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Afghanistan graveyard claims another victim



Camp Etchberger in West Afghanistan, once known as "The Quiet Place."

Hello this is Darrell Castle with today’s Castle Report. This is Friday the 20th day of August in the year 2021. I will be talking about Afghanistan as the 20-year long effort of the United States to bring gender identity and social justice to a medieval society with a strange religion, strange culture, and where the word gender does not appear in any of the many languages ends in failure in about 72 hours.

The Castle Family is doing well this week as the kids are back in school and the summer winds toward a close. We get up each day and go to work where we work hard and then we return home for a night’s rest and work around the daily chores of living. That is life in America today for the fortunate ones like us. I’m sure the family daughter is enjoying many of the same things safe in the golden land of Los Angeles, California.

Afghanistan – graveyard of empires

Why is Afghanistan sometimes referred to as the Graveyard of Empires? For the answer I turn to writer and economist Bill Bonner. “The British Empire concluded 80 years of warfare in Afghanistan in 1919. Their empire survived approximately 20 years after that when it faltered, declined, and was replaced by the United States as the new emperor of the world.

The Soviet Empire fought there for 10 years and left in 1989. One year from the Afghanistan retreat the Soviet Empire was gone from the earth. Now the United States is withdrawing after 20 years of fighting, killing, and dying there so the future will tell us what happens to the American Empire as a result.” We do know for sure that the struggle cost the lives of some 2500 American military and a couple of thousand civilian contractors plus approximately $2.26 trillion dollars.

The gender identity and social justice part

Why do I say that the U.S. mission was a 20-year effort to teach gender identity and social justice to that medieval land? Because according to U.S. Government Reports, $787 million was spent directly on gender programs. But the final amount was much larger because almost every program had gender education included. The effort apparently had mostly negative effects on a land and people who were unable to comprehend what would eventually happen.

The programs included childcare for working mothers who were prevented by law and culture from working. Gender goals were required for the Afghan army which needed training in combat and esprit de corps. The primary result appears to have been rebellion and instability. In the end all the girls’ schools had to tell their kids to run for their lives. The Afghan women’s soccer team were told to burn their uniforms. People relied on the word of those in control whom they thought were honorable but, they were less than honorable plus very stupid.

As Afghanistan collapsed, officials denied the collapse

Often, at the moment something is happening we are told it is not happening and will never happen. This is manifestly no Saigon Secretary of State Blinken told us, but in the end that’s exactly what it was. The Afghan troops the U.S. trained and equipped for 20 years just laid down their American weapons and joined the other side. President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken were briefed by the 17 different U.S. intelligence agencies about what was going to happen. The agencies all have billion-dollar budgets, and their leadership all went to all the right schools so how could they be incompetent. The Pentagon says that for many years it had been reporting to various presidents that the Afghan army, which outnumbered the Taliban 4-1, was unreliable and incompetent.

It is interesting, however, what you can miss no matter how obvious it is when you are paid not to see. Afghanistan includes dozens of tribes each with its own religion culture and language. It is preposterous to think that a western style democracy with all the current woke ideas could be built there. Anybody can see that, but all the politicians, generals, defense contractors, and bureaucrats did not see it since there was 2 trillion dollars there for the taking. They all became paid blind men or men who were paid to be blind.

Beyond military blindness

It was not just the military that went blind in the ancient land of Afghanistan. The private contractors cooperated with the scam as did the media. The temptation to lie, steal, and cheat when trillions are available must be irresistible. The press went along and abandoned their role as guardians and watchdogs to report as they previously reported, on President Nixon. Yes, the press can get all hyped up when it wants to, like it did for George Floyd, but for the tens of thousands of innocent civilians killed in Afghanistan, not a whisper. There is none so blind as those who will not see.

Do Afghan lives matter? I guess not folks, not to the right people anyway. One major problem for the blind press was that the Afghan boondoggle was bipartisan with both Democrats and Republicans in full support. If this disaster was concocted by stupid people, it might be understandable, but this catastrophic disaster was dreamed up by the best minds in the business all with impeccable credentials. Five different Presidents and their Secretaries of State watched it on television then lied through their teeth to us about it.

A total waste

These people are politicians and lying comes to them like breathing, naturally that is. At least now we do have one lying boondoggle out in the open but there are many others still hidden. By a strange coincidence here we are tearing apart our own government, indeed, our own civilization while we are supposedly trying to build one in Afghanistan. What else are these people lying to us about? Everything I would guess.

One thing that seems certain is that this is a very bad time for those who served. We lost the war the veterans say, and all our sacrifice was in vain. Our physical, mental, and emotional wounds, all the times we left our families uncared for all in vain and for nothing. Ah but that’s where you are wrong my friends, Your sacrifice was not in vain, and it was not for nothing. Your sacrifice was for a trillion-dollar boondoggle for the smiling, lying elite who run this country. That should make you feel proud and ready to offer up your sons and daughters to the next boondoggle.

Evidence against Afghanistan was lacking

Yes, unfortunately that appears to be the case, but it is not like we haven’t seen it before. In Vietnam, at least, we could see the communist invasion from the north as a reason for being there. True, the real story of the Communist invasion was withheld from us, but that is another story for another time. In Afghanistan, there was not even a hint of purpose if one looks at the stated reasoning for the beginning and what happened at the time.

The United States was attacked by someone on 9/11 and the Bush Administration told us it was Osama Bin Laden. The administration demanded that the Taliban government turn him over. Show us one bit of evidence they said, and we will do so, but no evidence was forthcoming. The Taliban said O.K. suppose we turn him over to a neutral country, so we know he gets a fair trial. That sounds quite reasonable today, but there was no deal and 20 years later here we are.

