In the evening of August 31, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan, manic bursts of automatic gun fire erupted throughout the city. They weren’t necessary shooting at anyone. Those doing the shooting were engaged in a time-honored tribal tradition of firing their guns into the sky in celebration of a great victory…
Naveed Jamali, the editor-at-large for Newsweek, quickly broke the news that the war was over in Afghanistan…
Minutes after that video hit the internet, the Pentagon announced the War in Afghanistan had officially ended…
The collective sigh of relief that so many Americans understandably feel is matched only by the exuberance that the Taliban, al Qaeda, IS-K, China, Russia, Iran, and so many enemies of the United States feel right now. The war is over. To what end, though?
By all counts, there are as many as 300 US citizens possibly still on the ground in Afghanistan (given how pernicious the lying of this administration is, I’d suspect it’s considerably more than they’re willing to acknowledge); people who, despite what White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has claimed, absolutely did want to leave Afghanistan…but were prevented from doing so, either because of the Taliban or their own government running interference. Meanwhile, there are many more US allies who have also been left stranded in Afghanistan–left to the tender mercies of the victorious Taliban and their Islamist allies.
The ignominious end to America’s ill-fated War in Afghanistan–which was, at its core a quixotic attempt to turn Afghanistan into Little America–has closed up shop not long after the Biden Administration confirmed that they had hatched a deal with their newfound friends in the Taliban to allow for flights to continue from the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) beyond Mr. Biden’s self-imposed August 31, 2021 deadline.
America’s collapse in Vietnam in 1975 was more honorable than her exit from Afghanistan.
Even now, despite the apparent celebrations going on amongst the Biden Administration’s top apparatchiks, few know the details of just who was left behind. Now that the mission has folded up exactly as I predicted it would: on August 31 and not a minute later, Washington will move the narrative far away from the events on the ground in Afghanistan to anything else. And those people we left behind will stay there until the Taliban find them (which won’t be that hard, since we apparently gave the Taliban all of the data they’d need to find those Americans and their allies still stranded in Afghanistan) and either imprison and/or kill them.
President Joe Biden is a failed president. Nothing that has transpired in the past two weeks in Afghanistan had to occur as they did. He has shown his incompetence and total indifference to the suffering of those on the ground; the American citizens we now leave behind, to our friends who sacrificed so much for us, to the families whose sons and daughters were recently sacrificed for Biden’s terrible leadership (to say nothing of the bipartisan disaster that has been allowed to unfold in Afghanistan since 2001).
US Marine Corps General MacKenzie, the CENTCOM commander who supposedly made an on-the-spot deal with the Taliban leadership in the run-up to the disastrous evacuation from Kabul to allow for the Taliban to seize Kabul, leaving the Americans a poorly defended place at HKIA, should be fired.
US Army General Mark Milley should also be fired for gross negligence.
The current secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, should be similarly fired. Every senior officer who had a hand in the disaster in Kabul should be frog-marched to Capitol Hill and made to explain themselves to the elected representatives of We, The People. Congress, meanwhile, should begin the greatest bipartisan rectal exam of the Executive Branch since the Church Committee investigation into the breaches of the US intelligence community in the 1970s.
Americans should demand answers for this decades long failure in Afghanistan. They must demand accountability from the current administration for its utter mishandling of the evacuation that everyone knew was coming.
US defense contractors should be publicly named and brought to account for the trillions of dollars that was wasted on Afghanistan. If there was a way for the US government to clawback the funds that every consultant, analyst, and contractor took from We, The People for this major cock up, that option should be exercised at the conclusion of any potential Congressional investigation into the Afghanistan crackup.
And what of the US intelligence community? Where were they in their projections that Afghanistan would collapse within a few weeks of the Biden Administration’s abandonment of Bagram Airbase?
And whatever happened to the plan to keep a residual force in Afghanistan to conduct counterterrorism operations? By all accounts, that plan went out the window with any other sensible plan the moment that Mr. Magoo, I mean President Biden, decided to hit the Chicken Switch in Afghanistan. As evidenced by this headline…
Defense contractors should be made to answer for these reprehensible images of US military Black Hawk helicopters given to the now-collapsed Afghan National Army (ANA) that were handed over to the advancing Taliban, and are now being used to hang Taliban political enemies and other people that the Taliban deem to be “undesirable”…
The Military-Industrial-Complex must be made to account for the fact that highly advanced biometric sensor units were apparently sold to the Pentagon, deployed to backward ass Afghanistan, and then used to catalog almost every single US military personnel in-country and every one of their Afghan allies…which now, of course, fell into the hands of the Taliban during their speedy advance through Afghanistan in the last few months. Thanks to America’s high-tech wizardry being wielded by the Taliban’s Medieval sensibilities, every single person in that biometric database is now at risk…both those in the country and, possibly, even those who have escaped.
Thanks, Uncle Sam.
Legislatively, the overseers of our capricious, incompetent, and needlessly spoiled Executive Branch. Then, Congressional overseers must demand to know, if so many Americans and allied Afghans were left behind in Afghanistan, just who the Hell were the thousands of people the US military spent the last week moving out from Afghanistan to the United States and third party countries?
From top-to-bottom, every aspect of the Biden bailout of Afghanistan–and his newfound partnership with the Taliban–is repugnant. The United States under Biden has not only completely abandoned its 20 year mission in Afghanistan, but it has done so in the most dangerous way imaginable: handing over billions of dollars of US military equipment, giving the country back to the Taliban, and abandoning our citizens to the tender mercies of the Taliban and their authoritarian allies.
If you’ve got the time, check out Danny Sjursen’s interview with Chris Hedge’s on his experiences in Afghanistan (I don’t agree with everything these two think, but I think this interview is deeply compelling about how blinkered the US policy toward Afghanistan has been for the last 19 years).