The Graveyard of Empires Redux

Rajan Menon reflects on America’s ruinous pursuit of Mission Impossible in Afghanistan. 

10 comments for “The Graveyard of Empires Redux

  1. bluedogg
    April 27, 2021 at 13:57

    Don’t worry, never fear we ain’t going anywhere the few troops brought home won’t make any difference for left behind will be 18,000 merc’s and intelligence to suck up the taxpayers’ money, this is just good propaganda that we are getting out of Afghanistan but if we did who would inherit all those poppy fields which is why we are there anyway..

  2. M McBurnett
    April 27, 2021 at 11:26

    Shame is the proper word in this context, some of us have been living in shame for 54yrs!

  3. phree
    April 27, 2021 at 11:22

    Way back 20 plus years ago I would tell my friends who supported going into Afghanistan: “Well, sure, go in and get bin Laden and then get the hell out. We don’t want to get bogged down in a country that couldn’t be held by Genghis Khan, the British Empire at its nastiest, or the Russians at their nastiest.”

    I wish I had been wrong.

  4. MarkMcBurnett
    April 27, 2021 at 10:43

    Shame is the correct word, unfortunately the people in this country have lost all understanding of what that word means. Some of us have lived in shame over this countries wars for the last 54 yrs.

  5. vinnieoh
    April 27, 2021 at 10:28

    Excellent summary Mr. Menon.

    “The military high command’s never-ending urge to stick with a failed war was complemented by the inside-the-Beltway Blob’s doomsday scenarios and tired nostrums.” Says it all. (Might I suggest the moniker “Beltway Boobs”.)

    Most are familiar with the saying: “Nothing succeeds like success.” I’ll try to coin a new one: “Nothing compounds failure so much as the refusal to admit it.”

    Please donate to Consortium News spring fund drive. No, I have no affiliation; just a deep appreciation for the work CN does.

  6. Nathan Mulcahy
    April 26, 2021 at 22:23

    “A stable democracy with fair elections, a free press, an unfettered civil society, and equal rights for all ..”. A pretty laudable goal ….. for America.

  7. Jeff Harrison
    April 26, 2021 at 21:36

    Hmmm. There’s a whole lot more to this story than the author tells.

    1. Afghanistan has never been a democracy. The socialist regime that came to power in 1978 overthrew a king. Afghanistan had been a monarchy with an interesting governmental structure. Why do countries like the US and Russia think that they can simply dictate what form of government some country can or will have? The reality is that it doesn’t work.

    2. Everybody is talking about the Taliban as if they are some foreign force. They aren’t. They are mostly Pashtuns. Read they are AFGHANS. The Pashtun are the largest ethnic grouping in Afghanistan. People don’t seem to realize that, talking about the Taliban the way they do is the equivalent of saying that we’re going to form a government comprised of Blacks, Latinos, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans. The largest ethnic grouping, whites, are not included. Good Luck with that.

    3. The hectares of land devoted to opium-poppy planting have increased dramatically from 8,000 in 2001 to 263,000 by 2018. Let me help that statement “The hectares of land devoted to opium-poppy planting have increased dramatically from 8,000 in 2001, the last year that the Taliban were running things, to 263,000 by 2018 after 20 years of American control. That should tell ya something.

    4. Anybody who thinks that the US is going to leave CIA, mercenaries, special forces, or drones in Afghanistan is delusional. The Taliban will destroy them or hound them out of the country. Without control of the skies, without a powerful force of professional military, those guys wouldn’t stand a chance and drones? Drones can be shot down by a Cessna 150 with two Jihadi and an AK-47 if there’s no F15s or 18s in the sky.

    Things are going to get interesting… US debt = $28T US GDP = $21T

    • Anne
      April 28, 2021 at 12:26

      A very clear and truthful over view…why do we hoi polloi keep getting these distorted (Newspeak) descriptions, mentions of such as the Taliban (also the Houthis, Hizbullah) as if they were outsiders in their own lands? As if they were ISIS, Al Qaeda – NATO military???? Not at all. We (and who the eff are we?) do not like the Taliban and their views on how life, culture, society should run…NOT our business…yes some Afghanis – largely heavily westernized I suspect – are profoundly anti their draconian form of Islam. But I would bet a large number are equally alongside.

      And we behave/act/pretend that the Iranians have no right to allies in THEIR region of the world….It is a demented (perhaps now quite literally) and overwhelmingly hubristic perception of our righteous perspective…right…

  8. April 26, 2021 at 19:17

    Empires go to Afghanistan when it is time for them to die. History says as such and history repeats once again.
    Oh well, maybe they get a chance to try to run their own country on their own. I wish them well.
    Nothing but a clusterf*ck is what the American presence has been – from day 1.
    You get what you give.
    You get what you deserve.
    What a waste all around. What a shame it has been.

    • Anne
      April 27, 2021 at 13:30

      True, apposite…

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