Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living near Aspen. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
The problem with “nation building” a place like Afghanistan is that it’s a collection of wildly different places and peoples. Three-quarters of the people still live in the countryside. They comprise about a dozen main tribes and countless smaller tribes. Many different languages are spoken. Two are official languages but the dominant one is not spoken by a quarter of the population.
It’s true that nearly all Afghans are Muslim. But a millennium of strife in the Middle East has driven home the point that there are Muslims and there are Muslims, and they like to war with one another. Their wars are typically over stupid things.
The Muslims are not alone in their religious wars. Look at the centuries of Christian war in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants. Those are tribal wars founded on hate.
These tribes and their wars are not limited to religious strife, and also exist in societies we like to consider civilized. The clans of Scotland and rural England feuded for centuries and brought their feuding ways with them to American Appalachia. Remember the Hatfields and McCoys?
Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.
— Barack Obama
Biden has “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
— Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under Barack Obama
Nobody’s being killed
— Joe Biden, a week ago today
Joe Biden recently learned a trick from Kamala. When he’s asked a legitimate question that he doesn’t want to answer, he laughs. This buys him time and maybe even avoids altogether the necessity for an answer. It also exhibits scorn for the questioner for his impertinence in asking the question.
Sometimes it works. But it works less well when the question is about human lives at stake.
A certain Iraqi official holding the post of (Dis)Information Minister made a name for himself in the second Iraq war against the west. That was the one where Saddam Hussein wound up hiding in a spider hole and the people of Iraq were finally freed of his tyranny.
It doesn’t matter what his real name was. He came to be called “Baghdad Bob.” As the western allies descended on Baghdad, Bob held frequent press conferences laden with colorful, comical but incorrect contentions:
“Our initial assessment is that [the allies] will all die.” That assessment proved inaccurate, to put it mildly.
No, it’s not the Kremlin. In fact, it’s not any foreign power. Any communications between the president and a foreign power would include people from the National Security Agency and other intelligence types. (I use the word “intelligence” loosely in connection with these buffoons.)
You might counter that Biden could be receiving his foreign instructions indirectly through someone with whom he has a private channel. Like his criminal, perverted, child-support-evading, lap-top-losing, drug-addicted son.
C’mon, man. Hunter would of course do anything for a foreign government or anyone else in exchange for some blow, and he could get The Big Guy to follow along by merely offering the usual 10% cut, but even today’s not-so-intelligence agencies know to monitor Hunter’s calls to foreigners.
Scathing criticisms of Joe Biden’s disastrous cut-and-run in Afghanistan have been issued by even his media cheerleaders at CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Career diplomats including former Obama officials have publicly excoriated his administration for incompetence. Foreign leaders are baffled.
Only the Taliban is happy.
A withdrawal from Afghanistan may have been necessary, but it didn’t have to happen this way. Only 2,500 soldiers were there anyway – about the same as in Iraq. As in Iraq, this small number kept relative peace. The last American soldier killed in Afghanistan was a year and a half ago. That’s one more dead soldier than I’d like, but it’s a violent world and soldiers keeping the peace have a dangerous job.
Biden assured us just a month ago that this wouldn’t happen. He said the Afghan soldiers far outnumbered the Taliban, and there would be no “Saigon” moment where American embassy staff are helicoptered from the roof of the embassy as the barbarians bang down the gate.
But here we are, only a month later, and that’s roughly what is happening. It’s in part because Biden discontinued nearly all the air support that was key to the Afghan government’s military. The Taliban now own the entire country, and are threatening even the chaotic Kabul airport where Afghans are clinging to the outside of airplanes trying to take off. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of Americans may be trapped.
In a recent mixed gathering of friends and casual acquaintances, a man made a joke about “mental masturbation.” A woman’s rejoinder mentioned her habits of the physical kind. Everyone laughed. I did too. It was funny.
That’s an exchange that would not have happened a few years ago. Back then, and forever prior to then, onanism was a fine thing that 90% of people practiced, often to perfection, but 110% denied. Heck, they didn’t even need to deny it, because the entire topic was taboo.
Not so anymore. Connect these dots:
*Online porn is booming,
*Sex toy sales are skyrocketing,
*Nobody goes to work anymore,
*But … pregnancies are down, not up.
My conclusion is that people are getting laid, a lot, but they’re all alone. Why go to the time, trouble, expense and risk of meeting and getting to know and love someone who might reject you when you can score online in minutes?
A decade ago, the EPA determined the Keystone Pipeline would produce “no adverse environmental” effects. But Joe “Follow-the-Science” Biden (does anyone seriously think Biden knows anything about science or bothers to follow it?) killed the pipeline hours after being sworn in last January.
Glenwood Canyon in Western Colorado was the last obstacle in I-70 across America. They just needed one last 14 mile stretch along the Colorado River to connect with Glenwood Springs. From there the highway was already in place down-river and onto the deserts of Utah.
They blew it.
They chose to follow the old wagon road alongside the Colorado River through the magnificent canyon lined with steep 2,000-foot cliffs of sandstone, shale, limestone and granite. The river snakes between the cliffs, varying unpredictably between a trickle and a torrent depending on recent thunderstorms and last winter’s snowpack a hundred miles away.