So, here we are. Nearly twenty years after the events of 9/11, which kicked off a war in perpetuity spanning campaigns in places both known and unknown, blurring the lines of morality while seeking to define the term the greater good, we find ourselves in no better position than when we began. Unless of course you count the endless bridges to nowhere, the never ending high tech programs designed to give so-called warfighters a better edge on the battlefield. In reality, such prospects are a farce. Overencumbered and micromanaged, accomplishing nothing. Synthesizing information at the fingertips, removing the humanity of war in so much as it creates an artificial superstructure. Unfathomable, insurmountable, impossible.
And yet, Iraq remains the battlefield between peoples, now perpetually in a state of anarchy. Yemen is no such success. Somalia remains impoverished, illiterate, and starving. Libya, once a nation with a relatively high standard of living has now become a battleground between which oil interest seeks to inherit her vast wealth. Syria remains only due to intervention on part of the Russians. Imagine that. But let us take in the case of Afghanistan, the current example of American policy failure, should we be able to call it such.
The land known as the graveyard of empires is once more exactly that. A twenty year epitaph of American opulence ironically known as Operation Enduring Freedom. When this author arrived in Afghanistan, he was sold on romanticized tales of combat on the dusty plains. A Warrior’s War. A hard life against a brutal and cunning enemy. Like all things, reality would be a horse of a different color. The Pashtuns were not exactly the romanticized fighters made of them on either side, rather, an untrustworthy tribal people, loosely conjoined by an overarching cultural resistance, out to make a buck selling their sometimes allies. Sometimes you, sometimes your enemy. Insha Allah. And they were quite honest about it, unlike the American State Department. There, you can sell out your country and allegedly your allies, simultaneously.
In fact we’ve come to a point where America has no real allies. Europe is hell bent on cultural suicide, Britain an empty shell, both importing with open arms the very product of two decades of failed policy now strangling them. There is no longer a cultural cohesion anyone could objectively point towards, with the only things coming from her cultural centers of New York and Hollywood either being rehashes of true icons or simplistic hollow propagandist trash appealing to only the lowest common denominator of the inept, the stupid, the immoral. So much for the intellectual Left of yesteryear which actually could rather cleverly ask moral questions within the framework of love of country. This can no longer be allowed, as love of country is dirty relic of evil colonialism, as we’re consistently reminded. The revolutionary chants of homeland or death have been replaced by a desire to remove any and all social controls. So be it.
Indeed Afghanistan continues its reputation as the graveyard of empires, pointing to her last success in the Soviet experience nearly half the length of the American duration. There was more money to be made. And perhaps my friend, Paul Avalone, author of the excellent Tattoo Zoo, was correct in his assertions for Soldier of Fortune way back when in 2006, claiming there was nothing worth gaining in that place. Much heartburn came as a result, as usually is the case when people are right.
The land of the Pashtun is once more in the hands of the very people from which we sought to liberate. Despite a technological advantage deemed the most one sided fight in the history of man, despite the weight of refined tactical prowess, despite a omnipotent targeting ability unmatched, despite precision munitions capable of hitting a spec of dirt from the stratosphere, America lost. And the world paid careful attention. Man to man there is no match for the American trigger puller, the Man on the ground, relying on his instincts, his wit and that of his teammates. In every case when such skill is relied upon, tactical victory is assured. This much we know. But war is too important to be left to the Warfighters, lest money be left on the table. For this reason alone, the victory was instead left in the hands of Afghan bagmen who cared not for a cohesive country but only for the vague eventual promise of a golden ticket to the land of plenty. It is a tale told over and over in the failures of American policy, guided by idiot Leftist intellectuals.
It is these same intellectuals we find guiding American domestic policy. Those speaking from their ivory tower lecterns, shuffling their well groomed graduates into positions of Federal authority armed and equipped with an empowered sense of objective morality. All the same tools, all the same tactics, all the same hubris of a failed policy cultivated overseas and brought home to fester. The outcome of a hopeless people with no guidance, no purpose, no direction aside from crushing any resistance to their empty bumper sticker slogans. Legality, I must remind you, applies only if you follow their own rules created for you -not them- and on that end, not daring question the status of things. The audacity to ask for legitimate elections or transparency! The daring to question a so-called ‘consensus of science’ when everyone classically trained is well aware of the absurdity of such a claim. And the duplicity of allowing their own cheerleaders to accost sitting Senators into elevators while holding others without bail for quite literally doing the same or less. A nation that is anything but its label.
So we find ourselves much like the Pashtun, a social juxtaposition of cultures, standing idly in silence watching the mighty legions waste away as they’ve done for eons and eons. They have the watches despite us having the time. Saying nothing while observing everything in quiet fury. A patience which grows more thin with each passing moment and each fleeting example of an American collapse. It is no longer a question of if the mighty America with its long whip could fall, but rather, when. The rot is insurmountable. Like the Pashtun, waiting for that moment when the pale, rotting corpse of authority removes itself. After all, it cannot exert its power everywhere, not even in a small land locked country against an unskilled and completely unsophisticated enemy, eating off the hoof, clutching a well worn Kalash that has lived generations and still has many moons to go. A man against time, a neo-luddite embracing a relic of warfare and holding his religion in the face of progress. How dare you.
When I am asked what I feel regarding Afghanistan, as is often the case in recent weeks having fought there, given its current state and the many friends I’ve lost over the years, I can only state quite flatly; I am proud to have graduated from the greatest combat training course on earth. And now what of those same failures who’ve declared war on you and I?