The first anniversary of the American withdrawal from Kabul occurred recently. That withdrawal was not a pretty sight. We are supposed to learn from experience, and we should want to learn about what went right and wrong in that operation. It is an appropriate subject for congressional hearings, but we have not had meaningful ones. The Democrats control Congress, and such hearings might further tarnish Biden. So no hearings now, but Republicans vow to hold hearings if they gain control of the House of Representatives next year. Of course, the goal of these efforts will not be learning. It will be to attack Biden. And, thus, partisanship stands in the way of gaining knowledge so that this might be a better country.
We could learn something useful about the withdrawal, but even more is to be gained by learning about our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in the first place. This was the longest of our many, many wars. It cost a lot of our money. Someone could look it up for me. Was it $1 trillion, $10 trillion, $100 trillion, or more? Some say that the recent U.S.-based stimulus packages were too large and helped fuel deficits which helped fuel inflation. The Afghan war did a whole lot more of such fueling, and, unlike the recent stimulus, much of the money was spent abroad without recirculation in our economy. We spent real money, folks, and real lives were lost…for what purpose? Do you see any useful results that would justify twenty years of war, carloads of money, and devastating loss of life? We should, of course, examine our Afghanistan efforts to learn about the limits of our military prowess and democracy-building efforts, for certainly this adventure had very few positive results . But I doubt that we will get any meaningful congressional investigation. The war was started by a Republican president, was continued by a Democrat, and carried along further by a Republican president, and embarrassedly ended under a Democrat. You might think that with both parties having been involved in a failed policy, we would have informative hearings about this war. But we won’t. Since both parties were up to their eyeballs in the invasion and occupation, there is no perceived partisan advantage in considering this issue, which is one of utmost importance for our foreign policy.
“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.” John Stuart Mill.
The spouse said that she no longer puts ice in her water glass so that she will drink more water. I started to say, “Ice melts. It is not always solid.” I caught myself and then thought steam is always a gas. Ice is “ice,” and steam is “steam”; Why is it that what I drink from the tap does not have its own name?
The good old days: A Gallup Poll in 1945 reported that 90% of New Yorkers considered themselves happy.
In the old days, including during my career in criminal defense, when a person informed the police about a miscreant (i.e., ratted someone out), it was said that the informant had “dropped a dime” on the other one. No one calls a cop on a pay phone with a dime anymore. So today, what is the informant doing?