The fall of Afghanistan was inevitable. The long war there was never really tolerated by the American people and winning over the “Graveyard of Empires” was nearly a lost cause before it started. The intention was to get rid of the bad guys and build a new democracy – necessary to start and noble to finish, but a lost cause in the end.
Afghanistan is a 3rd world country and never will be anything more than that. It has little to no industry. It has little to no agriculture. Wait, let me amend that – little to no useful agriculture. It has little to no history of democracy. There really isn’t any political will inside the country to be anything other than a 3rd world country. The people just want to be left alone, they rely on a religious ideology that is stuck in the Stone Age and impedes on modern progress at every turn.
All political power and will is based on local warlords. Thus, those who gain power and increase it do it mostly through violence, coercion, and bribery. The “elected” president (Karzai) , propped up by the US for so long, was essentially a local warlord who ran the country through bribes and special favors. He sought to increase his own wealth all while giving the illusion that he was working for democracy.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise. The cries from the Afghan people about the corruption started the moment he was elected. But, coming from a patriarchal society based on family units/clans, big and small, is no way to begin a democracy.
Unfortunately, as the Taliban continues to take over a country that has been trained and armed by Western allies (but mostly the US) they are essentially now gaining control over modern weapons. Obviously, this is a great upgrade from using Soviet era arms leftover from the Soviet Union retreating from their lost cause in the ’80s. You can train a people and arm a people, but if they have no will to fight or defend their own country from religious zealots.
As a result, the West will return to a higher level of threat than it has known since 9/11. The world isn’t a safer place.
I feel sorry for the Afghan people who truly dreamed there might be change. Who truly dreamed the US would keep it’s promise. I feel sorry for the women who deserve some freedom, rights, and dignity. I feel sorry for the many, many soldiers (from countries all over the world, but especially American service men and women) who fought and were wounded, physically and mentally, or died while trying to help the country out of their 3rd world status. The ultimate sacrifice was made by many but is seems it was a sacrifice for nothing at this point.
The current American administration, Biden, is to blame for this. Abandoning the people, the promises, and the possibilities has so many echoes of Vietnam it is hard to deny. The images and stories coming from Afghanistan are striking with how similar they are. Once again, the ideal of democracy is abandoned by the American government and the American people that wouldn’t support the effort.
It’s just heartbreaking.
The repercussions will echo for many years to come.
History has repeated itself.
Cliché, but true.