Just as I anticipated this is a two “clean up article” week. Today I’m going to cover much of what I didn’t on Tuesday, some events that occurred in the interim and yet I still anticipate much won’t “make the cut”.
Willing To Take The “L”
As I pen this piece, we await President Biden’s formal declaration that he will be pulling all US troops – save a small contingent at the embassy – from Afghanistan. I view this as an acknowledgement of reality. My feelings reflect views from both ends of the political spectrum.
Biden is recognizing the obvious in that America has done all it can in Afghanistan and nothing is to be gained by staying there any longer. Americans simply have a different “clock” than people in that part of the world. We look at the fact that we have been there for nearly twenty years and think how long. Twenty years is a heartbeat to people in that (and several other) regions to whom war is as natural as breathing. I know I’ll face blowback with the following statement but I think I am simply recognizing reality. We spent a lot of blood and treasure in Afghanistan since 2001 and accomplished close to nothing and little of that will endure.
This will be viewed as a loss in many quarters which is why previous presidents of both parties have failed to do it. Global politics is similar to the long season in baseball in that sometimes you have to take a loss in order to finish higher in the standings.
I have little doubt that soon after our exit the forces of evil will take over much if not all of Afghanistan again and many of the advances, particularly in regards to the empowerment of women, will backslide. The reality is that to ensure their endurance we would have had to have maintained a military presence for another century (if not more) and the American people would not stomach that. Perhaps more importantly there are and will be other global hotspots that will need our military presence – or the threat of it – more (i.e. Ukraine with 80,000 Russian troops massing on its border).
My view is far from Pollyannaish! I will not be surprised if we end up abandoning our Embassy in Kabul. This is a case where a “retreat” takes courage.
Policing In Black America
I freely admit that I have been the beneficiary of white privilege my entire life. I grew up envisioning the policeman (and it was all men when I was a little kid) as my friend and someone to be trusted. I was always told if I got lost to find a policeman and tell him of my predicament because he would help me.
I tend to try to find a way to give the police the benefit of the doubt in confrontation situations. Even with that in mind I cannot condone the many examples of police misconduct I see and read about in the news on a daily basis. Perhaps more alarming is the lack of or serious delay of justice. This morning’s newspapers brought word of a wrongfully fired Buffalo Police officer finally getting back pay and benefits 15 years after her wrongful dismissal. 15 years! Is that justice? Her “crime”? Stopping a fellow officer from killing a suspect.
In Kenosha, Wisconsin an officer was cleared of all wrongdoing after shooting a suspect in the back seven times.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. I do not condone the actions of some people who have taken advantage of the protests to flat out commit unrelated crimes. Nor do I condone attacks on the police. However, I can understand the frustration that is the catalyst for the anger and legitimate demonstrations. Just in case you haven’t been paying attention all the victims are Black males.
Perhaps Too Much Caution
As of this writing there is a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in America. The CDC issued it in, “An abundance of caution”. Over 6 million doses of the single shot vaccine have been administered and six cases of blood clots have been reported. My degree is not in math but those are extremely long odds.
The best medical reasoning I have heard for the action is that the blood clots in question have unusual surrounding circumstances and call for other than ordinary medical treatment. Because of that calling special attention to the situation was a great way of getting the “inside baseball” medical treatment information out quickly.
Some of the vaccine “anxiety” out there is legitimate, this will get blown out of proportion and only exacerbate it. To me that is the greater danger.
My Guess Is Also Israel
Somebody messed with Iran’s nuclear program to the point of at least temporarily shuttering it. My guess, along with almost all intelligence experts is that Israel is directly responsible. The Israelis have a history of damn the consequences when it comes to keeping the rest of the Middle East out of the Nuclear Club so the attack serves it purposes. Only a fool would think they didn’t have company in wanting to keep Iran nuke free. Could they have been the agent of another country(s)? Could this be a case of Chutzpah for sale?
The Continuing Saga Of Matt
I could fill books here (as in the previous segments) but I’ll just touch on two points.
The most significant is the multiple credible reports that one of his compatriots is cooperating with investigators. Unless he can give up someone bigger, Gaetz is the big fish and the merry-go-round will stop with him in the frying pan.
Last week Gaetz addressed a conservative women’s group. (That could be a chapter – or an SNL skit – in itself.) During his speech he cited the support he received from Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan. With character witnesses like that who needs prosecution witnesses?
Well, that’s all for today. I guess it time for me to sweep the cutting room floor; despite the length of this article there is plenty of material on it.
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