Sunday, September 26, 2021

Shouldn't have been in Afghanistan

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 25, 2021)

Nearly everyone criticizes the way the U.S. left Afghanistan and claims to know what the right way would have been. I see it differently. The tragic situation in Afghanistan has lessons for Americans, but I see most Americans missing the lessons because they are looking at it wrong.

The problem wasn't in the leaving; it was going there.

It's smarter to not make mistakes in the first place, rather than to dig yourself in deeper and deeper for 20 years and then realize there's no good way out. The time to worry about what's going to happen to someone you've pushed off a cliff is before you push them off the cliff, not as they smack the ground below.

Yes, I realize some people chose to join with those who then pushed them off the cliff, but they've had 20 years to find a parachute, and chose not to do so. Maybe they see the error of their ways now, when it's too late.

The most important lesson to be learned from the situation might be this: Government is not your friend. Do you think anyone is paying attention and learning this lesson?

Another lesson is: Don't meddle in other people's business. Doing so is usually a mistake, especially if you're using them as pawns and putting them in the position to die if-- or when-- things go wrong. Yes, I know there are those who believe the US government should police the world. They are wrong. This ought to remove any remaining doubt. Those who most need to learn this lesson, won't.

The Afghans would have benefitted from understanding another truth before the lesson forced itself on them in a horrible way: Don't trust government. Don't rely on government employee promises that they'll keep you safe. Don't imagine your life matters more than their own life, or even more than their job. It doesn't, no matter what they say to get you onboard.

The Americans stranded in Afghanistan would have been better off had they understood this as well.

Yet another lesson which everyone should pay attention to: Never imagine a political situation won't change. It will. If something can't continue unchanged forever, it won't. And nothing can. Part two of this lesson could be stated as: Don't side with the team which is going to have to hang you out to dry sooner or later.

Were you paying attention? Are you learning?


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Kitten update #9

Whiskers seems to be recovering nicely. He even spent the day yesterday having the run of the house, among the other cats, unsupervised. And seems to have done fine.

His frequent nosebleeds worry me a little. Maybe it can be explained by how often he crashes into things. His surgical site finally stopped oozing blood, and I haven't noticed blood in his stool for a bit-- but that might be because I don't get a good look very often. I was a little concerned he might have a blood disorder, but now I'm thinking he doesn't.

So, I think he's doing great. I'm not looking forward to his hernia surgery, but that can wait.


All the parts of Whiskers' story, here: Original, first update, second update, third update, fourth update, fifth update, sixth update, seventh update, eighth update.

>> If you don't mind, share his GoFundMe-- I'm almost done with it now, as long as nothing unexpected happens with him.


I've also been helping a family of feral cats that hangs out on the porch. There were originally two orange kittens, but one has disappeared so I'm watching out for the last one more closely. I was able to treat his stuffy nose and slightly goopy eyes with left-over medicines, and he's looking good now. I'm looking for a home for him.

Because there are no magic wands

In a magical Harry Potter world where magic wands are real, we wouldn't need cars, phones, or guns because the wands would do all the things those tools do. 

A wand would be the only EDC you'd ever need and knowing how to use it would be the only skill you'd ever need to master.

But in the real world, we need multiple tools to fill those needs.

To hate tools is to show the world how stupid you are. You can still hate those who misuse tools to violate life, liberty, and property, though. They are the problem, not the tools. And they would also misuse magic wands if those were real.


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