If you clicked into this blog post and decided to give this a read, I truly hope you can sense the sarcasm and continue reading.
On September 12th, Qatar began hosting the Afghan-Taliban Peace talks to bring the longstanding war in Afghanistan to an end. The end of the 19 year conflict should be great news with international high fives and attaboys/girls all the way around.
If you've seen the Combat Flip Flops Ted Talk, there's mention of Veteran's today feeling like Afghanistan will be "our Vietnam." That statement happened in 2015 and it's more true today than ever.
With the pandemic, race tensions, forest fires, and an election, there is very little news in mainstream media regarding the conclusion of America's longest conflict that cost the lives of over 2400 service members and injured over 50,000, and killed over 100,000 Afghan civilians. Let's not forget the $$$Trillion+ pricetag for the American Taxpayer. It's like a big "whatever" by the U.S. media and American population. So frustrating, but not surprising given the attention to the war by the citizens and leaders of our nation over the past couple administrations.
Very few people seem to care. But if you're here, we're going to assume you care and interested in what's going on. So...
I'll do the Googling for you regarding the Peace talks and post updates in the most entertaining, skeptical, and searchable means possible. It ain't going to be pretty, but you'll get the information in a concise format with neat little bullet points. Cool?
Here we go...
New U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan
“There is no longer a sound reason for the United States to continue sacrificing precious lives and treasure in a conflict not directly connected to our safety or other vital national interests."
We couldn't agree more. The guy stepped into a tough job the day prior to the peace talks commencing in Qatar. "Good luck" would be a fitting comment and history proves he's going to need it.
The U.S. Conceded on Pretty Much Everything to Get People to the Table
To get the Taliban to the table, the Afghan government had to release a large number of sh!theads. The U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad commented, "you have to make hard decisions." The Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, commented, "Until this issue, there was a consensus on the desirability of peace but not on the cost of it."
You really don't need a crystal ball to predict what's going to happen. Foreign Policy did a study and guess what the prisoners did after getting their freedom? The majority returned to their Jihadi brothers and committed to renewing their fight.
I'd say the Ghani was correct. This is going to cost a lot of lives.
Peace Talk Opening Comments by International Leaders
Don't expect anything more than what you'd expect by foreign diplomats. Lots of complements, hope, and positioning. Nothing to tell your friends about, but if you want to read them, you can find a good summary here.
Terry Taliban wants your Tax Dollars
In reading through all the articles regarding the peace talks, this one got the largest "WTF" head tilt. Over 90% of Afghanistan lives in severe poverty. The nation is heavily dependent on foreign aid which is primarily a burden of the United States taxpayer. Yes, you. You pay for it. Not the government. You. Read that again.
The Taliban always sucked at raising taxable income due to their policies of enforcement over education and prosperity. But they are great at putting their hand out. The New York Times article didn't list a source, but they stated the Taliban expects the foreign aid to continue after coalition forces leave...
hahahahahaha. OMG. That is so funny.
The sad news is that it's probably going to happen because nobody is going to pay attention to what's going on in alignment with their actions over the last 19 years. You again will be sending good tax dollars behind bad to keep Terry happy.
Secretary Mike Pompeo did allude to holding purse strings if the peace doesn't last in this statement to the groups in Qatar, "As you make your decisions, you should keep in mind that your choices and conduct will affect both the size and scope of future U.S. assistance.”
Afghanistan is Nothing Like Vietnam
Yes, lots of sarcasm.
You can read the Paris Peace Accords, or you can read the summary in the next few sentences. In 1968, Nixon committed to pulling out of Vietnam. They squabbled over the details until January 1973 and U.S. troops withdrew in March 1973.
The North Vietnamese overran Saigon in April 1975.
If you're like me, you're probably calculating the over/under date on when the Taliban are going to retake Kabul. Manifestation is a thing and it's bad to give that thought energy, but the likelihood of falling back to old ways is way more simple than finding peace in a nation that's been destroying empires for millennia.
The Deepest Eye Roll
According to Yahoo News, "The U.S. peace envoy for Afghanistan was in Pakistan on Monday to express his gratitude for Islamabad's role in helping launch the much-awaited negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan representatives, the Pakistani military said."
Seriously? You're going to trust the statement of the Pakistani military that the U.S. told them we're thankful for their support? (Insert Eye Roll)
That's today's update. Enjoy.