gravy train.

    4. The question is: why are voters still casting ballots for the communo-fascist looter Kleptocracy the Nixon anti-libertarian law subsidizes at gunpoint?

  27. Afghanistan finally liberated from a regime that imposes mandatory face coverings, destroys statues, and promotes the genital mutilation of children

    https://twitter.com/kwamurai/status/1426946717124108288

  28. Well, not all presidents. John Adams, speaking of America:

    “Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force….”

    1. Amen.

      But we are a different America now, hardly deserving to be called by the same name.

      Washington: “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. … In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.
      So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils…
      Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.
      The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. ..”

      1. Christ, if that came out today, James “I got suckered by Elizabeth Holmes and her affected baritone” Mattis would be bitching that Washington was an isolationist anti-American reactionary.

        1. Actually, he’d be jailed, a la Mike Flynn.

          1. I don’t know about that, but John Adams probably would for trying to stabilize relations with a foreign adversary and former ruling regime.

  29. Afghan ambassador in Tajikistan says President Ashraf Ghani escaped with $169m worth of cash in bags before Kabul fell to the Taliban, BBC reports.

    1. The exchange rate is 338 paintings by Hunter.

    2. I figured from reading diplomatic reports that Ghani was one cunning, slippery motherfucker. Glad to see he didn’t let me down in that assessment.

  30. Jimmy Carter isn’t the only one sighing relief

    https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1428034583266742277?t=sb3TjsopVx5Ud2OFAHjnzQ&s=19

    Susan Rice has been telling allies on the Hill that this is one of the most incompetent national security disasters in American history, said Obama’s “f*** up” quote is an understatement now

    1. “one of the most incompetent national security disasters in American history”

      Hasn’t America’s national security been enhanced by the withdrawal? After all, it allows the nation to focus on the real threats to the nation and saves a lot of money that would otherwise been wasted.

      1. Unknown. Do terrorist training camps return? Ask the magic 8 ball. But Americans wanted to leave.

        The saved money could be used to create a national fire extinguisher registry and purchase background check system. So yes to question two.

        1. “The saved money could be used to create …”

          More funding for poor children’s education opportunities. Their healthcare. Buying up land and turning it over to projects like community gardens, allotments, vegetable plots etc. It’s the poor who have always made up the backbone of the military. It’s only right that the poor should benefit the most from a dividend of peace.

          1. The money should be used to either pay off the debt or given back to the people that pay it. All that other stuff are things people should be doing for themselves and just leads to more need for it when subsidized. If you want those things for others you are free to fund them yourself.

            1. “The money should be used to either pay off the debt ”

              You work for a bank, clearly; I see why you think our nation’s hard working bankers deserve any peace dividend that’s coming.

              “All that other stuff are things people should be doing for themselves”

              Conservatives can be such insufferable moralizers. Not my style at all.

              1. Banks don’t like debts being paid off.

                So work hard for lazy people who will pontificate instead of doing things for themselves? No thanks. Again, you are free to pay for all of those things.

                1. “Banks don’t like debts being paid off. ”

                  They are free to forgive the debt. They won’t get into heaven otherwise.

                  “So work hard for lazy people who will pontificate instead of doing things for themselves? No thanks. ”

                  Hell is other people. (JP Sartre)

                  1. They ain’t going there. They are other people.

                    You are free to pay off the bank debt and fund the new social activism center.

                    1. What’s with this insistence at a peace benefit going to the banks? Are the banks really the most deserving members of our society? Or maybe the most trustworthy? Or least lazy?

                      Wasn’t it the banks what financed the war in the first place? Are their no consequences to financing a lost war?

                    2. You’re dealing with a troll, hoping fir mistaken click on his name, and spewing bullshit.

                    3. You will be sent to Afghanistan by the banks as war reparations and for your failure to pay the banks.

            2. ” given back to the people that pay it.”

              You really want to give a peace dividend to the people who funded a useless war responsible for killing thousands of civilians? Think of the kind of incentives you are laying out here.

              1. Fuck off and die, asshole.

              2. I certainly don’t want it going to folks that aren’t even capable of producing basic things for themselves.

                1. What have you got against folks who aren’t even capable of producing basic things for themselves? Children need care and attention in order to thrive and meet their full potential. Why is it so important for you to deny them? And what’s with this slavish insistence that bankers are the most deserving and exalted members of society?

      2. I suspect she’s referring more to the fucked-up withdrawal than the actual policy itself, but if it’s the latter, I don’t know what the fuck she’s going on about. Even her former boss was promising to get out when he ran for President.

        Hell, Biden ought to be thanking Trump for laying the groundwork for him to get us out, not blaming him for setting a deadline in the first place.

        1. “Hell, Biden ought to be thanking Trump for laying the groundwork for him to get us out”

          The talks between US and the Taliban leadership reps in Doha started back while Obama was president. Biden was VP at the time incidentally.

