Pompeo: We Won In Afghanistan!

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is feelin’ good:

If you read the story, it turns out that by “delivered” Pompeo means only that we kicked al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan, something we did back in 2002. So this is perhaps not as impressive as he thinks it is.

Still, this is a case where Donald Trump might be doing something that only he could do. It’s been obvious for a long time that there’s no good reason for us to remain in Afghanistan, but it’s also been obvious that if we leave the Taliban is likely to take over. No US president is willing to accept that, so we’ve hung around for years accomplishing nothing of any consequence.

The obvious solution has always been to declare victory and go home, but neither Bush nor Obama quite had the chutzpah to do that. Trump does. Not only that, but if the Taliban does eventually take over he’ll loudly blame it on Obama and decline any responsibility. This will lead to hundreds of chin-stroking explainers and think pieces (“Did Obama Lose Afghanistan?” “Is the Taliban Really That Bad?” “Why Afghanistan Was Never Winnable,” etc.) and unanimous support from conservatives. Trump will get away with it in a way that no other president could.

Which is fine. It would be nice if Trump’s moronic bluster finally accomplished something useful.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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