Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Thoughts on America’s Afghan Experiment

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Soprano Amalie Materna (1844-1918) as the character Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” at Bayreuth, Germany, 1876 – conjectural origin of the idiom “when the fat lady sings.”

What can anyone say about people that will cling to the body of a jet aircraft as it takes off, and then as it begins to reach altitude, fall to their deaths? Or stow away in a wheel well, where they are crushed by the mechanisms, or freeze to death at altitude?

Morons.

And desperate.

But still, morons.

They are utterly lacking common sense, stupid, and fundamentally absent the knowledge or intelligence to understand that such actions would be fool hardy at best, and – as it turned out – fatal at worst.

What would you say?

How would anyone describe it?

And yet, “it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”

So goes a colloquial saying meaning “don’t count your chickens until the eggs are hatched.”

Speaking of eggs, they can’t be unscrambled.

And this matter may very well be exactly illustrative of that axiom.

But, I do hear her warming up.

The so-called “fat lady,” that is.

There’s also this to consider:

Like him,
or not,
voted for him,
or not,
at least
ONE SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT
has been achieved by this President,
which
NO PRESIDENT IN THE PAST 20 YEARS
did

for whatever reason
(lacked political capital, had no desire/taste/will to withdraw, pass-the-buck
{a long-running popular Washington Beltway game}, etc.),
could not, or would not do

and did not do;
not George W. Bush in 8 years,
not Barack H. Obama in 8 years,
not Donald J. Trump in 4 years

and, he did it (announced it would be done)
on the 85th day he was in office – April 14, 2021


inside the first 100 days.

“When I came to office, I inherited a diplomatic agreement, duly negotiated between the government of the United States and the Taliban, that all U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, just three months after my inauguration. That’s what we inherited — that commitment.

“It is perhaps not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States government, and that means something. So, in keeping with that agreement and with our national interests, the United States will begin our final withdrawal — begin it on May 1 of this year.”

POTUS Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Wednesday, 14 April 2021, 2:29PM EDT, White House Treaty Room, Washington, D.C., “Remarks by President Biden on the Way Forward in Afghanistan”

I applaud POTUS BIDEN for ceasing the 20-year failed social experiment of the sociocultural-political elites – those with high-powered degrees from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and others (no disrespect to the institutions, or to education) — who built their careers, increased their fortunes, and padded their CV’s playing “nation building” with practically unlimited American tax dollars (we’ve burned a TOTAL of at least $2.6 TRILLION on that good-for-nothing wasteland hell-hole money that COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER SPENT HELPING OUR NATION, OUR PEOPLE), using the “expendable” lives of men and women from rural America and elsewhere far removed from the ivory-towered intelligentsia, all in the erstwhile hopes that somehow, they could foist upon a people a liberal democracy — by force, if necessary — who have no interest in such a type of government.

Again, like him,or not, voted for him, or not, under POTUS Trump’s administration, an agreement was struck with the Taliban to withdraw American forces and diplomatic presence… to be accomplished in a future administration. Yeah. Think on that a little while.

A little lesson from history:
Excerpt from “Sedition, a Free Press, and Personal Rule,” published May 7, 1918; collected in “Theodore Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star: War-Time Editorials by Theodore Roosevelt,” p.149

“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”

And with regard to the Ivy-Leagued-ivory-towered sociocultural-political elites, the miasmatic effluvium being the irony of hypocrisy, is upon full display, for they have been, and are, the very ones who justifiably condemn colonialism, American or otherwise, yet are practicing the very thing they condemn — colonialism.

America has NOT won a war since WWII. But most importantly, we did NOT go it alone. To be certain, we led, but we were not a “solo act.” We had the full-throated and physical support of other nations.

Moreover, there has not been a period of peace in American history since the nation’s founding. We Americans are NOT a peace-loving people. We are war-like, and our military-industrial-complex, about which former WWII Supreme Allied Commander, and 2-term Republican POTUS Eisenhower warned in his Farewell Address, is not merely in full bloom, it has replicated and multiplied many times over. Since 1776 and the Revolutionary War, which marked the Founding of the United States of America, our nation has been involved in well over 150 military conflicts.

The United States is not, nor can it be, the “world’s policeman,” nor has any such thing ever been this nation’s goal, or objective.

