On Wednesday, President Joe Biden officially announced that he will be withdrawing all U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan by September 11—nearly 20 years after the United States first invaded the country.
Instead of declared troops in Afghanistan, the United States will most likely rely on a shadowy combination of clandestine Special Operations forces, Pentagon contractors and covert intelligence operatives to find and attack the most dangerous Qaeda or Islamic State threats, current and former American officials said.
Still, the removal of troops in Afghanistan is a big deal, and earlier on Wednesday, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto got reflective about the milestone:
Here are some of Sciutto’s pros and cons. On the one hand, he said, “The U.S. greatly diminished al Qaeda” in Afghanistan. On the other hand, “so many of our country’s promises of a functioning, democratic government, a more varied and less impoverished economy, and peace, which I heard personally, hundreds of times, in dozens of trips…sadly failed to materialize.”
In the end, Sciutto concluded, “Our country is leaving after 20 years with less than we hoped for or promised, and an Afghanistan with a very uncertain future.”
Hmmm, it’s tough to figure this one out. Al Qaeda has been weakened, but also, there’s no functioning democracy, or economic advancement, or, y’know, “peace.” Who’s to say how the war turned out?
Jim, let me help you out here. America lost. The war never should have been waged. It was an act of dreadful, bloody insanity by a bunch of extremist American warmongers whose primary achievement, along with the war in Iraq, was to destabilize and destroy the Middle East in ways the entire planet is still paying for to this day, and to subject the people of that region to unimaginable suffering. What’s more, the people running the war knew this pretty much all along and lied to the world about it. The cost for America’s insistence on such imperial folly has run into the trillions. It has been an unmitigated disaster and an unmitigated failure.
It should not be controversial for a CNN anchor to say these things, and one suspects Sciutto knows them just as well as anyone else does. The war was a bad idea. We lost, and will keep on losing for as long as we’re there. Let’s be real about it.