Ross Douthat: Joe Biden’s Critics Lost Afghanistan

Ross Douthat has written a good column about Afghanistan.

The lesson of Afghanistan is that those of us who always opposed the endless war and occupation of Afghanistan were not cynical enough about it. The puppet government and its fake army was more corrupt and rotten than we thought. The generals and “intelligence community” were more incompetent than we thought. The U.S. military is less powerful than we thought. The Deep State isn’t as powerful as we thought. At least in Afghanistan, American culture isn’t as subversive as we thought.

New York Times:

“A month ago I thought I was a cynic about our 20-year war in Afghanistan. Today, after watching our stumbling withdrawal and the swift collapse of practically everything we fought for, my main feeling is that I wasn’t cynical enough.

My cynicism consisted of the belief that the American effort to forge a decent Afghan political settlement failed definitively during Barack Obama’s first term in office, when a surge of U.S. forces blunted but did not reverse the Taliban’s recovery. This failure was then buried under a Vietnam-esque blizzard of official deceptions and bureaucratic lies, which covered over a shift in American priorities from the pursuit of victory to the management of stalemate, with the American presence insulated from casualties in the hopes that it could be sustained indefinitely.

Under this strategic vision — to use the word “strategic” generously — there would be no prospect of victory, no end to corruption among our allies and collateral damage from our airstrikes, no clear reason to be in Afghanistan, as opposed to any other failing state or potential terror haven, except for the sunk cost that we were there already. But if American casualty rates stayed low enough, the public would accept it, the Pentagon budget would pay for it, and nobody would have to preside over anything so humiliating as defeat. …”

Joe Biden is being scapegoated for America’s defeat in Afghanistan, but the truth is that Biden merely exposed what we always knew, which was that the puppet government had no legitimacy and couldn’t stand on its own two feet and this fact was being hidden from public view by the ass covering generals. There was too much money at risk. There were too many careers on the line to admit the truth.

The “worst withdrawal in history” is being contrasted with a hypothetical “withdrawal with honor” which presumably would have turned out differently. Staying in Afghanistan and perpetuating the “stalemate” would have required continuing to sustain the illusion with an endless stream of money and lives to artificially prop up the Afghan government. Staying in Afghanistan wouldn’t have eliminated ISIS-K which has been around for several years now. It wouldn’t have eliminated the Taliban which is more popular than ever. After 20 years of occupying Afghanistan, the warmongers are saying that al-Qaeda hasn’t even been eliminated there. Carpetbombing guerrillas didn’t work in Vietnam or Afghanistan.

The worst thing that Islamic terrorists could have done to the American Empire was to rope it into a Vietnam-like quagmire in the hope that it would exhaust itself fighting jihadists on their own turf and that they would emerge victorious in the end. They have succeeded in that objective.

Note: The Pentagon’s plan was to spend trillions of dollars trying to turn Afghanistan into a Westernized liberal democracy. It was building a “Great Society” on the Mekong all over again.

About Hunter Wallace 11771 Articles
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9 Comments

  1. Planting a liberal democracy into a culture such as this was like forcing a round thing into a triangle. It’s a mismatch that just cannot be forced. That Afghanistan relied on America being there in order to have ‘elected government’ or female journalists or Western fashion confirms this. Now America is gone, it’s back to how they were. It represents more genuinely what they really are. And we couldn’t remain there forever.
    The next thing is how well these refugees will integrate into our society. I’m guessing they’ll be initially thankful, then it’s on to playing the ‘victim’, creating associations designed to help only themselves, endless cases of crime and wanting laws changed to suit themselves……..aided by their noisy libtard goons.
    We couldn’t change Afghanistan, but you can bet they’ll sure as hell try to change us……. gradually.
    War should never be an excuse to import it’s refugees, along with their many problems that we then have to deal with.

    • The veterans of these wars are as big of an enigma tbh. 25,000 serious injuries 2,500 dead comrades.

  2. Why do I think the descendents of Afghan refugees in America will be tomorrow’s homegrown Islamic terrorists?

    • The veterans and the refugees will share the same streets. What could go wrong eh?

    • Experience, the greatest teacher, but only for those who want to learn its hard, unpleasant lessons. For those few who do want to learn history’s unpleasant lessons there are already too many examples to chose from. AOC, Rashid Tlaib, the gook Vietnamese judge who overturned immigration law, the Hispanic Caucus, Indians (dot, not feather), The Usual Suspects; the list goes on forever.

      There is however, one thing only that unites these ingrates, hatred for Whites and our great history, something they can only tear down, never replicate. Those who benefited the most hate us the most. The only ones worse are the White traitors amongst us who enabled this shit in the first place.

      • The feather type Indians hate us too. That’s why they romanticize their short, brutal, stone age lifestyle and sue some leftist judge to stop scientists from examining 9000 year old bones. The big lie is that white people don’t examine prehistoric remains when in fact the Alpine Iceman and Bog Bodies are frequently featured on PBS documentaries getting the full forensic examination in labs. Middle age liberals have illusions about how wonderful it must have been to be an Indian, not understanding the horror of having a respiratory infection turn to pneumonia in a 40 degree wigwam during the great lakes winter when you are no longer a young healthy adult.

        • The romanticization of feather-Indians was very pronounced when I came of age, even with adults. It was all the fashion to claim a spiritual infinity — better yet, an ancestry — with the failed Amerindian race. When, I wonder, did this really start? Were some of the earliest settlers trapped in the pathological altruism, and unconsciously anti-White?? Was this a virtue-signal even when the presence of savages was literally a death threat right outside of one’s own wooden door?

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