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Thread: To Afghan or to not Afghan

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    To Afghan or to not Afghan

    What an amazing turn of events. The Taliban retook Afghanistan so quickly, it's like the Afghan government sent a limo for them and gave them a military escort.

    A 20yr US investment gone. I was never in favor of being there but I did hope some good things for the Afghan people would come out of it. I don't understand the structure of their society well enough to understand how nothing really changed in 20yrs but I do see that now the blame game starts.

    Well, maybe 20yrs of improved civil liberties will have planted some solids roots and lead to some improvements for the Afghan people.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    You know, I never get why people actually believe the US was in Afghanistan on some kind of good will mission to bring evil doers to justice or whatever other horseshit the US government decided to feed it's people. War is business, plain and simple. One of the few benefits of living in a 3rd world country and we get to see the world how it truly is. The US and other first world countries don't give a flying **** about the well being of any 3rd world country and certainly not one they have invaded. Don't get me wrong, they will work peacefully with other countries if they can. And a lot of powerful countries have done a lot of good things for the world. It's not black and white but don't get it twisted, they have zero problem assassinating leaders in other countries or invading them for reasons that resemble classical imperialism(to pillage land, resources etc).

    Also, don't take my words to mean I have a problem with Americans or everyday citizens of other powerful first world countries. My tirade is actually directed at your governments, big business, the military and intelligence organizations like the CIA. The really love ****in with us here in the 3rd world. They interfere with our sovereignty in ways that many times gives us the ****** end of the stick and what can we do? We have to take it because we don't have the threat of a billion warships to press the issue.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    This was the obvious (unfortunate) outcome regardless of when troops were pulled out and who was in the White House. People blaming Biden (or Trump for that matter) for this don't have a clue what the reality is/was over there.

    Niya - a lot of us here in the USA feel the exact same way.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Just a reminder: Just because certain words get censored doesn't mean it's okay to use them here.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    There is never one motivation to anything done by a government. It's also rarely, if ever, global by intention, even when the results are global. The people in government are not smarter than most of the people on this forum, and we all make plenty of mistakes and do plenty of things for personal, immediate, reasons. They're doing the same. Government is just the net sum of all the motivations of all the actors. The larger the government, the larger the number of actors included in the equation.

    We can say, "we did this for this reason", but that doesn't make it true.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan


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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    What US is actually doing to the countries it invades is sex (guns) drugs(drugs - narcotics) and rock and roll (rock and r-OIL).
    Putting terrorism as the reason. With the exception of ISIS, they had it coming.
    Money money money.

    Also we need to be on the whereabouts as possible future wars would be about water. We have plenty, if you invade it's good to have some "friendly foes" here so, love you all guys!!! Especially US people here with military capability, you are greaaat, love yallll!!!!
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Britain can colonise countries, we showed you how to do it properly for a couple of hundred years and it isn't by straight military invasion. You get the locals on your side by joining them and fighting on their side against their enemies - and of course, you pay them to do it. They end up in your army working for you.

    The trouble is, not even our proven methods (no longer politically acceptable for Britain to use) worked with Afghanistan. Three mighty Empires have tried and then failed since the mid 1800s. Each has failed because if you don't appreciate the Afghan's ability to feck everything up, including not just his enemies but also himself, everyone around him, his country &c. You cannot tame the Afghan. They have proven it and it was stupid even to try.

    The war started after 11/9 was directed against the wrong target in any case, it was just the USA lashing out. Targetted response to those countries that actually financed Osama Bin Laden would have been more appropriate but attacking Saudi Arabia wasn't palatable. Afghanistan was the whipping boy who whipped back.

    We would have told the Americans all this (I am sure we did) but we (the UK) are no longer calling the shots in world affairs, and the US refuses to learn from our mistakes. I expect a retrenchment and retrospection by the US into a further period of isolationism, a thing that always occurs when the USA gets its arse thoroughly kicked.