          1. “…The talks between US and the Taliban leadership reps in Doha started back while Obama was president. Biden was VP at the time incidentally…”

            And nothing came of those ‘talks’, asshole.
            Trump had an agreement which the Taliban honored.
            Care to prove once again in public what an ass you are? Do so again tomorrow; you got it done today.
            Folks, know this about the ignoramus trueman:
            1) he has a blog and posts on various sites, hoping that someone will, by mistake, click on his name and thereby double the click count for the week.
            2) Trueman has made it clear that posting bullshit is a valid effort on his part, as indeed it is; he hardly ever posts other that that.
            Fuck off and die, asshole.

  31. If you really do have faith in the judgement of presidents, than it was probably cognitive dissonance. I just think that they’re either buffoons or psychopaths.

    1. Trump was pretty good. It’ll take another thirty years before people start admitting that.

  32. This war was emphatically NOT a failure: it secured hundreds of billions of dollars in profits for favored death & destruction industries, kept politicians in power, aided in the vital task of eroding American liberty and destroying what was left of the Constitutional republic entrusted to us by the founders. A resounding success all around for the would-be masters of the universe just panting to control everyone and everything.

  33. Biden: “And like it or not, our leadership role must include soldiers on the ground,”
    Translation: “Be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box.”

  34. The Biden Admin is running want ads all over the place, trying to find enough arms to point at anything and everything to keep droolin’ Joe from being blamed for exactly what he did: Tore up a functioning agreement and then fucked it up even more!

    1. Was working on the tractor, didn’t think through what I was doing at all and ended up breaking a part. I really bidened it up.

      1. “…really bidened it up.”

        Don’t be too hard on yourself. Unlike droolin’ Joe, you didn;’t go out of your way to fuck it up.

  35. I feel we weren’t lied to about the war in Afghanistan so much as we were lied to about the Afghans themselves. We’ve been told over and over how the Afghans were being trained to defend their own country…and now we find out they couldn’t even be trained to do jumping jacks. It’s the usual problem: white sentimentality about other races. The Afghans are never going to be a civilized country, because they’re the kind of people who grab onto airplanes without thinking it through. Every time white people have tried to transplant a white society, designed for a white mindset, onto a non-white country, the results have been comical at best (used panty vending machines, Japan? Really?) and disastrous the rest of the time. You just can’t put monkeys on a farm and expect them to start farming. White people ignore this at our peril when we start flooding our country with them, in the naive belief that immigration is magic.

    However, it’s untrue that we gained nothing from twenty years in Afghanistan. We gained a relative respite from Islamic terrorism. If you’re one of those people who believe white supremacists are the biggest terrorist threat to America, hold onto your hats…Muslims are comin’ back in a big way.

    1. We all have our fantasies.

  36. This reminds me of the story of “Hello Kitty.” It was the time when high schoolers in Japan were prostituting themselves to buy Louis Vuitton bags and similar designer items. This is where Hello Kitty comes in. Their products were a tiny fraction of the cost of anything by Louis Vuitton, and were well made, and stylish. There is still high school prostitution in Japan, but thanks to Hello Kitty, it’s not for the want of Louis Vuitton bags.

    1. Reminds me of hogwash posted by lefty bullshitters. So much bullshit and zero information.

  37. given back to the people that pay it . haha are you seriously ? หวยยี่กี

  38. Why any war, ever? Follow the money. Only one POTUS seriously tried to end war, and paid the ultimate price for his humanity. RIP-JFK.
    Did the public learn anything? Reality is a good teacher, but the student must be willing to learn, to question his superstitions. Most are not. They are brainwashed cowards who worship their slavery.

    1. “…Only one POTUS seriously tried to end war, and paid the ultimate price for his humanity. RIP-JFK…”

      Sarc? Stupidity?

    2. Viet Nam and the Bay of Pigs were not efforts to end war. The close call with Russia of mutual destruction would have brought peace after the nukes landed. All in less then 3 years.

  39. The real question was whom profited or gained, not if anything was gained. By and large the citizens of Afghanistan and the US lost, but there are those who gained in either profits or in power. This same cast of characters is responsible for the never ending state of war simply because it is profitable or because they maintain or increase their power.

  40. This is not true. Trillions were spent. Billions were made. “The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of the transnational security elite. The goal is endless war, not a successful war” Julian Assange 2011

    1. That may be what it has become, but it was not the reason for going in. We went in to stop the Toliban terrorists in the region and create peace. It was not about nation building. We are still in South Korea and Europe for the same reasons.

  41. You misunderstand — It was not about nation-building! It was about stopping the Taliban terrorists and maintaining peace in the region. And it did that! We should have stayed there as advisors, intelligence gathers, and airstrike forces when needed. The Afgan army was doing the grunt work better and better. We have been in Europe and South Korea for decades; why not in Afganistan? We built super bases there which make it work. Now we have chaos, killing, 40K refugees and immagrents! A giant, UNECESSARY mess! Thanks Joe, and all you woke dims!

  42. That is from Reason’s perspective. Many military arms and supplies contractors gained one hell of a lot or profits. Not to mention all the corrupt politicians in both America and Afghanistan the gained greatly from 20 years of war by stealing money. Also the Taliban gained a lot of military weapons and hardware. Last the mortuary and healthcare business gained a lot of customers and patients. You see someone always wins, and the taxpayers and military personnel pay the price. That is why wars will continue.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.