Saturday, September 10, 2022

9-11 - the Taliban's National Holiday

For me, 9-11 always rolls in like a fog of memory.  Like the tragedies of  JFK's assassination or space shuttle Challenger exploding on ascent, or the triumph of Apollo 11's landing, I'll always remember where I was and details of the day it happened.  As I've said before

On that bright Tuesday morning, I was out of the office at a small company that we contracted to do some testing on our radios.  As the technician and I were setting up the test, the company's secretary/receptionist came in and said the local radio station had a bulletin that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.  My first reaction, perhaps strangely, was that radio navigation systems can't be that wrong, it must have been a terrible accident.  Act of war did not enter my mind.  As the morning went on, a TV set was put in place and large antenna hooked up outside (there are no local over the air TV channels).  We watched the second plane hit and quickly realized this was no accident.  That's when the thoughts of Pearl Harbor and other acts of war started.  I've heard it credited to Ian Fleming as his character Auric Goldfinger, but the saying goes, "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."  And so it appeared that day. 

In the days that followed, I learned that friends were affected by the events of 9-11, but weren't directly involved.  A co-worker was on business at Boeing, and had to rent a car to drive home.  A very close friend was waiting at JFK airport to fly home, and saw the attacks in real time.  He also had to rent a car and drive home.  A cousin lives within viewing distance of the Twin Towers and watched it. And now I have friends who have sons in the armed forces in Afghanistan, and others who have been in Iraq.  We need to remember we are at war, even if our enemy isn't a convenient nation-state.  You can pretend we're not at war if you'd like, but if someone swears to destroy you, it's prudent to believe them.

I've long harbored a mixed bag of responses.  The first group of feelz is "remember the fallen", "remember the first responders who ran into the buildings", "remember the dead and wounded servicemen, the ones who came back with missing limbs, or injuries that can't be seen" and "remember their families."  Next, though, came contempt for the politicians and beltway bandits that made money off those fallen servicemen.  Now joined by contempt for and disgust with the current military leadership. 

Everything changed since the disastrous ending in '21.  That was the year that we lost.  We weren't defeated, we formally demonstrated defeating ourselves to the whole world.  We lost in what might have been the most incompetent cluster fuck in the history of man.  A team of Brownie Girl Scouts could have planned and executed that withdrawal abandonment of Afghanistan better than the Bidenites did.  For cryin' out loud, they abandoned hundreds of Americans and Afghans that worked for us behind Taliban lines.  They even abandoned Biden's translator in Afghanistan.  As Keith Finch, a former Marine writing for GAT Daily, says:

That’s the strangest thing about this longest war. We weren’t defeated. We won the fights. We’re damn good at fighting. We lost because ‘winning’ never had a defined end state. It wasn’t ‘When we get Bin Laden’ or ‘The Total Annihilation of the current Al-Qaeda structure no matter where they hide.’

This would have been a very different war if we had told certain states to shove it, we are going hunting anyway. It wouldn’t have been diplomatic, but with the righteous rage of the United States at that moment who could have lodged more than token protests?

We lost because we just said, okay we’re done and went home in a way that looked shaky weak and deceptive… we didn’t even have the fortitude to stand up and declare, Afghanistan you are on your own guys because we’re out. Biden boldly promised that he didn’t believe and we had no indication that the Taliban would roll up the country… which was utter bullshit of course. They were our escort out. An ass-backwards neobarbarian culture that we kicked out was back in the seat of power.

It makes it feel like we were never there to many.

While that's a good summary it ignores the aspect of the war that may be the most telling.  The incredible transfer of wealth to the contractors that profit off war.  Everyone focuses on the businesses, especially the defense contractors, but it's just as big a crime for the congress critters and the employees who participate with the dirty money, too.  Early on, we could have easily turned Afghanistan and more of the Mideast into plains of Trinitite, but we didn't do that "for the chidrin."  We didn't do it because our civilization respects not punishing innocents for things they didn't do - unless they're conservatives or gun owners.  

Just to be clear, it's not that I think we should still be in Afghanistan, I'm closer to those who have said we should have gotten out long ago, only we should have done it competently.  We didn't leave from any position of strength, we left with our tails between our legs looking so weak as to be pitiful to the charitable observers and pathetic to the rest of the world.  I'm sure we're especially pathetic to the heirs of Bin Laden who declared us "a weak horse" easy to roll over.  I expect lots more actual attempts to emulate 9/11 while we're showing weakness.  Less like shirtless guy with buffalo horns and more like, you know, actual acts of terrorism. 



  1. Well said. I agree that we should have left years and years ago. And the comment about it is as if we were never there...Agree with that too except for the dead and maimed that died or were hurt in the service of their country.

  2. Round two of Vietnam, when I was drafted. Worse "leadership" this time.
    Round three, gonna be China (Taiwan).
    Keep your powder dry...

  3. We should have started home after BL was caught, but there was a lot of money sent to Afghanistan during the generation we spent there and it was hard to give up.

  4. I agree that we should have pulled out when we got Ben Laden in Pakistan. The Paki's should have been held responsible for their complicity. Also remember that most of the Taliban are Paki's.

  5. All those untapped mineral riches kept us there for 20 years....biggest lithium deposit in the world from what I've read.

    Deep state profited very handsomely off the poppy trade and GWOT skimming.

    We'll see if the Chinese do better now that its their turn.

  6. There is so much that could be said, and so little use in doing so.

    My first thoughts were to nuke the place. As the CIA began to turn the country I thought we might pull it off. Since then my thoughts have circled back to "we should have nuked the place." If not nukes, then we should have invaded with conventional forces for the purpose of destroying what was there and then leaving. That's what the Romans did to Carthage, and the Romans were much better at being a superpower than we are.

  7. If one views US war history since the end of WW2, and believes that history is a window into the future then I believe the future of the US republic as a free republic is grim.

    Korea resulted in surrender by the US (NATO).

    Vietnam resulted in surrender by the US.

    GWOT Afghanistan resulted in surrender by the US.

    What sane country leaves its borders open during global military tensions and does not investigate each entry ?

    What sane country imports refugees from war zones without strong and deep vetting of the refugees and their families ?

    What sane country permits tons of deadly drugs and other unknown contraband to cross its borders unrestricted ?

    The lessons of 9-11 have been incinerated by the leaders of the US that swore an oath to protect the nation from harm. And yet most of the US population is aloof, incompetent, and even complicit in the self destruction of our nation.

  8. Surrender? What Japan & Germany did in 1945 was surrender, we've just gotten tired of playing and went on to something else.