Celebrate the Heroes Who Warned Us That Afghanistan Would Be a Disaster

Desperation at Kabul airport as Afghans try to flee - YouTube

            Thousands of dead Americans, tens of thousands of dead Afghans, $2 trillion down the toilet, a Taliban victory that leaves America’s international reputation in shambles. This disaster didn’t happen by itself. Political and military leaders, aided and abetted by the news media, are responsible and should be held accountable. Voters let themselves be led by the nose—and they should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror because what they did and didn’t do caused many people to die.

            Antiwar heroes deserve recognition and respect for telling us not to go into Afghanistan and, after we did, to get out despite being marginalized and ridiculed. They were lonely. Despite widespread reports of casualties among Afghan civilians and the glaring fact that the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11, 88% of Americans—Democrats and Republicans alike—supported George W. Bush’s war three weeks after U.S. bombs began raining down on Kabul.

            Let’s celebrate the good guys.

            During the fall of 2001 tens of thousands of demonstrators marched against the war in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and other U.S. cities. The marchers were too few and too peaceful to move the needle. But the judgment of history is now final: the tiny minority who opposed invading Afghanistan were morally right and correctly skeptical about the outcome. If you know any of these true American heroes, thank them for their service and buy them a drink.

            While nationalist nimrods drove around with their cars idiotically festooned by American flags, intelligent and ethical individuals spoke out for what was right. “Under the [U.N.] charter, a country can use armed force against another country only in self-defense or when the [U.N.] Security Council approves,” said Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild. “Neither of those conditions was met before the United States invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban did not attack us on 9/11. Nineteen men —15 from Saudi Arabia — did, and there was no imminent threat that Afghanistan would attack the U.S. or another U.N. member country. The council did not authorize the United States or any other country to use military force against Afghanistan. The U.S. war in Afghanistan is illegal.”

            All 98 senators present, including Bernie Sanders, voted to bomb the hell out of Afghanistan and install the puppet regime whose corruption led to the Taliban takeover. In the House of Representatives, the vote was 420 to 1. There was only one sane, only one correct voice in opposition in the entire Congress: Barbara Lee of California. “As a member of the clergy so eloquently said, as we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore,” she implored.

            “For her lone stance,” Glenn Greenwald wrote in 2016, “[Representative] Lee was deluged with rancid insults and death threats to the point where she needed around-the-clock bodyguards. She was vilified as ‘anti-American’ by numerous outlets including the Wall Street Journal. The Washington Times editorialized on September 18 that ‘Ms. Lee is a long-practicing supporter of America’s enemies — from Fidel Castro on down’ and that ‘while most of the left-wing Democrats spent the week praising President Bush and trying to sound as moderate as possible, Barbara Lee continued to sail under her true colors.’ Since then, she has been repeatedly rejected in her bids to join the House Democratic leadership, typically losing to candidates close to Wall Street and in support of militarism.” Two years later, pro-war Democrats denied her yet another post, as chairperson of their House caucus, to punish her for voting against the Afghan war.

            Every congressman and senator who voted for this stupid Afghanistan war is a fool who should resign at once.

            Americans who supported this stupid Afghanistan war should refrain from voting ever again.

            Media outlets that editorialized in favor of this stupid Afghanistan war deserve to go out of business.

            American history has been defined by war, mostly illegal and unjustified on the part of the United States government. That history will continue unless we recognize, elevate and employ the voices of people who speak out against stupid wars before they start.

 (Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of a new graphic novel about a journalist gone bad, “The Stringer.” Now available to order. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)



  • alex_the_tired
    August 16, 2021 7:06 PM

    Ted, there really weren’t a lot of heroes, were there?
    In one of the 1975 Doonesbury strips, Phred is writing to his mother. He wonders about his frenemy, B.D., and what B.D. felt when he saw the images of the fall of Saigon. And the last panel is B.D. sitting on the porch steps back at Walden, resting his head against his arms, with his face hidden from view.
    Earlier today I watched the nauseating enormity of the Weasel Biden attempting to sidestep responsibility by admitting that the “buck stops here” while coyly insisting that all this wasn’t his fault.
    Biden’s finished. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he resigned/was forced out. The dnc will want that because they think Kamala Harris has a chance in 2024. She doesn’t. (The only possible way the dems could save the midterms and 2024 would be right out of Nixon: Harris resigns, is replaced by a senator. Then Biden steps down — or is thrown out — and replacement senator becomes president, and then picks a veep. No one could hold their nose hard enough to not smell the stench of the past few days.)
    I’m going to go sit on the porch and try to not throw up.

    • How the hell is Biden finished? He’ll be fine unless old age gets to him (a lot more than it already has).

  • alex_the_tired
    August 17, 2021 6:40 AM

    How is Biden finished? Let me count the ways …
    Basically, look at Biden’s presidency so far. Can you point to a single crisis he has handled successfully? There’s a lot of them to choose from. Gitmo. Southern border. COVID. Evictions. Unemployment. Back rent. Back credit card payments. Student loan payments. Health care. Wildfires. Climate change. Trump is still not indicted. (There’s more, I just wanted to skim the surface.)
    Sure, much of these were handed to him when he showed up. Some of them are not really within his purview. My point is that Biden reeks of failure and incompetence. The apex/nadir of this? As the Taliban began retaking territory, he went on vacation to Camp David. When Kabul turned into Saigon? He stayed at Camp David. Finally, like a petulant middle manager who has to come in on a Sunday to prep that big presentation for the Anderson account for Monday morning, Biden returned to the White House to deliver a tepid “I’m responsible but it’s not my fault” speech before turning around and going right back to Camp David to finish his vacay.
    A president can have lousy foreign policy if he has great domestic policy. And vice versa. Biden sucks everywhere. Everything he touches turns into an overflowing diaper at a public pool.
    All that’s missing is a few dead Americans. (And it wouldn’t even have to be the Taliban: someone picks the wrong time to have a heart attack. Some random bit of street violence. A trip-and-fall in the bathtub.)

    • What McGovern calls the MICIMAT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think Tank) Complex has Joe’s back.

    • alex_the_tired
      August 20, 2021 9:51 AM

      Since the previous post on how Biden’s finished, there’s been more. He did an ABC News interview the other day where he was asked about the people falling off the airplane and responded “That was four, five days ago.”
      This morning’s front page photo on the New York Post is of an Afghan father holding his child overhead so that an American soldier leaning over the barbed wire wall at the Kabul airport can grab the infant by its arm to pull it to safety.
      This is all due to Biden’s need for the symbolism of a 9/11/21 end date.
      Does anyone really think the dems are going to win 2022? Or 2024? It will be another term of Trump, then two terms of some other Republican. By then, the environment will be going headlock into cascade failure. (Just wait until the methane in the tundra starts escaping.)
      And all because the dnc wanted Good Ol’ Smilin’ Joe Biden with the dead fish eyes in the White House.

  • The MICIMAT is doing its best to say St Joe is doing a great job, but it’s having a hard time convincing itself.
    Basically, after 19 Arabs, 15 of them Saudi, perpetrated 9/11, the US desperately needed Saudi oil, so Bush, Jr blamed Afghanistan, a nation of no importance. And it worked! The MEDIA said Afghanistan was responsible. Snopes said Afghanistan was responsible. All the US voters’ anger was directed at Afghanistan and away from Saudi Arabia, doing just what was needed to keep our oligarchs oligarchs and our plutocrats plutocrats! Bush, Jr did a great job!

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