Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Afghanistan: Who are we really fooling?

Well, oh well. Look at all the shocked faces, and all with a finger to point. The rapid fall of Afghanistan should have surprised no one.  We had seen the very same phenomenon when ISIS overran northern Iraq and sent that ersatz army fleeing. And the atrocities that followed should have surprised no one just as the slaughterhouse that Afghanistan is about to become should leave no one claiming that they had no idea that the Taliban was not the reincarnation of Nelson Mandela's ANC.

How do we know? Besides direct deduction? Just ask yourself several counterfactuals:

Question 1. If you were the lead intelligence officer for US armed forces and you could make a fantastic case for what was about to happen, would your boss, the Commander, care?

Ans. Not a chance. He wants to be the new Gen Milley someday. Why upset the applecart? He knows that the POTUS doesn't want to hear it.

Question 2. What if you were the SecDef or SecState?

Ans. Well, you don't care. What do you care about? Not much of real consequence. Deals mostly.

Question 3. What if you were Biden?

Ans. One word: Ice Cream! 

You see, the problem is not just that our political leaders are not very bright, it is primarily that they don't care. And BTW, before we get partisan, none of them really cared. Bush didn't even care about Iraq until a light went off in his head connecting the impending doom of Iraq, the model, with his own prospects for reelection in that case (and this needed to be almost spelled out for him).

Yes, our political leaders have no clue about much except their own political prospects and they have cultivated a Pretorian guard of imbeciles that will tell them just about whatever they want to hear. Remember the aluminum tubes? How many geniuses did it take to figure out that they were not meant for centrifuges? Turns out just one professor on leave to the DOE--we should probably hire that guy and fire the rest of the National Intelligence Apparatus.

Now, these people are not actually stupid, but their total lack of moral fiber makes them so. After all, they were smart enough to take loads of your tax money and they all have a much better retirement account. But we weren't really fooled either. Truth be told, we "normal" people mostly just don't care about our own government and that is why we tolerate such mediocrities. Even a dunce can be useful if he annoys the other guy more than he embarrasses our team. 

It's all just a game with one side scoring points on the other. Meanwhile, the few that are not in the game do their best to pretend that the direction of government is unimportant--sort of a self-driving car made by German engineers--it will get you there eventually. Enjoy the ride.

So as the slaughter of the innocent is about to unfold in Afghanistan, we can be happy that we were smart enough not to be there ourselves. We will never find ourselves in such a situation, right? After all, we are protected by our government of the People. Surely, they will not let us down.

Just one small problem there.....

You guessed it. We are the problem and our insipid political leadership is just a reflection of our own debased values. It couldn't be any clearer. The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves. That should be no surprise to anyone. The character of a nation is simply the aggregate of the character of its People.

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