Two competing forces

There were two competing forces in Afghanistan at that time and one of them, the Taliban, was in control of the government. The other was commonly known as the Northern Alliance and that is the group, we chose to support. The Northern Alliance was a rough alliance of groups that had fought the Soviets and drove them out of Afghanistan with a lot of U.S. money, advice, and equipment. That group is reportedly reforming in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan under the old leadership, so the war goes on.

There is a rush right now to find someone to place the blame on besides Joe Biden of course. President Biden has an answer for every disaster and that is Trump did it, so I’m not to blame. I see Biden as the architect of the final disaster but not of the start. This has been a 20 year long, inevitable disaster in the making. Disaster was inevitable because sooner or later we had to leave so the Taliban simply bled us dry and waited until we had to leave.

Bush’s statement…

George W. Bush committed us to this war, but Obama, Trump, and Biden all had their chance to contribute. Bush can retire as an elder statesman and admired figure down in Texas at the Bush Center. He can pontificate about women’s rights after being responsible for the deaths of 10’s of thousands of women. Let me give you a quote from his statement about the withdrawal of U.S. forces:

In times like these, it can be hard to be optimistic. Laura and I will steadfastly remain so. Like our country, Afghanistan is also made up of resilient, vibrant people. Nearly 65 percent of the population is under 25 years old. The choices they will make for opportunity, education, and liberty will also determine Afghanistan’s future. As Dr. Sakena Yacoobi of the Afghan Institute of Learning, which has opened schools for girls and women around the nation, wrote this week: “While we are afraid, we are not defeated. Ideas do not disappear so easily. One cannot kill whispers on the wind. The Taliban cannot crush a dream. We will prevail, even if it takes longer than we wanted it to.”

…doesn’t hold

All complete horse manure. These women and young people are running around now trying to keep their U.S. trained heads from being cut off. George Bush can sit as respected elder statesman for as long as he wants to pretend, but he created this debacle. Members of the U.S. military are by nature courageous and self-sacrificing, but the politicians who assign their missions are cowardly and egotistical, and so this has been a disaster of our own making. We keep electing people for one reason or another, but they are people who have no leadership ability and no moral vision, and no honor.

Biden blames Trump – and coldly dismisses the suffering

I often wonder why the American people put up with leaders of the character we so often have. The story we are given by the media about how President Biden handled this disaster was not a pretty one even by government media standards. The Taliban was at the gates of Kabul, and he decided to take a long vacation. His chief of staff, Ron Klain, said publicly that he should return to the White House and make a statement. Jill said no he can make the statement from here. Finally, Ron Klain prevailed, and he returned to Washington to deliver a brief statement, and then disappeared again.

His statement could have consisted of only three words, Trump did it. I didn’t like his statement at all even though he stammered less than normal. I didn’t like it for more reasons than blame Trump for all your problems. He was cold and indifferent to the suffering caused by him and the political class in general. They should all be repenting in sack cloth and ashes while hoping to avoid the gallows, and we the people should be deciding what to do with them.

Trump had a better plan to get out of Afghanistan

He said he stood by his decision to pull out of Afghanistan and end the never-ending war. I agree with that decision just not in the way he did it. Trump had a better plan for a stalemate and a gradual withdrawal, but supposedly Biden relied on intelligence estimates that it would take the Taliban 90 days to capture Kabul, but instead, it took maybe 72 hours. So, our intelligence services fail us again. Will heads roll this time-only in Afghanistan I’m afraid. Why do we put up with such incompetence? My guess its about money instead of competence and honor.

The president told us that the Afghan military numbered 300,000 and was one of the best equipped militaries in the world. Now, I suppose, the Taliban now has one of the best equipped militaries in the world because they have billions in US. Equipment. What was the actual state of the Afghan military created from scratch by U.S. forces? In 2020 25% of the army deserted. Attacks against US. Forces by supposedly friendly Afghans was a constant problem. The Afghan Air Force, built and equipped by the U.S. was totally dependent on U.S. contractors for maintenance and in later months contractors were denied to them.

Lack of leadership

More than anything else, the Afghans lacked faith in their commanders and in U.S. leadership and no army will prevail or even survive without such faith. When the decision by the U.S. to leave became clear, no one wanted to be the last to die in a war for a lost cause, so they laid down their weapons and joined the enemy.

What is probably worse than bad leadership, is no leadership. No leadership results in what we have now, chaos. The president is missing except for 15 minutes in a time of national crises, and the vice president also missing appears to be a silly giggling little girl. Who’s in charge up there anyway, we would all like to know.

Finally, folks, Washington’s strategy in Afghanistan could accurately be described as lies, lies, and more lies compounded by strutting sycophants and incompetents. People with no skill and no morals should try to gather those who have at least some skill in the area of question, but in Washington those surrounding this administration seem to be lacking anything useful. Who are they, who’s in charge of this country, how did we allow ourselves to be led into disaster and chaos by such people?

At least that’s the way I see it.

Until next time folks,

This is Darrell Castle.

This article first appeared on the author’s website and appears here by permission.

See also this article and others Mr. Castle has written before about Afghanistan.

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Attorney at Law at | Website | + posts

Darrell Castle is an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, a former USMC Combat Officer and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee. Darrell gives his unique analysis of current national and international events from a historical and constitutional perspective. You can subscribe to Darrell's weekly podcast at

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