American Foreign Policy, particularly in the last 50 years, or so, has been a practically wholesale and utter disaster. To say it has been completely and fully failed would be an exaggeration, for there have been some successes, however minor and insignificant. But on the whole, and for the greatest part, the official policy – as evidenced by its action – has been one of mostly-uninvited internal meddling in other nations’ affairs, and the role of the United Nations, at least a far as the United States is concerned, has been relegated to a far back-seat. An essentially American brainchild (though the UN did succeed the League of Nations) was from the force majeure from Tennessee — America’s longest-serving Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, a Democrat — called the “Father of the United Nations,” without whose effort the United Nations would have ever been founded, and was nominated by then-POTUS Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the Nobel Peace Prize for so doing, and was so awarded it in 1945.

The “Blame Game” is another popular political pastime Washington Beltway insiders play, and often, it’s the minority party which instigates it. And so it is with this matter. Republicans, mostly, have loudly proclaimed the “failure” of this not-even-one-year-old administration in the matter of the Taliban’s Afghanistan coup. That’s exclusively, and purely specious rhetoric. It’s about as worthwhile or valuable as a confetti drop at a political convention.

Aside from the items cited above, being American nation-building efforts among a people who have no desire for a liberal democracy, there is evidence aplenty of certain and impending American failure in Afghanistan as follows — though it is by no means the only reasons.

1.) For very nearly 20 years by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) — an independent agency created by Congress which provides objective oversight of the money the U.S. has provided to implement reconstruction programs in Afghanistan since 2002 — warned that the Afghan people were incapable of, or unwilling to, practice autonomous self-governance. Here’s a link to EVERY report filed by SIGAR: https://www.sigar.mil/allreports/

2.) Problems plaguing the nation were, and are, myriad, including, but not limited to:

a.) Wide spread illiteracy – Literacy, defined as those age 15 and over who can read and write, is only 43%.

b.) Short life spans
, as evidenced by:

i.) Infant mortality – Among the highest globally with 106.75 deaths/1,000 live births.

ii.) The nation’s single largest population segment is children aged 0-14
, with 40.62%. 31.44% are aged 25-54, 21.26% are aged 15-24, and a mere 4.01% are aged 55-64.

iii.) Malnutrition is rampant, with 19.1% of children under age 5 being underweight (2018) — a definitive marker of quality of health and life.

iv.) Access to healthcare is similarly practically non-existent
, with 0.4 hospital beds/1,000 population (2017), and even fewer physicians, with 0.28 physicians/1,000 population (2016). Comparatively, United States has 2.61 physicians/1,000 population (2017), United Kingdom 2.81 physicians/1,000 population (2018), Switzerland has 4.3 physicians/1,000 population (2017), Sweden has 3.98 physicians/1,000 population (2016), Spain has 3.87 physicians/1,000 population (2017), South Africa has 0.91 physicians/1,000 population (2017), Serbia has 3.11 physicians/1,000 population (2016), Russia has 3.75 physicians/1,000 population (2015), Mexico & Poland 2.38 physicians/1,000 population (2017), Norway 2.92 physicians/1,000 population (2018), France 3.27 physicians/1,000 population (2018), Finland 3.81 physicians/1,000 population (2016), Denmark 4.01 physicians/1,000 population (2016), Belgium has 3.07 physicians/1,000 population (2017), Canada 2.31 physicians/1,000 population (2016), China 1.98 physicians/1,000 population (2017), Austria 5.17 physicians/1,000 population (2017), Australia 3.68 physicians/1,000 population (2017), etc.

c.) Wholesale national ignorance — School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) averages only 10 years nationally, with boys on average getting 13, while girls on average get 8. School life expectancy (SLE) is the total number of years of schooling (primary to tertiary) that a child, beginning at age 6, can expect to enroll in, in their lifetime. SLE is the expected number of years of schooling that will be completed, including years spent repeating one or more grades. It is calculated by taking the sum of enrollment rates across each single year of age starting at age six. Comparatively, on average United States’ children get a total of 16, children in UK get 17, Sweden 20, Slovenia 18, Pakistan 8, Noway 18, Niger 6, Nigeria 9, Netherlands & New Zealand 19, Mexico 15, Japan 15, Italy 16, Ireland 20, Iran 15, Germany 17, etc.

