“The State Department could not immediately be reached for comment. Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday (August 12) that the departure of Americans from the embassy was “not an evacuation,” but rather “a reduction in the size of our civilian footprint.”
Susannah George and Bryan Pietsch reporting in the Washington Post 8/15/21
Ned, tell that to the families of the three Afghan souls who fell from the sky as the US military cargo plane rose from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul with US evacuees on board. Tell it to the Afghans we all saw clinging to the side of the plane or the hundreds of Afghans running alongside as it prepared for takeoff.
The scenes from this war-torn and war-weary country are heartbreaking; as the President called it, “gut-wrenching”.
It is painful to watch the desperation of those people, especially the women and children, who face yet another period of brutal Taliban rule.
You can’t help but feel angry and humiliated. The US is engaged in surrender once again, acknowledging the failure and probably futility of yet another nation-building escapade in a country where the religious extremes allow no separation of church and state, none of the freedoms women and children enjoy in democracy, and none of the safeguards against government oppression. It is what has been described as “a graveyard of empires.” Continue reading →
It’s now official. America is the France of the 21st century.
France was a big power in the 18th and 19th centuries. The French were pretty much in a constant state of war what with everything from the Seven Years’ War, to the French and Indian Wars, to the American Revolution, to the Napoleonic Wars.
Then came the 20th Century when World War I was mostly fought on French soil leading to their preemptive surrender in World War II. Since then the French still pretend to be a full-fledged member of the Planetary Cool Kids Table, but they have to sit on the end and fetch extra pints of milk for the real members. Continue reading →
Amidst all the confusion over our new little war in Libya , one thing is clear: Notwithstanding the bravery and professionalism of our troops in naming it Operation Odyssey Dawn, the Pentagon has invoked a haunting specter. The war’s namesake Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey” is the tale of the hero, Odysseus, taking 10 years to get home from the Trojan War which itself took 10 years to fight.
Here’s what’s likely to happen in Egypt : It will evolve into a Turkish-like government with the civil side adopting a pro-Islamic stance, while the military makes certain the place doesn’t turn into Afghanistan under the Taliban.
Last summer the President spent several months publicly anguishing over what he would or wouldn’t do in Afghanistan. Finally, he agreed to ramp up troop levels, but warned that he intended to start getting American troops out in 18 months. After myself anguishing in several columns over the President’s anguishing, I concluded in November 2009:
“If the Taliban and al-Qaida retake Afghanistan, the world (and America) will have hell to pay for the consequences. But this president and this White House do not have it in them to lead our troops to victory in Afghanistan. So they shouldn’t try. The price will be high for whatever foreign policy failures we will endure in the next three years. Let’s not add to that price the pointless murder of our finest young troops in a war their leader does not believe in. Bring them home. We’ll need them later.”