Carnes: Get out, and stay out
What’s the difference between the Taliban, ISIS, ISIS-K, ISIL and Al-Qaeda?
They are all — each and every one — medieval religious zealots who will stop at nothing to rid the world of those refusing to accept their particular version of a deity as the one and only true deity and are more than willing to commit murder in order to prove how loving and peaceful their deity is.
Even if one were to believe in such ancient silliness, imagine how amazingly pathetic a deity must be who would require its followers to murder innocents for the glory of itself.
And so this is where we find ourselves today in Talibanistan, finally leaving after 20 years of wasting American blood and treasure on the planet’s toilet seat of humanity in a war against those who insist on using religion to justify killing fellow human beings.
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“We had a very good conversation with the leader of the Taliban today, and they’re looking to get this ended, and we’re looking to get it ended,” said our American president. “The relationship is very good that I have with the mullah,” he continued.
You want to blame the first American president with the courage to actually get out of our longest war, fine, but realize the above quotes were from the previous president, not Joe Biden, and it was Secretary of State Pompeo who began pushing for the deal with the Taliban two years ago.
Under the deal signed in February 2020, the United States promised to remove all American troops and to release 5,000 Taliban fighters from prison as long as the Taliban promised to no longer harbor terrorists and play nicely.
What the Taliban have actually done is like the classic scene in “Animal House” when Otter says to Flounder after they totaled his brother’s car, “Hey, you ‘eff’d’ up, you trusted us!”
Don’t get me wrong, though, I have been all for getting out of Afghanistan (and the entire Middle East, for that matter), and I applaud the previous administration for finally starting the process, so no American leader deserves all the credit nor all the blame for the bungled mess we’ve witnessed these last few weeks.
But getting out and staying out is the smartest strategy at this point, as the last thing we need to do is return in some warped attempt to avenge the latest American soldier deaths and begin the entire religious-based, eye-for-an-eye insane cycle all over again.
And in spite of what some social media nonsense is claiming, $85 billion worth of American military equipment was not gifted to the Taliban, it was left with and for the Afghan Army for Afghans to defend themselves, as we’ve spent the last two decades teaching them to do, but instead they surrendered in 11 days and handed it all over to the new religious-controlled government.
“American Taliban” is now secure in our own vernacular, as we have more than enough religious zealots in our own country to continue wasting lives in another, but I truly believe these Middle East zealots need us as an enemy to continue fundraising for their Caliphate, thus last week’s suicide bombings.
The reality is they don’t want us to leave.
But it takes more courage to back away from a fight that can never be won than to stay for the sole purpose of proving who can shed more blood.
We need to work on our own multitude of problems and let these religious nuts fight their own civil war over whatever version of a deity they wish to die for.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.