    The worst thing about this? I'm not looking forward to all the future miserable anti-war films about the harrowing things that happened to US soldiers in Afghanistan. Get ready for the miserable Vietnam war rehashes, here we go again.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Rambo 3 was about the brave afgan solders...And then they attacked them.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I should also note here that we are expecting from 500.000 to 1mil refuges to Greece soil. So once more, thanks for your SDR wars (sex drugs rnr) .
    .

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Find it interesting that the Taliban are saying it has changed their views on things like women's right and talking amnesty. Could this really be a new and improved Taliban 2.0??? Wouldn't that be surprising. But I got a feeling this nice guy routine will change once the US is completely gone. Still, it doesn't cost anything to hope.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    It's in the interpretation of their religion so unless they change that, it is what it is.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Quote Originally Posted by sapator View Post
    It's in the interpretation of their religion so unless they change that, it is what it is.
    It's not uncommon for religious interpretations to change.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Yep but unfortunately mostly for the worst as long as Islamic religion wise.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I wonder how long before the people feel the impact. Aggression isn't all that comes with an occupation, even back to Roman times. I'm reminded of that scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian:



    When the people lose their subsidized road improvements, water, sanitation, access to food, medicine, education, electricity, policing, cell phones, Internet, satellite TV...

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    It is rather annoying that prominent and not-so-prominent right-wingers are blaming Biden for this when they would undoubtedly have and did support Trump doing the same thing. Trump was actually taking credit before it actually happened - "I started this and they (Biden) couldn't stop it" - and now there are moronic calls for Biden to resign or even be impeached , as though things would have been any better under the alternative. I think that many shared my sentiments that, if the US and its allies, including my own Australia, were going to pull out then it should have been planned and executed over a greater time period, which may have avoided the debacle we now see to some extent. There was never any doubt that the Taliban were going to try to reassert themselves but the degree to which the Western coalition there underestimated their ability to do so is mind-boggling. The thing is, whether it was Biden, Trump or someone else making the final decision, they would always be making it based on that obviously faulty intelligence. The same people who have, for instance, shown no sympathy for Palestinians being oppressed by Israel or told Ilhan Omar that she should go back to her own country are now feigning compassion and sympathy for Muslims in Afghanistan, purely for political reasons. Who could possibly have expected that?

    There were really only three options for the US and its allies in Afghanistan:

    1. Go hard and try to eradicate the Taliban, which would undoubtedly have been costly in the lives of both soldiers and civilians.
    2. Occupy the country indefinitely and simply hold the Taliban at bay.
    3. Pull out and the country itself and its own allies handle it.

    None of those are good options really. Despite twenty years of Western help, the Taliban military and civil forces were clearly not up to the task of securing their own country. I'm not sure whether that was due to lack of numbers or lack of will but do we really think that that could have been fixed in any reasonable time frame? I don't see how it could. There simply is no good short-term solution.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    The withdrawal was inevitable. i don't think Biden wanted to do so at all, he just can't fight history. Globalism is over.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    None of those are good options really. Despite twenty years of Western help, the Taliban military and civil forces were clearly not up to the task of securing their own country. I'm not sure whether that was due to lack of numbers of lack of will but do we really think that that could have been fixed in any reasonable time frame? I don't see how it could. There simply is no good short-term solution.
    The whole region seems to be in one long long conflict. I'm 67 and can't ever remember when there wasn't violent conflict happening. Why??? SH talks about people being tribal, this seems extremely violent tribalism. All I know is what I get from the news so it might be a misrepresentation.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    "And just like that.... all of Facebook's infectious disease experts became military strategists."



    EDIT - To add pretty version:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I don't think we need to over complicate things. The SDR wars rule apply nicely. Just as US pulled out Turkey went in. Turkey is one of the biggest drugs middle man in the world. The problem is that innocent people are caught in between to this. Most of them would be migrating to EU and more specifically to Greek camps. If feel good that they will make it out but I feel bad that EU is packing Greece with immigrants , give a little money to our sold out government for support them and then whistles seamlessly.

