We didn’t “lose” in Afghanistan. We “not-won.” Or something.
Former national security adviser John Bolton insisted on Friday that the United States had not lost the war in Afghanistan while criticizing President Joe Biden’s order for a full military withdrawal from the country.
It was the US’ longest-running war and it was a war-crime all along. If you recall, the reason for the whole thing was because the Taliban would not turn Osama Bin Laden over to the US Government. The Taliban, the “duly constituted government of Afghanistan” (AKA: the guys with the guns who run things) said they wouldn’t turn Bin Laden over because they didn’t know where he was. It turned out that, at the time, nobody knew where Bin Laden was. The Taliban’s response was not exactly unreasonable but it wasn’t accompanied with enough kowtowing. There probably wasn’t a sufficient amount of kowtowing that would have made the US return to diplomacy instead of military force, but nobody knew where Bin Laden was. It turned out that he was hiding out in Tora Bora enroute to Pakistan, and walked right past US special forces that were in the country trying to catch him.
The whole thing could have been avoided if the US forces had simply done their job, failed, and left but instead the decision was made to knock the entire country over and turn it into a little satrapy. What’s crazy is that there were already US special forces and CIA in the area, hunting for Bin Laden – they could have simply bypassed talking to the Taliban at all. But, no. Remember, at the time, the US was listening to jackasses who were trying to sell a sort of inverse “domino effect” theory: if one pseudodemocracy was set up in the Middle East, all the neighboring dictatorships would somehow shrug and become pseudodemocracies, too, because they want Starbucks, or something. The idea is daft, if you phrase it accurately. A “domino effect” of conquest is a very different thing from nation-building and the “domino effect” was never real, anyway.
“We weren’t defeated,” Bolton told CNN in an interview. “You have to be defeated to lose a war. We’ve given up because we’ve lost patience. That’s a sad commentary about the current administration, but it’s not a defeat for the United States.”
Giving up because you lost patience is a defeat. You know, the Germans in WWI lost patience with trench warfare and, uh, how does that work, Bolton? Did you notice that his “we were defeated at home” argument is remarkably similar to Hitler’s “Germany was betrayed” ideology?
Meanwhile, the Taliban has continued to make rapid gains across Afghanistan, claiming last Friday that it had seized 85 percent of the country’s territory. Western officials have warned that the U.S.-backed Afghan government in Kabul could soon fall.
Of course it’s going to fall. The US spent billions of dollars building a corrupt upper class for Afghanistan – a political structure that could not survive. What does anyone expect? The Taliban took over after the Soviet Union left, because it was hard to build a stable, uncorrupt government in Afghanistan. Before planning “nation building” US war-hawks ought to carefully assess whether a country actually wants to upgrade to a modern, functioning, pseudodemocracy with Starbucks and everything. Anyone with a brain would have looked at Afghanistan’s historical culture of corruption and thought, “maybe we should try to civilize Texas, instead.” [also not likely to work]
In arguing for a continued American military presence in Afghanistan, Bolton acknowledged he did not think a terrorist attack against the U.S. “is going to come the day after Taliban takes back over.”
“I do think it’s going to take more time, and that’s really what the risk is,” he said. “I would rather defend innocent American civilians there than in the streets and the skies over America.”
But, wait – warhawks like Bolton were the ones who were talking up the “terrorism schools” (like the School of The Americas) that were operating in Afghanistan. Never mind that, when the US military took them over and investigated them, they were less built-out than your typical American right wing gun nuts’ training camps. They were, basically, a shooting range and some tents. That is what the US managed to conquer, in addition to destroying the agricultural life of Afghanistan, which forced the locals to turn to quicker, more profitable crops. Bolton doesn’t understand what risk is. Why is the media still even talking to that imbecile?
Remember: all of that was an extended police action. The US could have checked out Tora Bora and left but instead they stayed to conquer and build a new imperial base. Meanwhile, the idiots in Washington are poor-mouthing about the budget, “we don’t have any money…” Well, maybe we could have saved ourselves the whole Afghanistan thing, which obviously was never going to work, and was a sump for lives and money.
We came in second.
PS – Nietzsche called and said he wants his mustache back.
Yes, I know that the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, mostly, and that US intelligence knew that the 9/11 op was run from Pakistan. The problem with Pakistan is they have nuclear weapons, so there was no way to overturn their dictatorship without a serious fight.