Ted Rall’s Latest Books:

“The Stringer”
graphic novel
by Ted Rall & Pablo G. Callejo
“Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party”
by Ted Rall
“Bernie (Revised 2020 Edition)”
by Ted Rall

How to Stop the Next Stupid War before It Starts

            Americans are politically fractured but they agree that our longest war was a mistake. 77% of Americans, including many Republicans, told a recent CBS News poll that they agree with President Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. That’s a reversal from the conflict’s early days, when between 85% and 90% of Americans supported the invasion.             What changed? We were lied to; now we know it. The Taliban were characterized by the news media as primitive religious fanatics, a fringe group that ruled by fear in a power vacuum created by our abandonment of the anti-Soviet mujahedin in the late 1980s. In fact they were a popular, homegrown phenomenon perfectly situated to frame themselves as a nationalist resistance organization. To whatever extent that Afghans felt “abandoned,” they wanted cash and infrastructure with no strings attached. Instead we imposed a corrupt puppet regime that they viewed as a humiliation.             The main casus belli, revenge for 9/11, fell apart after…
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The Worst Countries for Women (Afghanistan Isn’t on the List)

            Concern-trolling over the dismal plight of women in Afghanistan is powerfully appealing to liberals who look for reasons for the United States to maintain a military presence there. If and when the Taliban return to power, the warmongers argue, the bad old days of stonings, burqas and girls banned from school will come back—and it’ll be our fault because we didn’t stick around.             Outrage over women’s inequality is often only ginned up in the service of some other aim, like invading Afghanistan or banning transwomen from high school girls’ sports teams. Scratch the thin veneer of phony feminism and the true agenda, which has nothing to do with women or girls, is quickly exposed.             You may be surprised to learn that, according to a U.S. News & World Report analysis of data provided by the United Nations, Afghanistan isn’t among the ten worst countries for women. Which nations do have the worst gender inequality? A list of…
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The Taliban’s Dramatic Military Victory

            Now that President Biden has pulled the U.S. military out of Afghanistan, it’s clear that we have little to show for more than $2 trillion and thousands of soldiers killed over two decades of occupation. We will soon be back where we were on September 10, 2001, when the Taliban governed Afghanistan. Afghan government troops have neither the will nor the training to protect their corrupt leaders in Kabul. Defeat of an Afghan government sinking in passivity and denial will occur within months or weeks. Soldiers of the regime installed by the administration of George W. Bush and propped up by his successors are deserting and fleeing across the border to Tajikistan. Taliban troops have surrounded and briefly taken over both Kunduz, a city whose wobbly back-and-forth allegiances make it an Alsace-like wartime bellwether, and Herat, long considered unconquerable because it was controlled by Ishmail Khan, a former Northern Alliance warlord long considered the nation’s fiercest and most competent…
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Abandon Afghanistan and Don’t Look Back

            Joe Biden deserves nothing but praise and support for his decision to honor America’s commitment, negotiated between the Trump administration and the Taliban, to finally withdraw from Afghanistan. After more than 20 years of wasted lives, endless property damage and squandering of billions of U.S. tax dollars that would have been better spent on just about anything else you could think of, it’s incredible that corporate media is still giving airtime to the idiots and warmongers who want to keep troops over there. “I have heard general after general, as you have, say, just give us a little more time,” ABC’s Martha Raddatz said July 4th. It’s been two decades. There was no legal or moral justification for the war to begin with. They’ve had too much time as it is. For those of us who have been closely connected to America’s longest war last week’s abandonment of Bagram airbase, the biggest U.S. facility in occupied Afghanistan, makes the…
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When Will Politicians Start Caring about People’s Actual Problems?

When you crank out five editorial cartoons and a couple of opinion essays a week, not to mention opining on the radio about this issue and that, it is easy to forget about the basics. The big issues. The stuff that really matters to you. It’s just as easy to forget to ask: what are our political leaders doing to address our most pressing problems? This is, after all, their job. It’s what we pay them for. Pew Research Center pollsters regularly ask Americans what they consider to be the problem that worries them most. On April 15th, the #1 Biggest Problem in America was “the affordability of healthcare.” 56% of respondents called huge medical bills “a very big problem” and 30% said it was “a moderately big problem,” for a total of 86%. That’s pretty much everyone. It even includes people who have “good” insurance through their employers. “Healthcare costs is the only issue of the 15 asked on…
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