    P.S. I can give one more war rule, cowboy idiocy, see Bush Jr.
    Last edited by sapator; Aug 18th, 2021 at 06:16 AM.
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    Fanatic Member Delaney's Avatar
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R Jones View Post
    "And just like that.... all of Facebook's infectious disease experts became military strategists."

    To bad I cannot rate this post
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    Facebook would proly have already blocked the account of those people long time ago,as part of it's "truth" strategy.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Poor USA, first the global embarrassment of Trump, then the humiliation of Afghanistan. Poor Biden, Poor America. How has the reputation and power of your poor country fallen in the last five years...
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I'm not defending US but that is not the field that they will show their power.
    The field is China.
    And imagine if China takes over, we will have thousand of xiaywhathisname storming the threads with robotic nonsense.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    Poor USA, first the global embarrassment of Trump, then the humiliation of Afghanistan. Poor Biden, Poor America. How has the reputation and power of your poor country fallen in the last five years...
    The only thing that has happened is uneducated people say stupid things about us.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    I wonder how long before the people feel the impact. Aggression isn't all that comes with an occupation, even back to Roman times. I'm reminded of that scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian:



    When the people lose their subsidized road improvements, water, sanitation, access to food, medicine, education, electricity, policing, cell phones, Internet, satellite TV...
    I don't see how that is relevant. Does anybody in Afghanistan, aside from the people who will get to be in charge, think things will be better under the Taliban? They are taking over by force and will rule by force. It certainly won't be by the consent of the governed.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Right, i'm probably going to step on someone's toes with my following statement/opinion, but here goes:
    "Those who do not learn from the past are prone to repeat its mistakes"

    How does that apply to the situation now in Afghanistan?

    1) The muslim faith is by its own tenets a peaceful religion.
    True, as well as it's true for christianity.
    But look at the middle Ages in Europe.
    Was it so much different compared to the extremist "versions" of Islam today (read Taliban, ISIS)?
    IOW, the muslim world is going through the exact same phase as christianity did some 900 years ago (give or take 100 years) --> The muslim world is right now in its own "middle Ages"
    Holy wars are fought --> The Crusades anyone?
    How did europe/chistianity got out of this?
    Correct, through education of the common people

    2) If people do not fight for freedom themselves, but "leave" the fighting to someone else......
    How is that even supposed to work?
    Case in point: Exactly what happened now in Afghanistan.
    Aggravating the problem additionally are "private" interests in the conflict.
    One of the biggest "money-makers" is War/Conflict!
    I once saw a documentation about a former US-Marine, who quit the Marines, and founded its own "security"-company, because he could make 10 times the money as a privateer in Afghanistan.
    Compared to Europe: Germany was basically under a "occupation"-status for over 50 years, while Afghanistan for 20.
    But what happenend during those 50 years in Germany? Correct, the "remaining" hardline-Nazis died out, while at the same time the following generations got educated to a wider world.

    3) A bit of my background: I'm croatian, and although i never was "active" in the civil war in former Yugoslavia during the first half of the 90's, i did have a front row seat to everything what was happening,
    especially after the War was over!
    What happened?
    My father loves politics, and especially discussing about politics.
    So it happened, that some time in the late 90's we had some friends of my father's for BBQ at our home, and they were doing what?
    Exactly! Discussing politics, complaining about corrupt politicians, and what not (sounds familiar?).
    And then they asked me:
    "Zvoni, what do you think? When will there come better times for Croatia?"
    My Answer: "When your and my generation is dead, while the generation of your grandchildren gets educated!"
    IMO, my answer to them applies to the situation in Afghanistan:
    The US (as well as the rest of the world) should just have waited and kept the occupation, until the Taliban-Hardliners die out, while making sure the common people of Afghanistan get educated.

    How do those 3 points apply to my initial statement?
    Simple, what happened in Afghanistan already happened in the past. But everyone ignored the lessons history tried to teach us.
    But, do we really want to know, how many new millionaires came out of the 20 years of Afghanistan on both sides of the divide? And i'm not talking about just the "legal" millionaires if you get my drift.

