The Tragedy of Afghanistan is Not the Wasted Money, But Our Failure To Secure Freedom Because We Did Not Care.
As people ridicule the war in Afghanistan, talk about the money wasted (true), lives lost (true), I think of all the Afghanis who had freedom for 20 years, the girls, the women who could go to school, all the people who could dance and listen to music, all the people who didn’t have to fear of executions in the stadiums but instead got to play and compete..
The American and NATO crime is not in spending money or leaving Afghanistan, it is in the rush to go to war in Iraq, that made Afghanistan the forgotten war, the forgotten child that made it ripe for abuse, criminal abuse, by corrupt Afghanis and complicit and criminally corrupt American corporations, none of which will ever be held to account, because we don’t care. We don’t care who we killed there, we don’t care who we harmed and we don’t care what will happen to all those people, to all those women who are about to lose all of their rights.
All we care about, is the “wasted money”, that our rich got for the war.. Why? Because we worship money, we worship rich. We see wealth and success as the ultimate value of a human. Those who have nothing have no value, have no stories, have no worth…
The wealthy, have a license to “grope”, to “grab”, to wage war, to do anything they like.
This is rot and it has consequences. We already feel this consequence in our institutions and our everyday lives. It is the virus that feeds Qanon and racism and climate change denial and vaccine denial.
We fear the word community because it reminds us of communism, but the community is trust, the community is love and we have lost that. Children argue with parents, colleagues argue with colleagues. We confuse opinions for facts and we detest those who might be wrong, who might be making a mistake, through no fault of their own but because they were lead to believe something that isn’t true, for the benefit of some corporations, some politicians.
We confuse all with some. Some politicians on both sides are evil, some are good. Some corporations are evil, some are good. That is the purpose of laws, to hold the bad ones to account, to take them away from the position that has an impact on the world.
But we don’t do that, at least not often enough. We let politicians attack our democracy, we let corporations misinform us, we allow corporations to monopolize markets and information and our thoughts.
And who is to blame? All of us and none of us. How do we solve this when our individual power and voice is dwarfed by the massive war chest of the corporations? The war chest that can take any voice of the people and with one ad, with one paid talking head, undermine it and turn truth into mockery, questioning their motives, gaslighting us all until there is no truth, there is no friend, there are no allies, there is no community, there is no family: just a paycheck and fear of losing it.
Marx argued for a violent overthrow for this very reason. He saw that there is no reasoning or ability to convince the populace when the two sides are so unequally matched. He only saw violence, he predicted it, because when people have no more hope when they have been undermined for too long, they no longer care. That’s what January 6th was. It was the use of public rage but once again, directed by the wealthy towards democracy.
Afghanistan is in a way not just a waste of money, but perhaps a window into our future, when the state is no longer trusted, when commerce is no longer able to hold people, when all there is, is extremism and the way of the gun. Because when all you see is a waste of money, you forget to see what really matters: humanity.