When I was a boy and strayed way, way past the rules of behavior set by my great-grandmother, she would say, “ enough is enough, and too much (sic) stinks.” Well, we reached that point in Afghanistan on Sunday. From the time then-National Security Director Zbigniew Brzezinski convinced then-President Carter, despite the purported objections of the intelligence apparatus, many of whom said it was a “hopeless cause,” Carter chose to bankroll a rogue regime, we thought was an ally. It turned out the Afghans were not hopeless against the Soviets just hapless. Following that, the encouragement and continued money from Reagan who called the Afghan rebels “freedom fighters” future and foreseeable outcomes were ignored. Seeing American weaponry in the hands of the “freedom fighters” aimed at American soldiers when the second President Bush declared war on the region was the first embarrassment.
The Obama administration’s promised withdrawal never happened, instead, there was, at one point a troop increase. Whether out of frustration, ignorance, or a lack of answers the country believed Trump’s promise of stopping America’s involvement in “stupid wars.” Saddled with the impossible tasks of making good on Mr. Trump’s unilateral negotiation with terrorists—since it excluded the existing Afghan government, President Joe Biden decided enough is enough and too much stinks. America needs to prepare in the next few weeks for mass executions [some brutally violent], the rights of women in the region withdrawn, and publicized victory laps by the Taliban meant for American consumption.
Trump’s deal which was less for peace than his self-aggrandizement was devoid of any concrete concessions from the Taliban.; not even a promise of the stoppage of future support for al Qaeda. For the Taliban, it was all carrots and no sticks. Mr. Biden for the next few weeks is in for criticism from both the right and left with the right sprinkling xenophobia and racism in the mix for political advantage in 2022. I was heartbroken seeing men and women so fearful and so desperate that they were willing to cling to the wing of a moving plane. It was a clear example and a reminder of why people walk thousands of miles across our southern border, in oppressive heat, hungry and carrying babies in their arms.
Unfortunately, the disastrous decision to go to war made by George W. Bush and subsequently Donald J. Trump acting as the merchant of chaos will leave the remnant of the failed Afghanistan policy on the presidential plate of Joe Biden. Watching the once imprisoned Taliban co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar disembarking from a plane and stepping foot onto Afghani soil, last night, for the first time in 20 years was a meal served cold by Mr. Trump. Mullah Baradar was released from a Pakistani prison at the urging of Donald Trump as part of what we now know was a miserably failed negotiation with the Taliban. The Republican National Committee spent the weekend purging online records of Mr. Trump’s statements and failures in Afghanistan, but I will not place the blame entirely on the shoulders of Mr. Trump although the right-wing will seek to shift all the blame to Mr. Biden.
This was a collective failure from Carter, to Reagan, to Bush, to Clinton, to Bush (II), Obama, Trump, and now Biden; there is enough blame to go around and it all stinks.
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