After 2 Decades of Lies and Disconnect by American Leaders, US Leaves Afghanistan

by on August 16, 2021 · 5 comments

in American Empire, War and Peace, World News

Washington’s War in Afghanistan Is Over. What Happens Now?

President Biden was right to withdraw US troops. But we should have no illusion that this will end the war for Afghans.

By Phyllis Bennis / The Nation / August 16, 2021

We don’t know yet what the consequences of the events in Afghanistan will be. We do know that there are more than 250,000 Afghans internally displaced since the end of May, thousands more in recent days living in makeshift tents and in parks and on the streets in Kabul. We do know Afghanistan’s borders are almost all closed, and that people are terrified. People are afraid of the rising violence, afraid of the Taliban coming to power, afraid of the US bombing underway across the country all week.

Questions are everywhere. How did the Taliban, with 75,000 or so scattered forces, defeat the 300,000-strong US-trained, US-armed, and US-supported Afghan government troops? Why didn’t that US-trained military fight? Why did the United States withdraw most of its troops—and shouldn’t Biden send troops back to protect Afghan women from Taliban control?

First, most Afghan soldiers were not defeated militarily by the Taliban at all. Some individual soldiers simply put down their weapons and ran. More frequently, local commanders negotiated with the Taliban to surrender with troops and weapons en masse—directly rejecting the corrupt government in Kabul.

Despite 20 years of occupation, the United States couldn’t “win” militarily either—because there is no military solution to terrorism. After the United States and its allies overthrew the Taliban government in 2001, they created a whole new government. Staffed largely by pro-Western Afghan exiles, it was modeled after Western parliamentary systems—with power concentrated in the president and parliament of a central government in Kabul. It was completely at odds with Afghanistan’s long-standing cultural and political traditions —where power emanates from the family and tribal level, not from the national capital of a modern nation-state. For most Afghans (75 percent of whom live in scattered villages and rural areas, not in cities), what happens in Kabul rarely reaches beyond Kabul.

For the balance of this article, please go here.

US Retreats as Taliban Take Kabul

 By Jon Queally / Common Dreams / August 15, 2021

Nearly two full decades of lies and wishful thinking from U.S. generals, politicians, liberal interventionists, and neoconservative talking heads came into full view Sunday as the Taliban in Afghanistan surrounded Kabul while American military forces and diplomatic personnel rapidly evacuated the U.S. Embassy and the Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani negotiated a surrender and transition government with opposition forces.

With reports that Bagram Air Base and nearby Parwan Prison had both fallen out of Afghan government hands, Taliban spokeperson Suhail Shaheen told the BBC that his group expects a peaceful transfer of power within days and assured the people of Afghanistan, including those in Kabul, that retribution and revenge would not follow.

For the balance, please go  here.

There ‘Will Never Be’ a US Military Solution in Afghanistan: Rep. Barbara Lee

The California Democrat was the only member of Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams / August 16, 2021

Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee—who cast the sole vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that was used to justify the war in Afghanistan—reiterated on Sunday her assessment that “there is no military solution” to address the worsening chaos in that country.

Lee’s (D-Calif.) remarks came in an interview on MSNBC’s “American Voices with Alicia Menendez” as the Taliban effectively took control of the country and desperate Afghans tried to flee.

“Our focus now,” said Lee, “has got to be… the safety and security of everyone at this moment, and I think it’s a very dire situation.”

“This is an example, though, that there is no military solution,” she said. “We’ve been there 20 years, we have spent over a trillion dollars, and we have trained over 300,000 of the Afghan forces,” Lee added, calling the current situation “a tragedy.”

For the balance of this article, please go here.

Never Say the Occupation of Afghanistan Was a Mistake

By Marc Ash / Reader Supported News / August 16, 2021

In conversation as the Vietnam war drew to a close in 1975, an American Colonel, Harry G. Summers Jr., addressed his counterpart Colonel Nguyen Dôn Tu, saying, “You know you never defeated us on the battlefield.” Tu famously replied, “That may be so, but it is also irrelevant.”

The United States had every imaginable opportunity to know better than to attempt to occupy Afghanistan. The attacks of September 11th, 2001, created a profound impetus for the United States to act decisively to defend the country. However, invading and occupying Afghanistan was a clear and obvious strategic blunder to anyone who wanted to know.

The Taliban did not defeat American forces on the field of battle any more effectively than the North Vietnamese Army or their Viet Cong allies did. The result was, as we now understand, the same.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr Jack Hammer August 16, 2021 at 11:14 am

Shameful. Never should have been there in the first place and that cabal of leaders should all be in prison… Rice, Rove, Bush, Cheney, etc…


Chris August 16, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Let’s face it. We never went there with the intention of winning, or at least with any set goal. Ask any vet who spent time there and they are first to admit in retrospect there was never any ultimatum. And now we have to send a few troops back to get the Americans out (which we should do) but it will only be a matter of time until we send more troops back in and we are back to square one. Wash, rinse, and repeat.


Sam August 16, 2021 at 12:48 pm

So sad to see what is happening to the people of Afghanistan. That said, and not to sound too callous, we never should have been there in the first place. I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing about trouble in the middle east. Let them work all of their archaic ideas out by themselves. The sooner we can get off the cheap Saudi oil teet, the better.


Chris August 16, 2021 at 1:24 pm

It could be argued we never should have went there in the first place, but go there we did. Now we are in a no win situation. We are screwing up by leaving and if we stayed we would still be screwing up. We are in the wrong not matter what we do, and that will be the hardest pill to swallow, especially for our military veterans who were deployed there.


sealintheSelkirks August 16, 2021 at 4:50 pm

This one fits right into the conversation. Some people probably won’t like it much because…reality isn’t fair to those that don’t pay attention to history. Viet Nam anyone?

What those of us have found out is that being absolutely correct in our predictions makes no difference whatsoever as those in power continue to increase their wealth and power by repeating endlessly the mistakes they refuse to think about much less accept. Wasn’t anybody paying attention in 2001? Nope, not that you have noticed in Congress or the mainstream corporate media.

And Afghanistan is NOT our longest war. We’ve been at war with Cuba for decades longer. So-called ‘sanctions’ is economic war as is giving sanctuary to terrorists who blow up civilian airliners…


Afghanistan: So What Do the Filthy Commie Peaceniks Say Now?


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