Politicians profit from conflict.
A disaster is an opportunity for them. Wars, riots, and natural disasters give them an excuse to tax, and they use these efforts–paid for with stolen money–to further their own renown.
When these things end in disaster, this is not a problem for them.
It is their goal, their next meal ticket.
The current crisis in Afghanistan is being used as an excuse to justify further government action. Fortunately, it seems unlikely to be successful: the war is unpopular, and in a rare display of good judgment the political figureheads are expressing opposition to further US action.
We should not assume there is no covert presence in Afghanistan or that the war cannot return, but the will to power needed to occupy the region by naked force has vanished.
Now we should ask questions: who is to blame?
What We Wrought
The US presence in Afghanistan ostensibly focused on nation building. There was some talk about going after Bin Laden, of course, but this was largely pretense. Bin Laden was mortal. Afghanistan was a place beyond the borders of American empire.
The war wasn’t about getting the terrorists who attacked us on our soil.
It was about expanding the global American empire.
This is why politicians talked about eradicating terrorism when most of the terrorists who attacked us were already dead or moving into hiding. It’s why we invaded even though the Taliban repeatedly offered to hand over Bin Laden.
Afghanistan was an opportunity to have a new American colony, a legacy that would provide us with increased geopolitical dominance and enshrine the likes of Bush and Obama, the two primary prosecutors of the so-called War on Terror, as the icons of a new American era.
But this was never going to be a stable state. Afghanistan as a region was a politically nebulous land of tribal and proto-national interests that were hardly unified and would have never been under one banner if not for our doing.
So we found the people who wanted to work with us and started throwing bombs around.
Is it any surprise, then, that we wound up with corrupt regimes, cowards, and mass abuse of children under the American-Afghan government?
The whole system was created at the behest of the American power elite, and it existed to further the interests of our military-industrial complex and political class.
The Inevitable Outcome
The Afghan regime was never going to stand on its own.
DC built it to justify the expropriation of the American taxpayer, with handy overhead going to defense contractors and political campaigns through lobbying and interest groups.
If it could stand on its own, if it had the support of its people, if it were truly what fit Afghanistan, it would not have served this purpose.
The massive damage to civilian life and property, measured in thousands and tens of thousands of lives lost to “collateral” damage, was not a mere consequence of the Taliban’s tactics or a natural off-shoot of war.
Without opposition to the regime, we would not have had an opportunity for our military leadership to enrich themselves and gain titles of glory, our political leaders could not justify the plunder of the people, and the whole thing would have been revealed as a farce.
So it was always in the interests of our own leadership to engage in the most criminal acts in the name of peace and justice, as they currently agitate for the rights of women and minorities while turning a blind eye to their own crimes.
“The dark age of Afghanistan has begun.”
But it begins only because the fires we set are burning out. The Taliban controlled less of Afghanistan before we went in, and it’s not always clear that the people whose lives we directly impacted were better off on balance even before the fall of our puppet regime.
What Comes Next
The inevitable outcome of any political failure is the attempt to distribute blame.
Our military bears a strong responsibility for the wretched collapse we’ve seen in Afghanistan. They backpedaled and obstructed our departure, and now it is a worst-case scenario instead of the whimper it would have been if we had left on the March timeline.
Our intelligence agencies lied us into the conflict, and are doubtless still spending most of their effort on new lies even as they failed to predict the outcome of events that unfolded over the past week.
The Republicans deserve blame for starting the war, but the Democrats prosecuted it under Obama with no more concern for human rights. Trump failed to depart Afghanistan during his term in office, and Biden supported our entry, was complicit with Obama’s involvement, and then made a mess of it during his administration.
It is true that DC will attempt to distribute blame.
We should listen to them: every single person who receives blame for the failure, except for those who wholly opposed the war at all its steps, is guilty.
They should rightly be regarded as the lowest of animals: those who feast on children and dig up graves.
And they should not be permitted to escape without consequence.
The suffering and death taking place in Afghanistan directly resulted from the power elite trying to reap the benefits of colonial expansion.
They deserve nothing but scorn and contempt.