As U.S. military forces slink out of Afghanistan, their retreat is a cause of repudiation, not of the bravery of the U.S. soldiers, but of the sheer stupidity of their commanders who ordered them to undertake such a fool’s errand  —  the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan — in the first place.
The U.S. commanders and decision-makers are supposed to be smart people. Why, Gen. David Petraeus, former U.S. Afghan commander, earned a doctorate from Princeton, of all places. His dissertation topic was U.S. lessons learned from the Vietnam defeat.
Didn’t any of the books he read at Princeton or at the Pentagon have the parts in them about how the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great, the Rashidun Caliphate, the Mongol Empire led by Genghis Khan, various Persian empires, the Sikh Empire, the British Empire, the Soviet Union all failed to conquer Afghanistan after invading?
The books they read at the Pentagon left out that part? They ignored the part about U.S. President Jimmy Carter boycotting the Moscow Olympics as recently as 1980 to protest Moscow’s invasion of Afghanistan? The Russkies eventually withdrew, defeated.
No, it’s not the lack of valor of U.S. fighting forces that’s responsible for the humiliating withdrawal. It’s the George Custer, Remember-the-Alamo, locked-and-loaded-at-all-times, Rambo-mentality in the U.S. white population which requires that every question in world affairs must be resolved in favor of White American interests first. That way of thinking maintains the value of The Dollar as the world’s lingua franca, as it drives this country into needless, immoral wars, only to be shamed when U.S. puppets (in whose names this country “officially” fights) fall in disgrace, one by one.
Even this troop withdrawal is a disgrace. Afghanistan’s U.S.-approved, indigenous leaders have already fled the country, even as a reinforced battalion of U.S. fighters were sent BACK INTO the country from which they had already withdrawn, in order to ensure that enemy Taliban forces not attack the rapidly retreating Americans.
Time after time, from Korea to Vietnam, to dozens of atolls and principalities in between, the U.S. continues to meddle around the globe. U.S. military forces are currently stationed in 150 of the world’s 200 or so countries. Their presence rarely means goodwill for the majority populations in the countries they occupy. They are present to provide the jackboot that is the “real” U.S. foreign policy.
Yet year after year, this country’s military budget continues to swell. It’s now well beyond $715 billion, with add-ons and overruns constantly expanding that figure. That’s a nearly $2 billion blank check, every single day to the warmongers at the Pentagon.
Once the god-awful weapons are built (in quantities which could exterminate the Earth’s entire population multiple times) they’re only good for one thing — killing people — so conflicts are instigated around the world, often over the pettiest of differences. The weapon-stockpiles are then depleted, so the Pentagon just builds more.
It’s an oft-recurring cycle, with no end in sight, only humiliating defeats when the white, macho U.S. bullies are whipped by the primitive, local fighters, with shoes made from abandoned tires. It’s the Almighty Tarzan Myth and it means there can be no graceful exit for this country from any international engagement because the wrongheaded American interests will side with the evil kings and despots, rather than with universal human values, time after time after time.
Even as the demographics change inside this country and more and more white population majorities decline in more and more communities, rather than share power, the stiff-necked white folks insist on using every trick in the book from gerrymandering to open voter suppression, to make it appear that their war-like stance which robs from the poor to give to the rich, is the way most people want to be governed — as long as it never appears that Black folks are doing better than them.
As we go forward, in each and every succeeding Afghanistan, the U.S. will never choose the wise course, but rather will serve its addiction to domination, storming into conflicts such as with Cuba, such as with Iran, in which the U.S. is undoubtedly the villain, heedless of reason, until like in Afghanistan, after 19 years and 10 months since the October 2001 invasion, the mighty superpower is forced to retreat with its tail between its legs once again.
Ironically, the white Americans treat everyone else in this society like dirt, and like the day will never come when those off-course and wicked white Americans will ever need to appeal for an all-hands-on-deck moment to defend their homeland. We’ll see.
Happy Afghanistan Withdrawal Day, America. Russia, Britain, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan — it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving decaying empire.

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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