Monday, August 23, 2021

Things Could Have Been Very Different

Here's part of the problem:

Messengers shuttled back and forth between Mr. Karzai and the headquarters of the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, in Kandahar. Mr. Karzai envisioned a Taliban surrender that would keep the militants from playing any significant role in the country’s future.  
But Washington, confident that the Taliban would be wiped out forever, was in no mood for a deal.  
“We don’t negotiate surrenders,” Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said in a news conference at the time, adding that the Americans had no interest in leaving Mullah Omar to live out his days anywhere in Afghanistan. The United States wanted him captured or dead.

As incredibly stupid and awful as I think the Trump Administration had been, it really is hard to compete with the steely-eyed ignorance and thick-skulled hubris of the Bush Administration. And of course, the Iraq War was dumb as hell and went on forever as well. What the hell does "We don't negotiate surrenders" even mean--we refuse to accept a win? They could have said--Mullah Omar turns up, you turn him over. It wouldn't have been super-satisfying, but it would have not been--this.

So many pundits, military "experts" and so on, people whose credentials have been made in participating in prolonging this tragedy, get to take up cable news real estate when they shouldn't be given the ground.

I do believe I will stay mad about this for a very long time.



Ten Bears said...

Could have been much worse: the Brits were massacred, their women and children assimilated.

Vixen Strangely said...

To give Blighty her due, they had three Anglo-Afghan wars across the 19th and 20th centuries and still came along for the US trip in the 21st century which is real commitment to whatever that is.

Biden Knocked 'em Dead in the Old SOTU

  After Biden's claim that some Republicans want to end Medicare and Social Security provoked GOP anger, the president responds, "...