It’s fitting that the end of the American Empire is marked on this feeble 4th of July by slinking out of the “graveyard of empires” with a whimper and a lie.
The old man in the White House seeks to “reassure the American public that its so-called forever wars are winding down while trying to convince beleaguered Afghans that the United States is not abandoning the country at a moment when the government could fall in as few as six months to a resurgent Taliban.”
Pressed by reporters to elaborate on Afghanistan, Mr. Biden cut off a questioner, saying, “I want to talk about happy things.”
Those of us old enough to remember Vietnam can smell a defeat, no matter how much happy face is slapped over it. In our ignominious departure from Vietnam, the people we bought or fooled into colluding in that misadventure desperately tried to board the last helicopters leaving the American embassy.
In Afghanistan, government officials flush with the American gusher of billions now play high stakes poker in back rooms for table stakes approaching 200K.
Meanwhile, Americans are still heeding George Bush’s advice after 9.11 to flood into Vegas or Disneyland, lest the terrorists destroy our precious “way of life.” And just before this parody of Independence Day, Donald Rumsfeld, a fountainhead of double talk and architect of the invasion of Iraq, kicked off. The gods must alternate between laughter and tears.
The invasion of Iraq was evil; the war in Afghanistan was stupid. America’s response to the box cutters of terrorists on the planes of 9.11 was bunker busters dropped from B-52’s. What began as a crime against humanity on 9.11 has ended with more than a million deaths; more than 3 trillion dollars wasted; and more than enough right-wing crazies calling for another Civil War in the United States.
Even Professor Obama slid into the tar pit of Afghanistan, wrestling with a no-brainer for a year in his prodigious brain before irrationally doubling down on the monumental mistake of invading Afghanistan. Now he wonders why he isn’t given more credit for finally using a scalpel rather than the hammers in America’s grotesquely inflated military toolbox to deliver belated justice to the mastermind of 9.11.
President Biden is either a fool or takes the American people for fools by declaring all troops will be out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9.11. Does he really believe he can bookend two decades of idiocy and waste by ending the Afghan war on the date that set the 21st century on its horrid course? It’s a slap in the face to all decent, rational people everywhere.
Democrats delude themselves into believing they are the last bulwark against the loss of democracy in America. Donald Trump was and continues to be an odious public figure, but George W. Bush killed far more people, and even St. Barack, doubling down in Afghanistan and tripling the number of drone strikes, killed more people.
The failure of Democrats to recognize that the rot is in America as a whole means that we’re destined to continue on this downward spiral, even as a nation of narcissists celebrates a moronic “return to normalcy” while the pandemic still rages in most of the rest of the world. The mob mentality isn’t confined to Trump rallies by any means.
Is there a reckoning for nations? Not a divine reckoning, but a karmic reckoning, for lack of a better term? Clearly the lies and evils a nation commits eventually catch up to it, leaving patriotism truly the last refuge of scoundrels.
Likewise, is there redemption for nations that have done as much harm in the world through its foreign policies, to the earth through its rapacious capitalism, and to humanity through its deadening culture of consumerism as the United States has?
Bernie’s “political revolution” was an absurd nonstarter. America requires a psychological revolution, though that would surpass all the miracles in the Bible.
Sadly, America appears destined to fall onto the mountainous ash heap of history, preferably declining with a whimper than detonating with a bang.