THE MIDDLE EAST: BEATING A MEGA-WASP’S NEST WITH A FLY SWATTER
At some point in recent years Joe Biden was clearly told some hard facts and home truths about the impossibility of nation-building in the Middle East.
Initial military success will always be a cakewalk for the West, but as they say, when you break it you own it and ownership of nations you know next to nothing of except for their names, and could be on another planet as to behaviours and cultures, has proven a living nightmare for the USA. A living nightmare during which hundreds of thousands have died.
Not that the above facts faze those making vast amounts of cash from others’ nightmares, or those who saw their military employment prospects constantly improve as long as they kept repeating the mantra that everything was going in their favour. There were plenty of reasons for those winning during a losing war to keep the whole thing going. Those whose minds constantly failed integrity challenges did very well out of the nightmare of the USA’s Middle Eastern wars.
But Afghanistan has upset the apple cart, the gravy train there has come to a grinding halt and a half dozen more mixed metaphors reflect the humiliating retreat after twenty years that ought to have come after twenty weeks or less. An invasion to kill Osama bin Laden and his followers was over and done with the Taliban unseated very quickly. The U.S. military then created the environment for an insurgency merely by its presence. The Afghan people don’t take kindly to occupiers and this ought to have been well known if the lessons of history had been studied. But those in command back in Washington had other things on their minds.
The USA quickly moved on from Afghanistan to Iraq and subsequently created two headaches rather than one. Over time the Taliban made a gradual comeback, pointing out the new leaders in Kabul were U.S. lackeys, mere tools of western powers that would be exceptionally susceptible to an insurgency using guerilla techniques to wear them down. Twenty years after the war began the debacle of the retreat has caused a furore of criticism from those who believed and spread the lies that things were going more and more in their favour.
Realistic thinking is not a forte of the political and military elites of the USA when they go to war. A “Yessir!”, “Can do!” mentality reigns supreme. And so it has been for nigh on twenty years now. A favorable short-term period and dubious statistics was always used to reflect a positive stance, reports always gave the impression of progress, western media was ever-encouraged to look on the bright side. All blithely marching toward total defeat, picking up the dead and wounded as they went.
Meanwhile, the very presence of the U.S. military and that of its allies was the best possible recruiter for the Taliban, IS-K and al-Qaeda. The invaders and occupiers installing their utterly corrupt minions in Kabul and conducting phoney elections helped also. Bringing in Afghans from other regions into places they could hardly understand or be understood in, also played its part. They were often more brutal than the coalition troops but were identified clearly as part of the invader forces. Poorly equipped and haphazardly trained at vast expense they saw no point in fighting once their main backing and backup fled.
The Taliban grew on the back of a growing disgust and alienation, both at the presence of foreign occupiers and the outrageous corruption in Kabul. IS-K grew also, sworn enemy of both the Taliban and the West.
But over the years since the invasion of Afghanistan and then the illegal attack and invasion of Iraq ISIS/IS arose to extraordinary heights as a terminally brutal fighting force with massive and very obvious financial backing. The counterproductive effects of foreigners embroiling themselves across the Middle East was a recruiting influence without parallel. The Taliban, ISIS/IS, ISIS-K/IS-K, al-Qaeda all now stand as a testament to western foreign policy idiocy.
The beating of a retreat from Afghanistan must surely be followed by the same departure from Iraq and in time from Syria also. The era of western powers sending their young man and treasure chests to faraway lands to die and be squandered is over. No matter how many neoconservative warmongers beat their chests in anguish and with calls for more western exercise of military might, it’s over. It is a palpably insane exercise that brings utterly counterproductive outcomes. The West is diminished, the very opposite of what was planned for and expected.
There can be no more such adventures, interventions and policies of military interference. At least not now, not until the passing of much time, not until another set of circumstances emboldens a knee-jerk response from Washington that embroils it bit by bit into yet another set of quagmires. Then again, beyond all expectations and hopes that lessons will have been learned, a new, freshly manufactured fly-swatter will be used on another mega-wasp’s nest.