    Honestly, i'm not expecting the Taliban to stick to this shady promise of "liberal and progressive" government, because currently i only see one solution: Do a North Korea on Afghanistan and isolate them, until the idiots there die out, or the afghan people themselve stand up and are counted.

    My 2 cents
    Last edited by Zvoni; Aug 18th, 2021 at 09:25 AM.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    It is rather annoying that prominent and not-so-prominent right-wingers are blaming Biden
    I generally support Biden (he's been a breath of fresh air after 4 years of Trump) but I'm afraid he does bear some of the blame for just how bad this has been. While Trump's deal (and history generally) pretty much forced Biden to see through a withdrawal, the manner of that withdrawal has been callous in the extreme. More effort could and should have been made to evacuate and repatriate those at risk earlier and to extend delay the withdrawal somewhat to allow for that evacuation. More effort could have been made to agree a timetable for withdrawal with the Afghani government and US allies instead of an unannounced overnight withdrawal. Trump can own the resurgent Taliban but people clinging to planes in desperation and falling to their deaths is all Biden's ,I'm afraid.

    As for the collapse of the Afghani government forces, every presidency (along with allied governments) can bear the responsibility for spending the last 20 years lying that this were going well in Afghanistan because it has never been politically expedient to acknowledge the reality.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Aug 18th, 2021 at 11:08 AM.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I feel that Afghanistan was something we couldn't win, and weren't making any real progress with, but I'm afraid I tend to agree with the position the Economist took: Our commitment there was only a couple thousand troops, had incurred VERY few casualties for the last several years, and was keeping things somewhat stable, so it was worth continuing.

    Sure, it was a stalemate, but it was a stable situation for a minimal cost that kept the country in a position where it MIGHT move forwards. We've had much larger, more costly, commitments than that for a far longer time.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I think this is just the beginning.

    I expect more troop and staff drawdowns and base closures globally. No idea as to the timeline or pattern, but I think pulling up stakes in Europe will start pretty soon. Just as with Afghanistan this is all cost with no significant security benefit to the U.S. in this era. People here just won't support this global welfare any longer. 70 years has been too much.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I will let you know when the first thousands start packing in camps here.
    I don't agree with that US invade Afga to help the country to move forward, as I've said SDR wars.
    I mostly agree with Zvoni with the exception of Germans. Nazi mentality still occupy their actions (not talking about the people but the government), what they do now is oppressing Europe economically not with weapons. But I wouldn't want to decline from the Afgan wars, so US of A is the devil!
    Last edited by sapator; Aug 18th, 2021 at 11:57 AM.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    This came out a few days ago:

    The Return of American Narcissism

    People are worrying about the wrong thing.

    First of all, Afghanistan was not an ally. It was an occupation. Anyone who is anyone in the field of international relations saw Afghanistan as a drain on American attention and resources – not a springboard to greater things. The Americans being out frees up the possibility of more action, not less. For rivals of America, that’s a problem. For allies of America, that’s an opportunity.

    Second and far more importantly, fixating on Afghanistan and its aftereffects is focusing on absolutely the wrong thing. It isn’t so much that the United States is pulling completely out of Afghanistan, but instead it is pulling completely out of the world.

    America’s rivals want the Americans to make the world safe for Iranian and Russian oil shipments and for Chinese merchandise trade, but for the Americans to not muck about in their neighborhoods. Sorry, but that’s not what full withdrawal looks like. The Americans are leaving everywhere which will free up the entire American military to do whatever the hell the Americans decide to do, whenever they decide to do it. In the meantime, say goodbye to the primary economic pillars which support all the countries that dislike America. So, yeah, America is leaving, and America’s rivals are about to get what they wanted. Good and hard. The idea that Iran and Russia and China can survive without American-guaranteed international trade is statistically hilarious.