And, in parting, it is significantly noteworthy that American armed forces DID NOT IMMOBILIZE -or- PERMANENTLY DISABLE the operability of vehicles left behind in Afghanistan, so that now, the Taliban are further mobilized, and often with “up-armored” HMMWVs (Hummers) and MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles, but with seemingly countless small arms, rocket launchers, and other individually-portable weaponry.

They COULD HAVE (and should have):
1.) Shot holes in the cooling systems;
2.) Shot holes in the fuel tanks;
3.) Removed/Destroyed critical electrical harnesses/wiring.

American military slovenliness has significantly armed the Taliban.

5 Responses to “Thoughts on America’s Afghan Experiment”

  1. […] « Thoughts on America’s Afghan Experiment […]

    Like

  2. […] In a previous entry, I had written in part that, […]

    Like

  3. lumivalge said

    You do realize that most Afghans have never been on a plane, and many might have fled to Kabul from remote areas where there is a serious lack of proper education, they have no idea about the lack of oxygen and freezing temperatures in high altitudes…? There is a good chance those people actually didn’t know clinging to a plane will kill them. Calling them “morons” for not being educated on this in a country that is still partly stuck in the stone age seems a tad bit inappropriate.
    And even if these people had the knowledge and did it out of sheer panic and desperation, it’s nothing else than those who jumped out of the twin towers’ windows during the 9’11 attacks out of sheer panic and desperation. That’s not something to make fun of, or call people morons for, that’s just sad and tragic.

    Like

    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Apologies for the belated response. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and, your point is sufficiently made, that wholesale ignorance is rampant in that nation – which is the gist of the remarks which I made, in part from frustration. But in my defense, I did write that “They are utterly lacking common sense, stupid, and fundamentally absent the knowledge or intelligence to understand that such actions would be fool hardy at best, and – as it turned out – fatal at worst. What would you say?

      And if you’d like to read more human interest story detail about the young man who perished, we (the world) does know his name, and a story was written about him in the WSJ. Afghanistan’s Falling Man: The 17-Year-Old Soccer Star Who Plunged From a U.S. Military Jet. No “splat” pics, however.

      Of course, there’s also the matter of the American A-10 Warthog jet aircraft, the sound of which struck fear into the hearts of Talibaners who heard it, for it meant their death was imminent. So, there’s that consideration, as well.

      The whole place is a Stone Age v2.0 story. It’s tragic on a wholesale scale, and because of the extremist religious right-wing nutzos that run the joint (like Evangelicals would America), there’s practically no hope for the nation. None. Zero, zilch, nada. However, I would refer you to this entry – All Afghanistan REALLY Wants Is… – which expresses my long-held opinion on the greater matter.

      If you’re familiar at all with the book “Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History,” or motion picture Charlie Wilson’s War, starring Tom Hanks (see also: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17580376) made of it, is a fairly accurate telling – with some artistic license – of course, of the story of American involvement in that nation wrought in large part by an obscure Democratic Member of the House of Representatives, and a CIA agent, after it had been invaded by the Russians, and how we Americans, with the unknowing assistance of several mutual enemy nations, defeated communism, and ran the Russians out on rail, and did so by teaching the Afghanis how to use weapons of war to defend themselves against a modern-day enemy skilled in advanced warfare, and armed to the teeth.

      In the conclusion of the book, and final scene of the motion picture, a quote by Wilson is made:
      “These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fucked up the end game.”

      That remark specifically refers to then-POTUS Reagan’s denial of a paltry sum to build a school for the children – INCLUDING GIRLS. Because nature abhors a vacuum, the Taliban rushed in to fill that void. We had won the hearts of the nation, but voided all good will earned by our failure to follow through with one of the most fundamental needs that, or any other nation has — education. I would also refer you to this story (https://realneo.us/content/these-things-happened-they-were-glorious-and-they-changed-world-and-then-we-fucked-end-game-) from February 11, 2010 about Wilson published the day after his death. In the image, Charlie Wilson is seated on the far right with his chin on his hand.

      Afghan Mujahideen with U.S. Stinger anti-aircraft missile, capable of destroying the heavily-armored Russian Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter, which is practically a flying tank, including bullet-proof windshields

      Like

  4. […] a reader responded to an entry about Afghanistan, writing in part, that, “Calling them “morons” for not being educated on this in a […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: