The start of the generation-long American war in Afghanistan

Posted On: Tuesday - August 31st 2021 5:45PM MST
In Topics: 
  US Feral Government  The Neocons  World Political Stupidity

I'm really not that excited about writing this post. It's over with over there, except for the remainder of the highly-botched exit of Americans from the country.* When writing a post about Ann Coulter and that old Neocon attitude of 20 years ago, I put off any opinion on the war in Afghanistan (as opposed to Iraq). Additionally, I'll put this down before I get to the post coming on 9/11.

I can remember the day. Probably our readers can too, just as they say about the day John Kennedy was assassinated (nah, for me, more like the day John Bonham died of vomit inhalation while trying to sleep off 40 shots of vodka, a generation later**). No American under ~ 60 y/o in 2001 could remember Pearl Harbor, an attack on a US territory, which means most of us hadn't.*** This was a blow like most had never seen. People were angry and depended still mostly on the TV news to tell them who to be angry at. People such as Ann Coulter vented their anger. Whoever was responsible had to be punished and we had to change our ways so nothing like this could happen again.

I heard that name Osama bin Laden for the first time then, as I hadn't been following any of the on-going Middle East and Moslem nation political stupidity. Then I heard more about this Taliban, my only previous knowledge being of their shooting up a bunch of big Buddha statues in the hills a few years earlier. Next, we heard about this Al Qaeda gang. This was a time in my life in which I didn't follow a lot of politics, except for a short bit during that 2000 election. I was no Neocon at this point, having already wondered what that Bosnia interventionist stupidity and that no-fly-zone crap STILL going on in Iraq was all about. Like most Americans, though, I believed the official story.

Yeah, most of those terrorists were Saudis. All of them were Moslems, and Moslems, including the one big culprit bin Laden, were behind it. So, it was time to punish the Moslem culprits over there in Moslem land.

The thing is, this was no declared war by a nation-state. What do you do when some rogue bastards just come over and attack? Let's do a thought experiment. It's hard to make this thought experiment wrt the US just because our military has been by far the strongest in the world for 30 years. So, lets just imagine some terrorist group in Germany, that old Baader-Meinhof Gang, say, had blown up a soccer stadium in Jolly Old England. Would the English have been justified in invading Germany? Well, see, this is not a great analogy, because the German government would work hard to root out and prosecute the terrorists. Therefore, the talk was about nations that harbored terrorists. The Moslem nations wouldn't control their own, so we'd have to take care of this ourselves.

At this point, one could look at the situation more calmly and ask why we should not just get ourselves out of the Middle East in general, take some serious control of our already broken immigration system so we could keep the wrong people from entering, and perhaps just send a small special forces retaliatory mission to find the few responsible over there? Those first two points are about stopping anything like 9/11 from happening again. Isn't that what we wanted?

No, we were told that we had to change a few regimes out. It was a mystery to some of us how Iraq was a part of this, but the Taliban, this bin Laden guy, the Al Qaeda group, well, we figured these people in Washington knew how to handle this. Why Saudi Arabia was left out is not a mystery if you noticed how friendly relations were at the top level. For some reason George Bush's "Axis of Evil" went from Iraq through Afghanistan over to North Korea, consisting of just those 3. It was a nice gentle arc, skipping over Iran (to save for later) and then China. Likely, there was just Deep State interest in each of the 3, and you could tell the people anything at that point. Who was going to stop us?

Therefore, the military and their equipment were shipped over to Afghanistan over many months, and this war was prosecuted. The idea was to get rid of these Taliban guys, the Al Qaeda, all of them, fighting them there "so we wouldn't have to fight them over here." That sounded good for a moment, but wait, if we don't let them in over here, how exactly can they fight us over here anyway? Never mind. After changing out the government in Afghanistan, we'd have to build them up and teach them how to run a nice non-violent democracy****, and then Whallah, we can go home and all be in peace. Well, we might have to do that for a few other countries too of course, but one, no, two at a time. It might take some time... It might take some more money than was first allocated ...

Mind you, all this is just the official story of what this was all about. I'd say it's the one most Americans believed, at least through the first few years. After a 20 years = 2 decades = 1 generation, we know it was a waste of 2 1/2 TRILLION dollars, a waste of many thousands of just the American lives, and a tremendous loss of respect and goodwill for this nation. We just don't all know what the real reasons were*****.

* I should add here, that is also excepting the next dose of blatant population replacement, as James Kirkpatrick just told us more about in The Afghan “Refugee” Racket—Latest Excuse To Dispossess The Historic American Nation on VDare. (It's not fun reading.)

** I guess muh muh muh generation cared more about real Rock & Roll than the dead Kennedies... wait ...

** Pearl Harbor was an attack on the US military, really, while the ~ 3,000 dead in NY City were civilians. Since not a big proportion of Americans have been involved with the military since the winding down of Vietnam, I would guess an attack on civilians was seen as much worse by most of us, and our military had seemed omnipotent since the end of the Cold War anyway.

