Nature Abhors a Vacuum

                And not just because it sucks.

                After twenty years of war, the United States is withdrawing from Afghanistan.  Declaring that the American military has achieved its military goals, Joe Biden set a date of September 11th as the final day for our servicemen and women to leave with honor.

                Before the Idiot-in-Chief sends them to another war zone.  Bank on it.

                Never mind that Donald Trump had already set a date of May 1st.  Heaven forbid that the Biden Administration does anything that the evil racist Orange Man did.  September it is, then.

                I’m of two minds about this.  If pressed, I view the ending of our involvement in that shithole as a good thing.  After all, there’s nothing there worth an American life.  In fact, if it were up to me, I’d pull every American out of every country in the world.  Let them take care of themselves.

                Going into Afghanistan made sense back in the fall of 2001.  Dear Lord, when I write that down, it brings home how long it’s actually been.  The United States had been brutally attacked and thousands of innocent people were slaughtered, including two friends of mine.

                Something needed to be done to deny safe haven to the animals who would carry out a such a heinous massacre.  Along the way, the Taliban stranglehold on the country was decapitated.  Some semblance of freedom slowly burgeoned among the Afghan people.  Good things.

                But then, as in Vietnam, an American presence began to be perceived as the norm.  Ostensibly there to train local forces to prevent a fundamental Islamic resurgence, it was felt that only American muscle could adequately safeguard the region.  Moreover, the national military could not bring the type of air power punch that the Americans could.

                Haven’t we seen this movie before?   

“The horror…”

                That may be all well and good, but we’ve got our own problems.  Mostly of the “shoot yourself in the foot” variety, but if you put your masochist hat on and watch the news, you’ll see any number of troubles on American shores.  I won’t list them all here (not enough room), but you get my point.  We’re not living in Mayberry anymore, my friends.

Afghanistan sucks, tho…wait. This is Portland? Never mind.

                Then, I stop to think about that vacuum thing.  Does anyone doubt that, after we pull out of that troubled country, the Taliban will roar back into power?  Or, worse, a group sponsored by Iran?  An Iran which clearly has no love for “The Great Satan.”

                It’s a scenario eerily reminiscent of Vietnam.  The enemy we had beaten back and held somewhat at bay, took over the whole shooting match (probably an unfortunate term) once we pulled the flag down and got onboard the choppers.  Thousands of lives, millions of dollars wasted.

                And God help the poor bastards who helped us.  Human decency demands we take them back with us.

                Of course, I’m not saying throw good money at the bad.  Refusing to admit a mistake is what got Lyndon Johnson into trouble.  The problem in Vietnam was not the lack of a stated goal, but the lack of a will to do what was needed to get it done to see it through.  When the need to “go Roman” was apparent, we chose to “go French.”

                The problem in Afghanistan was that, beyond dismantling a terror network, there really was no stated goal.  Make the country a democratic stronghold?  Establish a bulwark against Iran?  China?  Russia?  Prevent a repeat of 9/11?  Ensure the viability of the poppy trade (ah, my cynical side bursts through)?  All of it?

                Don’t know.

                In any event, I guarantee that something will fill that vacuum. 

                I doubt Russia will.  They had their hands full with that place in the 80s.  The Russians may not feel it’s worth the effort anymore, despite the fact that the bordering nations (the “Stans”) were once part of the Soviet Union.  China?  Maybe.  What would it benefit the Chinese?  It’s a landlocked mountainous country, but it has a grunch of mineral resources, including natural gas and oil.  So, yeah, sure, that could tempt Beijing.

“You can be for keeping that pisshole in snow!”

                Iran.  Now there’s the more likely contender, in my opinion.  Or at least a Tehran-sponsored terrorist network.  A network only too willing to dance to the tune of their mullah bandleaders.

                At the very least, peace, love, and Kumbaya won’t break out in Kabul once we’ve left the stage, of that you can be sure.

                You know what, though?  I don’t care.  If people aren’t willing to fight for their freedoms without big brother standing over their shoulder (hell, we’ve got enough of them here), than maybe you weren’t worth all the trouble in the first place.

                Will the United States see a return to the early twenty-first century if we say sayonara to Central Asia?  Are we at risk of another 9/11 style of attack?  Possibly.  To avoid that, it’s incumbent upon us to have a competent intelligence network (I wrote that with a straight face) which can alert us to any nefarious goings-on.  I realize that’s a tall order given the preoccupation of far too many with racist Math books, Fauci-Worship, and plastic potato penises.  We must pull our heads out of the “Woke Hole,” though,  to concentrate on the important stuff.

“This is such bullshit! I never had a penis! Unlike Caitlyn Jenner.”

                I realize that I could be wrong and dangerously short-sighted.  Only though American strength abroad can we guarantee American peace at home, many will contend.  Not for nothing, I’m wondering how safe the citizens of Portland feel?

                After all, we’ve maintained troops in Germany, Japan, and South Korea for decades, they say.  See how we’ve ensured peace?  Murica!

                Well, I counter with that may have made sense in the 40s, but don’t kid yourselves.  It was about the Soviet Union and North Korea.  Those occupied countries (sorry, but that’s what they are) have done pretty good for themselves, primarily on our defense dime.    Like I said, I wouldn’t necessarily have a problem if we bid them farewell, too.

                Far be it from me to agree with anything the demented muppet in the White House does, but it’s time to leave Afghanistan.  Sure, he’s appealing to his base and, yes, he’s going for political theater by calling for it on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on this country.  However, it’s ultimately the right thing to do.

                Trump called for it and I expressed the same thought processes then as I do now.  While I don’t feel like checking who applauded the action then, but condemn it now (partisan much?), my mind hasn’t changed.

                I won’t go so far as giving the Sniffer the benefit of the doubt because he’s looking to score political points.  I’ll just acknowledge that it’s time.

                The big difference between Trump and Biden, though?  I think people in Taiwan and Ukraine have every reason to be nervous.  What’s more, I think people in the United States should be nervous because Grampa Joe doesn’t realize his paper tiger doesn’t even have paper teeth and claws anymore.

The United States wouldn’t be perceived as a weak laughingstock by the bad actors of the world with a President Trump. The dude wasn’t perfect (e.g., tariffs), but he would protect this country if push came to shove. “America First” wasn’t just a campaign slogan to him.

                Now? Well, we may go to war over Taiwan, but we don’t have to worry about racist pancake syrup anymore.  

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