    As for the Americans, bereft of significant international threats and presences, they will do the same thing they did in the 1990s and turn back to their internecine arguments.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    More effort could have been made to agree a timetable for withdrawal with the Afghani government and US allies instead of an unannounced overnight withdrawal.
    What "unannounced overnight" withdrawal? Biden announce the withdrawal in April.

    I feel that Afghanistan was something we couldn't win, and weren't making any real progress with, but I'm afraid I tend to agree with the position the Economist took: Our commitment there was only a couple thousand troops, had incurred VERY few casualties for the last several years, and was keeping things somewhat stable, so it was worth continuing.

    Sure, it was a stalemate, but it was a stable situation for a minimal cost that kept the country in a position where it MIGHT move forwards. We've had much larger, more costly, commitments than that for a far longer time.
    I can see your logic but as a parent I can't agree. I don't have any of my family in Afghanistan but I'm fairly sure there is a lot of relief felt by the families that did have. Were we accomplishing anything that was worth my child risking their life or dying for? My answer is NO. It's probably a selfish attitude, but I can live with that.

    I like Zvoni's post but what confuses me is why is that region 900yrs behind? That's a long time.
    Last edited by wes4dbt; Aug 18th, 2021 at 04:19 PM.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    I can understand where you are coming from, but I don't agree. We're just in too many places, and too large, for that to be a valid concern...even though people certainly do HAVE that concern, valid or not. I haven't looked it up, but I'd be surprised if more US troops aren't killed in training accidents than are killed in wars. That being the case, you SHOULD be worrying about your loved one training, not fighting. Of course, that's like people who are afraid of flying, but not of driving. The latter is FAR more dangerous, but fear of flying is vastly more common than fear of driving.
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    We're just in too many places, and too large, for that to be a valid concern
    How does "just in too many places" invalidate a parents concern?

    Not sure of your training being more dangerous claim but it's not relevant. I don't see how to avoid training soldiers but you can certainly choose how you use them. How much dander they are exposed to and what is worth risking a soldiers life for.

    you SHOULD be worrying about your loved one training
    Of coarse they do. Well, maybe not all parents. lol But most.

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    How much dander they are exposed to and what is worth risking a soldiers life for.
    Well, if we're talking about THAT, then I'd say we are Heads & Shoulders above the problem.


    My understanding is that we basically haven't had any combat deaths in the last year, or so, but while looking that up, I found out that there have been roughly four times as many deaths by suicide in the armed forces than combat deaths in the wars since 9/11. Frankly, I think a fair number of those suicide deaths should be counted as combat deaths, so it makes your argument a bit stronger.

    I'm just thinking that the low cost in the last few years was acceptable for preventing the catastrophe that is unfolding currently. Perhaps it's not our responsibility, but we have pretty much accepted that, at the very least, nobody else will do it.
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  39. #39

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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Was reading this article on the large amount of mineral resources that Afghanistan has. Excellent article, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/18/busin...ing/index.html

    But I was really astounded by this,
    As of 2020, an estimated 90% of Afghans were living below the government-determined poverty level of $2 per day,
    If that's true, it may help explain why I have such a hard time understanding their country. My family was poor but not like that and 90% of the population, it's tragic.

  40. #40
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    Re: To Afghan or to not Afghan

    Scott Horton is my go-to on anything foreign policy related.

    My understanding of Afghanistan is that the United States initially went in to get the al-Qaida and Bin Laden-ites that were responsible for 9/11 but then stayed around for a nation building project while simultaneously supporting and then fighting groups in places like Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

    Each president from Bush up until Biden kicked the Afghanistan can down the road because the results we are seeing now are inevitable. Biden's big mistake in the withdrawal was political, he went on TV claiming that we wouldn't have a fall of Saigon moment, but a week after the pull out it looks like that scenario is playing out.

    In short, Bush should be tried for getting us into Iraq, Obama should be tried for his involvement in Libya and the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, and Trump should be tried for his targeting of ISIS families in Syria. But none of that will ever happen because that would put some level of culpability on the United States, instead it is thousands of miles away from US citizens so it is out of sight out of mind.
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