Afghanistan Got Worse

Last week I quoted President Biden who said, “A lot could still go wrong.”

Well, it did go wrong. Twelve Marines and one Navy medic were killed (so far) and several others were severely injured. An estimated 200 Afghans were also killed. This was the result of one suicide bomber the Taliban allowed to reach the gate into the Kabul airport.

Use any name you want for those evil, gutless men: ISIS-K, Al-Qaeda, Taliban. They are radical Islamic terrorists. They hate us. They hate Europeans. They hate anyone who does not follow Mohammad and the Quran. They fight among themselves and don’t mind killing other Muslims. Their goal is to destroy Western Civilization and replace it with Sharia Law. They don’t care if we are WOKE or practice Equity or are scared to death of global warming.

If you’re tired of battling Islamic terrorists since the 1990s, consider that they have been attacking Americans (and Europeans) for more than 200 years. President Thomas Jefferson, and later President James Madison, had our Navy and Marines attack the Barberry Pirates rather than paying tribute (bribes) so they would leave our commercial ships alone. The Marine hymn includes a reference to those battles along the coast of North Africa, “… to the shores of Tripoli.”

Soon after the terrible news was broadcast, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on television touting National Women’s Day. (Did she mention that the 2 of the 12 Marines were WOMEN? Did she point out a main reason our military stayed in Afghanistan is to help women and girls have the same rights and opportunities Pelosi and other females enjoy in this country?)

Back to the Taliban. The spokesman for the Taliban made it clear; they want our military out by midnight August 31. But they want our diplomats to stay. Why? Well, the Taliban know that what Will Rogers said a hundred years ago is still true, “Our foreign dealings [by diplomats] are an open book, generally a check book.” WA #45, Oct. 21, 1923

Can Afghanistan Get Any Worse? Is There Hope?

Weekly Comments: Can Afghanistan Get Any Worse? Is There Hope?

#1075 Aug. 22, 2021

Columbus: Afghanistan was a disaster last week. President Biden said today, “A lot could still go wrong.”

Last week I incorrectly said that President Biden did not warn the Taliban against harming Americans. Actually, he did. He even said we would forcefully retaliate. But the Taliban have ignored him. We have seen plenty of reports of Americans being beaten up, in fear of their lives, and denied access to the airport. So far, no retaliation for those horrible actions. Is this any way to manage an evacuation? Who would vacate all of our Air Force bases and trust the Taliban to allow American civilians to fly out later?

The information from Washington continues to be questionable. Consider a couple of claims: “All our NATO allies support our plan,” and “The Taliban will allow women to work and girls to attend school.” The State Department admitted they suffered a cyber-attack. Well, it appears from some official pronouncements by Secretary of State Blinken that the Taliban not only attacked, but have taken control of his computer. And maybe President Biden’s teleprompter, too.

Biden reported today that more than 28,000 have been evacuated from Kabul, including 11,000 Americans. But several thousand Americans remain and are desperate to escape. Also, about 50,000 Afghans who worked with us remain and face death if we leave them. He did not say what would happen to the Taliban if they harmed anyone trying to get to the airport. The President did not demand that the Taliban leave the Bagram Air Base so we can return and speed up the evacuations. He made no comment about sending in any troops, including Army Rangers and Navy Seals, to secure escape routes and protect Americans and Afghan friends from the Taliban and ISIS. Why not take these logical actions?

The Taliban took control of our modern military equipment worth Billions of dollars. Here’s a question: Did you know that new John Deere farm tractors have computer controls that allow the tractor to be shut off from Deere headquarters? If a tractor is stolen, for example, it can be disabled. Do our million-dollar helicopters, drones and Humvees have similar controls?

Speaking of agriculture, in a few weeks I hope to share positive insights about farming in Afghanistan. Last week I received information from a friend who worked in a high position with our government in Afghanistan. Here’s one fact you probably don’t know: the Afghanistan economy used to be 80 percent agriculture. Farmers grew food crops and livestock that supported Afghans and they exported products to Europe. With good government, Afghan farmers could return to prominence.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“One of the evils of democracy is you have to put up with the man [or woman] you elect whether you want him or not.” DT #1953, Nov.  7, 1932

Afghanistan Disaster

The stunning collapse of the Afghanistan government and their ‘highly trained’ military has interrupted my intended comments. Were they ‘highly trained’ by the French? (That’s an old World War II jab.) How is it possible that the Taliban soldiers seem to be better trained than the Afghan military? Did they receive training in Iran, Pakistan, or even China?

The Afghan leaders claimed their troops were ready to defend against the Taliban terrorists. The troops may have been well equipped and trained to use weapons. However, ingrained tribal culture prevented most from gaining a desire for freedom and democracy as we know it. A month ago, President Biden insisted the Taliban didn’t have a chance because they were outnumbered 300,000 to 75,000. Today it appears that Goliath was a paper tiger.

