Joe Biden ended the twenty-year war in Afghanistan. That’s a historical fact now. It wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t pretty, but it had to be done, and by God he did it.
His first year in office, too!
When Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld invaded Afghanistan in October of 2001, Americans were led to believe it would be a quick, decisive battle similar to what we saw in Desert Storm, Iraq, in 1991.
Boom boom, bang bang, in and out, done.
Obviously we were lied to, because the Bush administration had no intention of leaving Afghanistan from the start. And they made damned certain that leaving the country would be somebody else’s problem.
Republicans excel at making messes that somebody else has to clean up.
The GOP whipped up popularity for the war by pandering to their base’s bigotry (gonna teach them ragheads a lesson!) while simultaneously accusing anybody who disagreed with them of being unpatriotic and belonging to the “Hate America First” crowd.
Seriously. That’s basically what happened.
While diversity is a progressive strength, it can at times be our most vulnerable weakness. Because often times, in order to win any conflict, you have to stick together despite the imperfection of the alliance.
Progressives don’t like to march in lock step.
Conservatives can’t seem to walk in any other way.
With an uncanny instinctiveness, a hybrid herd mentality, Republicans can easily do one thing that progressives find difficult: they know how to stay on message. Mainly because Republicans on the whole don’t like to think. Truly. And their leaders are only too happy to think for them.
Conservatives will rarely voice any opinion unless they know that most conservatives already agree…because the bottom line is they don’t know right from wrong. Somebody else has to create those parameters for them. Once they’ve reduced a broad, complex, sweeping concept to a pithy talking point, then and only then will they lock into that standpoint with a religious ferocity.
Rank and file, Main Street Republicans are gawd-awful at debate, but they are experts at regurgitating the talking points of the day. I don’t know why that is, but that’s why they appear to win so many arguments. They stick to the message. They already have the answers.
But progressives have often been compared to a herd of cats. You can’t stampede them over a cliff, because they aren’t prone to stampeding. You can’t round them up in a corral because they are fundamentally resistant to being corralled.
Believe me, people have tried. Didn’t work.
So the thing is, when all of us clever, fickle, leonine progressives hear the GOP predictably blaming the failure of the Afghanistan withdrawal on President Joe Biden…we have to be careful not to get tangled in their logical fallacy.
Sure, we can admit to ourselves that it was par to disaster, and we can admit to ourselves that ultimately Biden was responsible…but we all know perfectly well that it’s just not as simple as that.
You can’t spend twenty freaking years and well over a trillion dollars “nation building” only to watch it all evaporate in eleven days and blame it on the new guy.
Because the bottom line is this: Joe Biden didn’t screw up the twenty-year war of Afghanistan. That had already been done twenty times over, starting in October of 2001.
Joe Biden ended the Afghanistan war.
And for that, I am proud.
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