The Smiling Politician
10x20 Acrylic on canvas.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Lance Corporal didn’t lose, nor did the sergeant, captain or colonel, the people with guns did their job, and considering we enjoyed exclusive victory on the battlefield and still ended up with the Taliban in charge the day we left, is a monumental policy failure caused by the people calling the shots, the people who didn’t pull triggers, the people who sat far away in the safety of their office, the people who smiled at the camera and told America that we’re doing great things against violent extremist groups, the people who were content with churning the war machine while their wallets got fat because a quick war would have been a lot uglier because there’s only one way to effectively fight an ideology.
Our “leaders” were setting policy and strategy for 2-4 year objectives, while the Taliban was thinking in centuries. All they had to do was wait for us to go home.
People are trying to point fingers at one person to blame, but that’s not how it works, and it’s not an easy answer. There was never going to be a clean cut from Afghanistan. Under Bush, we should have left Afghan alone and pushed into Pakistan after Al Qeada, but we didn’t. Obama and Biden ran on a platform of ending the wars and pulling out, but we didn’t, as a matter of fact it surged. Trump started the pullout processes, which wasn’t a great plan, but it was better than nothing. Then Biden fumbled the ball and blamed Trump. I don’t think it would have been any prettier under Trump’s supervision, but when the ball’s yours, the ball’s yours.