Our government and military made plenty of mistakes. Ignore the first 19 years since 9/11/2001 for a moment. Focus on our withdrawal. Why not keep one or two of the Air Bases instead of abandoning all seven? Support from our Air Force was the main advantage the Afghan soldiers had over Taliban soldiers. Why did we leave Humvees, drones, and other high-tech fighting equipment for the Taliban to use against us? The Taliban are slaughtering Afghans who worked with us, and their families. Why didn’t we get these trusted comrades out while we still had military in place?

We have abandoned women and girls. Did you see the hordes of men trying to get on our Air Force transport planes? No one was trying to put females on “lifeboats” first. Girls and young women are in imminent danger.

This is an international embarrassment for the United States of America.

I was disappointed in today’s speech that Biden did not warn the Taliban against harming Americans while the evacuation is occurring. He should have also demanded protection and safe passage for Afghans who helped us.

The President said he was committed to leaving because of Trump’s agreement. Ironically, this is the only one of Trump’s actions he has agreed with. Of course, Trump supporters say he would have listened to his military advisors and had an orderly withdrawal instead of a catastrophe.

Biden also said he did not want to saddle another President with Afghanistan. I guess we’ll have to wait, but I wouldn’t bet against another terrorist like “bin Ladin” organizing more attacks from Taliban territory.

I think I’ll stay off airplanes this September 11.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Somebody is always telling us how to prevent war. There is only one way in the world to prevent war, and that is, for every nation to tend to its own business. Trace any war that ever was and you will find some Nation was trying to tell some other Nation how to run their Business… There is a war in Morocco. They don’t want the French and Spanish in there… Why don’t we let the rest of the World act like it wants to?” WA #133, June 28, 1925

Common Sense: Have We Lost it?

Will Rogers complimented at least 30 people by saying they had “common sense” among other adjectives. This included Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and President Calvin Coolidge. In a similar vein, many people who knew Will Rogers complimented him for having “common sense.”  Will Rogers wrote, “You can’t legislate intelligence and common sense into people.”  (DT#2377, March 16, 1934)

Here are 17 current situations. For each one, do you think Will Rogers would declare it to be “common sense?”

  1. A few governors have ordered all public schools to require students to wear masks.
  2. A few governors have banned schools from requiring masks or will leave decisions up to local school districts and parents.
  3. President Biden extended the “free rent” for 2 more months despite admitting it is unconstitutional.
  4. There are 9 million job openings, but 2 million renters say they can’t afford to pay for a place to live. For most, wouldn’t it be common sense to say, “Get a job.”
  5. Current policy allows immigrants to flock across the southern border, contact Uber for a ride, eat in local restaurants, and sleep free in motels.
  6. President Biden blames governors of Texas and Florida for increasing cases of Covid while allowing immigrants with Covid to freely cross the Southern border.
  7. With overwhelming chaos at the border, the undermanned Border Patrol and state law enforcement agencies are prevented from decisive action.
  8. Residents of Hispanic heritage on our southern border resent the Federal government and those crossing the border illegally in mass.
  9. Construction on the 30-ft wall was stopped Jan. 21, yet we continue paying contractors billions to guard their equipment and supplies while immigrants pour through the gaps.
  10. Millions of immigrants here illegally have been waiting months or years for a judicial hearing. Instead of hiring more Judges and Prosecutors to speed up the process for determining asylum, the Feds want to hire more defense lawyers to represent them.
  11. Millions of people in other countries waiting to immigrate here legally look at our President with disdain for letting others “cut in line.”
  12. In cities with high crime rates, elected officials say the best way to reduce crime is to defund the police, add social workers, and empty their jails. For protection, they hire their own body guards, with taxpayer money.
  13. On the news, we see thousands breaking the law every day by illegally entering the U.S. They receive free housing, medical care, food and transportation.
  14. Potential criminals living here see these illegal immigrants and 2020 rioters as a role model. They see no negative consequence to committing a crime. Carry an empty bag into a store, fill it with all you can carry, and walk out. Even if arrested (which is unlikely), you get out of jail immediately and can steal from a different store the next day.
  15. California is “housing” homeless people on extremely valuable popular beaches including the Will Rogers State Beach at Pacific Palisades. Why not move them a few miles inland where there is plenty of open land.
  16. Much of that land is “open” only because regulations on water made it more profitable for land owners to sell the water rights instead of growing food crops they could produce with that water.
  17. Donald Trump continues to claim he won the 2020 election.

