Binary Choices And Blame

 

The debacle of the Biden bug-out from Afghanistan has had a profound impact on Americans. There are contortionists across the political spectrum whose fingers must be double-jointed as they point to blame, or to offer praise for the end of the so-called “Forever War”.

Let me start with the phrase “Forever War.” Historically, that is not true of our involvement in Afghanistan. The Apache Wars in the American West lasted for 37 years. Although major hostilities ended in 1886, minor skirmishes continued until 1924.

Outside our own borders, the Reconquista of Spain from the Moors took about 700 years, and you can add on to that about another 2oo years of warfare between Catholic Europe and the Ottoman Turks.

In both cases, there were some periods of peace, and some alliance infighting. The repercussions of 200 years of war between Catholic Europe, and later Orthodox Christians, as well as the Ottomans, were still being felt in our lifetime in the war between Serbia, Kosovo, and Croatia.

I do not hold all Biden voters responsible for the debacle in Kabul. I hold Biden and the elites from the prior Obama administration responsible for his stupidity. The media that protected him during the campaign can take their share of the blame as well.

Biden did not consult with NATO allies before leaving Bagram in the middle of the night. Biden made the decision to evacuate the military first, civilians last. Biden has a huge ego problem, and his advisors that have never served in the military, and the only foreign policy experience some of them may have is a week in Cancún on spring break, has led to disaster.

We may, or may not have to revisit Afghanistan. I don’t take any satisfaction in the fact that when push came to shove that the Joint Chiefs of Staff found that their Woke platitudes were not enough to influence President Biden’s decision to abandon Bagram.

My simple suggestion is that they all spend more time studying history. My suggestion to voters is to vote for policy and ignore personality.

Published in History
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  1. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Doug Watt: Let me start with the phrase, Forever War. Historically…

    Unfortunately, we are entering the third generation of Americans for whom history was never taught, or taught properly. You may debate that is is only two generations, and I won’t quibble. The history that concerns these middle age and younger Americans begins with the date they were cognizant of their own very important life.  For them, that is the day history started. 

    So why do you even bother bringing up Indian wars of the 18th and 19 century , and good grief, who cares about anything before that!?!

    • #1
  2. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Corrupt media elects feeble grifter POTUS, women and children hardest hit.

    • #2
  3. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    And extremely brave argument to try to convince us to stay in Afghanistan for 700 years. Gotta hand it to you. ;-) 

    • #3
  4. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I have pondering the centuries of conflict at the roman peripheries with ze germans.

    • #4
  5. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    Good post, especially the conclusion.  However, I do hold Biden voters responsible.  Maybe they’re not as guilty as the Media/NT/Deep State cabal.  But they are expected to exercise their franchise with discernment.  

    • #5
  6. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    The mention of how clueless Biden’s “advisors” are, what with their concern about how the Taliban might respond to the attitudes of the “international community” and all, points up their sheer ignorance of 1,400 years and counting of Islamic jihad, first against Christendom, and more recently against the developing modern world (except for the modern weaponry and telecommunications).

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Doug, I don’t feel double-jointed myself.  I was persuaded by the “forever war” argument, though this is a bit of an oversimplification of the argument.  The main guy who persuaded me was Donald Trump.

    I don’t think that it was “elite” holdovers from the Obama administration who are responsible for this change of policy.  I think that the bipartisan foreign policy “blob” wanted to stay.  Generally speaking, this was the position of the neocons on the Republican side and the liberal internationalists on the Democratic side.  It was the rank-and-file of both parties who wanted to leave.

    Obama wanted to leave, but he was defeated by the blob.  Trump wanted to leave, and he fought the blob to a stalemate on the issue, and put us on the path to departure, though it didn’t happen on his watch.  Biden carried it out.

    I don’t think that it’s going to be as bad as you seem to think.  I do think that it will be rough on the Afghans, but things in Afghanistan were bad before we arrived, bad while we were there, and I expect that they will continue to be bad.  I don’t expect it to have a major effect elsewhere, though it might, as we cannot predict the future.  We’ll see.

    I do think that you are incorrect, as a factual matter, in your claim that Biden “made the decision to evacuate the military first, civilians last.”  The source our disagreement, in my view, is that Biden can’t actually make a decision to evacuate the civilians, because they don’t have to obey his orders.  He is correct that they were repeatedly advised to leave (and advised not to go in the first place).  People being people, it looks like most of them didn’t take this advice until the crisis occurred.  This is perfectly normal and natural — I procrastinate myself, and I ignore the loud warnings that come through my phone every time there’s a rainstorm in Tucson these days.  

    • #7
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Doug, this one prompted another thought.

    I do agree that there is a problem with people who don’t study history.  There’s another problem with people who do study history.  They may use the wrong analogies.

    All of your analogies are inapplicable, in my view.  The Apache Wars?  We were defending our own territory, not going halfway around the world to involve ourselves in a civil war in a country that means nothing to us.  The Reconquista?  The Spanish were repelling invaders, not invading someone else.  The wars with the Ottomans?  Same thing as the Reconquista.

    • #8
  9. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Doug, this one prompted another thought.

    I do agree that there is a problem with people who don’t study history. There’s another problem with people who do study history. They may use the wrong analogies.

    All of your analogies are inapplicable, in my view. The Apache Wars? We were defending our own territory, not going halfway around the world to involve ourselves in a civil war in a country that means nothing to us. The Reconquista? The Spanish were repelling invaders, not invading someone else. The wars with the Ottomans? Same thing as the Reconquista.

    Exactly.

    • #9
  10. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The history of the Apache Wars have more in common with Afghanistan than you might think. Similar terrain, different tribal bands that fought with each other when they were not fighting with the US Army. As far as our land in the Southwest the Apaches believed that it was their land. Shifting alliances between the Apache’s as well as with US forces. As well as betrayal of the Apache scouts that located Geronimo in 1886 that meant the end of major hostilities in 1886. They were shipped off to Florida along with Geronimo, then sent to Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Some were eventually allowed to to return to Arizona.  

    • #10