**** Pretty much everyone has forgotten that a democracy is not what we were supposed to have here either, but I'll let that slide for this one.

***** I read speculation in some possible reasons in the comments section under the recent Ann Coulter post. They sound like very reasonable guesses.

Wednesday - September 8th 2021 2:02AM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, I do remember enough about the 444-day Iranian hostage crisis to agree that that and going back even to the 1973 first "oil crisis" time was when "Arabs" (though it was at the time a stand it for "all those arab/moslem towelhead types") came into regular Americans' consciousnesses.

There was a lot more about it all in the late 1990s, as you wrote.

Regarding the USSR invasion of Afghanistan, yes, the enemy of our enemy was/is our friend. (I don't mean to necessarily agree with that, but that was the mindset.) What I do remember is plenty of people after 9/11/01 noting that maybe we shouldn't have been so supportive of these people since the time the Soviets got out - that was way back in the early 1980s.
Tuesday - September 7th 2021 7:04PM MST

"I heard that name Osama bin Laden for the first time pin Sept 2001], as I hadn't been following any of the on-going Middle East and Moslem nation political stupidity"

I think the first time the name Bin Laden came to real public attention to heavy US news-followers was 1998 with his supposed ties to an embassy bombing in East Africa (after which Bill Clinton ordered some kind of air strikes which most say hit medicine factories in Sudan, iirc).

The name drifted off the scene, though it was still sometimes pitched on Fox News and the like in 1999, 2000, 2001. Even by then already Fox News was a self-consciously political actor on the US scene, as a would-be agenda setter, and in summer 2001 they were pitching scare-stories about terrorism chatter and I think the names Al Qaeda and Bin Laden popped up in that coverage, but few paid attention (and, anyway, as Ms. Coulter likes to say, lax border policy was the main culprit).

In a more important sense, individuals don't matter. As a popular meme of the time had it (before that term was coined to refer to an oft-repeated idea), "Kill Bin Laden and ten Bin Laden's take his place." What we should be more interested in is the type, the general type.

The Bin Laden "type" had been somewhere in US consciousness since the 1980s, probably starting with the 1978-79 with the Iran Islamic Revolution.

Anyone with any world-news awareness at all knew of the Iranian "hostage crisis (late 1979 to early 1981?) and that there were irregular forces resisting the Soviets in Afghanistan and trying hard to derail Moscow's attempt to stiffen up a Soviet-aligned communist government in Afghanistan. Most of the political Right in the West (all its various flavors) celebrated that Afghanistan resistance at the time. I would propose this as the time we started to know and care about "Bin Laden," even if not his name or his specific group.

A great deal of the blame for it all comes down to Zbigniew Brzezinski's monomaniacal drive to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. With the retrospect of forty years, it's not at all clear to me that backing the mujahedeen was the right call in that war, though this is a case I very rarely see argued. Brzezinski believed anything and everything to fight the Soviets was a positive good, the entire globe a two-player chess game, Washington vs Moscow, no other actors or factors mattered. This just looks like a plain-old bad idea with forty years' retrospect.
Wednesday - September 1st 2021 5:07PM MST
PS: Around 2003 I got in some trouble at work for saying that, if we were a democracy where the government followed the will of the people, then the Towers were legitimate targets.

People are not always any good with subjunctives.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - September 1st 2021 10:59AM MST

Ringo was prettier, but Karen had a far better singing voice.
Wednesday - September 1st 2021 8:29AM MST
PS: "How about LZ with Ringo?"

I'll do you one better - Karen Carpenter, dead or alive...

It's funny, well not in a haha-funny manner, but these 2 drummers died within a year (?) of each other - going by memory - both of dietary causes. However, one could have used more alcohol and the other less. Put that 40 shots of vodka into Karen Carpenter, and you could probably bring her back to life even now.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - September 1st 2021 4:39AM MST

How about LZ with Ringo?
Tuesday - August 31st 2021 8:05PM MST
PS: I thought there was talk about Led Zeppelin possibly playing with John Bonham's son way back. I remember that line about going over like a lead balloon, Drifter.
High Plains Drifter
Tuesday - August 31st 2021 6:56PM MST
PS Fight them over here now that the muh democracy doomed to fail experiment has failed?
The CPUSA will import new voters for the purges that are coming.
What the Weather Underground Government wants it gets, especially with the Punchy Palooka wrestling jobbers known as the Grand Old Politburo or GOP.
At least Led Zeppelin had the common sense to hang it up after Bonzo shuffled off and one reviewer made me raise an eyebrow stating that the Zep would sound like a reggae band without JB.
Keith Moon another drummer said that will go over like a lead balloon when he heard about the LZ band line up.
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