Ok, what do you think? Have our leaders lost their common sense?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Now of course [this disease] is a terrible serious thing, but the more serious a thing is, the more common sense would be used in handling it. They have gone so far in some cases that they are almost humorous, and in some cases have not gone far enough. You see it is the only disease that they know absolutely nothing about; still it has been in other states without all this hysteria.” (this disease? Foot and mouth disease, in cattle) WA #74, May 11, 1924

“There will never be any class of people in our country that can replace the old western cowman for common sense… and fine citizenship.”  DT#2606, Dec. 12, 1934

“There’s going to be a lot of spouting from the radio [and television] all summer. There’ll be more perspiration than common sense flowing, and the whole political thing has come now to a direct split in the parties.” Radio, June 9, 1935

Immigration, Infrastructure, and Reconciliation

You know all about the thousands crossing our southern border, illegally, every day and night. You may or may not care. Over a million since January and they’ve come from a hundred countries. There’s no let up in sight. No matter what the President and other officials say in English, when translated into native language, it means, “Come to America.” You also know that many of them are good people and given a chance will work hard and be successful. But there are plenty of dangerous gang members and criminals sneaking in, undetected.

While I was in Texas, I learned of one particular incident. Imagine you were this rancher living 40 miles from the border. Late one evening she and her daughter and their dog were walking on an unpaved road along the south side of the ranch. As they got near an open shed, she noticed a strange man inside. Concerned, she rushed back to the house and called law enforcement. Soon, Texas Highway Patrol officers showed up. By this time the man’s friend had already picked him up, but the officers caught up with ‘em in town. The man was a drug dealer. He had about 50 pounds of drugs and his old car had broken down near the ranch.

Dealing with illegal immigrants is fairly common for these folks. Ranchers have put up security cameras. If an outsider is spotted, they alert neighbors. Widows are determined to stay on their ranches, but they live in fear.

Whatever happened to this idea that Will Rogers wrote about? “They got a bill in Congress to make a road from Brownsville, Texas, up along the Rio Grande to El Paso, then on out to San Diego along the Mexican boundary. It’s a good idea and should be built. It’s called in the bill a military highway.” (DT #449, Jan. 3, 1928). And a new 30-foot fence beside that road would solve a lot of problems today.

You probably live far away from the Mexican border. But you need to understand what folks near the border, especially in Texas and Arizona, have to put up with. Pay attention when you see Border Patrol Agents, local Sheriffs and Governors pleading with Washington for relief. And lately, in addition to drugs, guns and other illegal paraphernalia, many are arriving with Covid. If they are wearing masks, believe me, it’s not for Covid.

Meanwhile in Washington, Republican Senators agreed to spend One Trillion dollars on an Infrastructure bill. Oddly, these same Republicans offered $1.7 Trillion for Infrastructure a couple of years ago and the Democrats turned ‘em down. They still aren’t sure what’s in this current bill, and Chuck Schumer won’t tell ‘em. Meanwhile Speaker Pelosi already announced, “The House will pass the Trillion-dollar Infrastructure Bill, but it will cost you $4.5 Trillion.” Whoa!

Can you imagine agreeing to pay $250,000 for a house, then the real estate agent says, “Great. But it will cost you a total of $1,000,000?

After you pick yourself off the floor, you find the nerve to ask, “Will we get any benefits from that extra $750,000?”
“Well, of course! Plenty of new benefits for your community. And for your family, you’ll have free child care and free schooling through college.”

Still in a daze, you counter, “But our children are already grown. We paid for their education. They have no college debt.”
“Wow, that means we can do more for the poor, downtrodden, and unemployed. And, most important, to fight climate change we’ve got to build a million free charging stations for folks who drive a Tesla.”

Back to that “extra” $3.5 Trillion. You have heard Speaker Pelosi talk lovingly about her “Reconciliation Bill.” It is a so-called budget bill and she demands that it be passed along with the Infrastructure Bill. Reconciliation sounds marvelous. Such a nice word. Any good English teacher can tell you that synonyms include: Compromise, Understanding, Settlement.

But there was no “compromise.” It is a one-hundred-percent Democrat bill. For anyone who “understands” economics and has common sense the bill is ridiculous. It won’t help the economy and will keep adding to the federal debt. It won’t “settle” anything if it passes the Senate 51 to 50. A vote on such a huge, multi-year bill is supposed to require 60 votes to pass.

Even though it is advertised as only $3.5 Trillion, if it passes and you are still around in ten years, I bet it will balloon to double or triple that estimate. They also claim that our current inflation rate of 5% is temporary. “Temporary” implies that if the cost of a $1.00 item is now $1.05, next year it will go back down to $1.00. Not a chance. More likely you can bet on $1.10.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

          “The trouble with inflation is you get it started and you can’t get it stopped.” Radio, May 26, 1935