How A Failure of Morality Killed 1 Million People

Kevin McElroy
5 min readSep 3, 2021
Nothin’ like a nice refreshing podium nap to wash away the blood

Biden, Trump, Obama and Bush were Wrong on Afghanistan — but Who Got it Right?

Estimates vary wildly, but between all of the wars started and continued between GW Bush and Joe Biden — from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya — let’s call it 1 million dead civilians.

The US spent over $1 trillion in Iraq alone. Afghanistan adds at least another $2 trillion. And of course we also have many thousand dead US soldiers too.

And for what? Iraq is a basket-case that’s still contending with ISIS and has a barely functioning state. Ditto for Syria and Libya. Afghanistan is back in the hands of the Taliban who now pinky swears they won’t do mass murder and will definitely respect women, horses, rats and other 2nd class organisms under its tender care.

After two decades of a pointless and fruitless war in Afghanistan that it supported, the mainstream media is slowly coming around to the idea that Afghanistan was a colossal error, like a beast of burden suddenly realizing it’s been towing a carriage full of venomous snakes. They didn’t hear the hissing I guess because they were too busy mewling that carrying snakes is a fine undertaking.

Every President since GW Bush has hemmed and hawed (so Biden is in great company) about the challenges in Afghanistan.

“Mr. President, why can’t we leave?”

“Our mission isn’t complete and the Afghani military is not ready.”

“What does mission accomplished look like?”

“Uh I imagine Kabul will look like Greenwich Village or maybe one of the tribes will elect a trans person of color to chieftain? Hard to say.”

It might seem like I’m taking pot-shots against an otherwise solid strategy that of course looks like a porta-potty on fire in 20/20 hindsight, but there were people who called out the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early and often.

These people were laughed at, threatened, villainized and marginalized by the same mainstream media and political blowhards who have done nothing but carry water for America’s longest war until about 5 minutes ago.

Got that?

The American establishment in the media and the government has been 100% wrong for 20 years, and they silenced anyone patient and principled enough to insist on telling the truth.

Why would anyone trust these people who have been so catastrophically wrong that they spent the equivalent of one whole year (plus) of Federal spending to kill 1 million people AND they have nothing to show for it?

Biden is doing “the right thing” for ending this dumb war, but he’s one of the people who voted for it most vociferously. It’s not even clear if he regrets his vote. But you don’t get credit for UNFUCKING something that you fucked up. It’s great that Biden is taking his boot off the neck of countless Afghanis and US servicemen, but he shouldn’t get a fruit basket for it. He’s one of the top 20 people who holds the most responsibility for this disaster. Get a grip with the accolades.

We don’t celebrate those twisted firefighters who light fires. We throw them in prison even though they fight the fires they light. Right?

We shouldn’t trust or celebrate these people. If you do trust them then may I suggest you keep your humiliation fetish in the bedroom and out of the polls. Soil your diaper in private, please. If not for me, then for the future victims of your fantasy.

So who got it right? Who deserves our trust?

The original military action in Afghanistan of course was in the 1980s when the United States propped up mujahedeen to fight the USSR, but the Afghanistan War to fight those mujahedeen post 9/11/2001 was authorized by Congress almost unanimously and only faced a single nay vote from California representative, Barbara Lee.

As thanks for opposing this war, she faced death threats, and even questions about her allegiance to the US by her colleagues. You might notice that despite her principled stance, and her long tenure in government, she hasn’t sniffed higher office — unlike a quisling like Kamala Harris who is given the red carpet treatment by the establishment for showing her authoritarian bona fidas and viciously opportunistic tendencies.

Afterwards, many people opposed the war in Afghanistan, like Ron Paul — who more vociferously protested the ensuing authorization in Iraq.

Paul was laughed off the debate stage during the 2008 republican primary campaign for his comments about Iraq and Afghanistan. Even Fox News moderators rolled their eyes at his wacky ideas about not engaging in endless and pointless foreign wars that only waste money and get young Americans killed while making more enemies than we had to begin with.

In a just and sane world, people like Lee and Paul would be lauded and elevated for having the courage and principles to criticize and vote against forever-war.

Instead, they’re marginalized, because this government feasts at the trough of war. And apparently the average voter doesn’t care.

The media was wrong on Afghanistan and Iraq. Now they want to backpedal and pretend like they always knew these two dumb wars were a bad idea instead of being eager cheerleaders for forever war.

If the American people let the 99% of politicians off the hook and the 99% of media personalities off the hook, then we should not be surprised to see the civilian body count soar in the years to come.

The State’s deadly addiction to war has to stop, and we have to hold the establishment accountable for what can only be called a two decade long war crime.

Here’s what you can do: stop voting for people who vote for war and rubber stamping the NDAA every year. If people lose elections because of their war stance, we’ll eventually only have people in office like Lee and Paul for whom war is a non-starter.

Single issue voters are usually painted as narrow minded dullards, but no other single issue so neatly and broadly encapsulates so many other issues as war. From gay marriage, to budget concerns, to security, women’s issues, wealth inequality, climate change… I mean, you name it: the forever war has a negative impact on almost every pet domestic issue.

End the wars. Cancel the people who supported them. Failing that: don’t tell me you care.