August 16, We Screwed the Pooch
We’ll have lots of puppies; lots of pooches have been screwed.
In thinking of Afghanistan, it’s hard not to be crude.
From Dubya to Obama, then to Trump and now to Joe, (1)
We’ve occupied that country, looking for a way to go.
The country’s not a country but a bunch of tribal lands.
It isn’t democratic, ruled by warlords and their bands.
Without a sense of country, their armed forces came apart.
The Taliban’s fanatics were the only ones with heart.
We tried to teach democracy and even women’s rights.
But we know that the Taliban will give them both last rites.
For fundamentalist Islam respects neither of these,
Which helps us understand why they took over with such ease.
Republicans and Democrats both look for whom to blame.
Both misunderstood Afghanis, so let’s drop this blame game.
We haven’t understood the Middle East since Sykes-Picot. (2)
The mess that they created is now something we all know.
You can’t make countries drawing lines when people don’t consent.
You cannot shelter tribal rivals underneath one tent.
We should have learned this here at home, states either red or blue,
With Covid raging, still cannot agree on what to do.
Here are suggestions to improve our Mid East policy.
We must acknowledge that we can’t impose democracy.
And we must free ourselves from needing Mid East fossil fuel.
Then we can care a whole lot less what happens in Kabul.
- “Dubya,” a family nickname for George W. Bush.
- “Sykes-Picot Agreement:” how the British and French agreed to divide up the remnants of the Ottoman Empire after WW I. It was very complicated and created spheres of influence and countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Palestine. A review of historical and present events since then casts doubt on how well thought out this was.