Bad Poetry

Bill Gates, who has devoted much of his adult life to increasingly manipulative efforts to insinuate himself into the private life of every human being on the planet, has suddenly had the tables turned, and found his private life the subject of everyone else’s insinuations. This is poetic justice, to be sure, but not the kind of poetry a decent society would relish. For my part, I would much prefer to leave him to tend to his trivial personal life and choices in privacy — and to be left by him, in turn, to tend to mine.

Twenty years after invading Afghanistan to root out the Taliban, the United States government, tired of the “endless wars” — as Donald Trump, America’s first pacifist surrender president since Jimmy Carter, put it — is now in the final stages of abandoning Afghanistan, mission unaccomplished. In other words, America is conceding defeat yet again, proving to the world that she has no stomach for a long, hard fight. Needless to say, China and Russia are taking note — and in China’s case, taking over — although this latest surrender merely confirms what they already knew. Global optics aside, however, in the foreground picture this surrender opens the Afghan desert once more to the reestablishment of Islamic terror strongholds, gives a tremendous sense of moral victory to Islamic fundamentalists everywhere — who will never tire of the “endless wars” — and of course signals an outright abandonment of Afghanistan’s women, children, and religious non-extremists to the same reign of horror from which the U.S. government pretended to want to save them.

Let me be clear. The United States should not be a global adventure nation. Nor should it play “police officer to the world.” However, if you undertake a largescale military operation on grounds of alleged national interest, justifying it to allies by claiming a corresponding humanitarian benefit to the local population — which in this case was a very real issue — then you had better commit yourself to winning the damned war, or else face the consequences of repeatedly revealing your nation as easy pickings for any opponent with the patience to wait for your lack of steadfastness and dearth of national purpose to get the better of you, yet again. 

America has apparently reached another “yet again” point, exposed for all the world’s tyrants to see and remember.

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