Today's suicide bombings by ISIS affiliates in Kabul which claimed the lives of 13 U.S. military personnel, wounded others and killed many, many more Afghais seeking to flee the country underscores, in my view, two things: (i) Joe Biden rightly decided that America needs to exit the hell hole that is Afghanistan and end its fool's errand in that nation which is but the latest chapter in that region's title "graveyard of empires," and (ii) fundamentalist religion, be it far right Christian or extreme Islam is one of the biggest blights on humanity. Sadly, rather than focus on these two realities, much of the American news media continues to post stories that seek to sensationalize the plight of those impacted by America's long over due withdrawal from a failed war that never should have been begun as anything other than surgical strikes to take out Osama bin Laden and his nest of terrotists. Sensational stories can be found across the Internet including this tear jerking, irresponsible one here in the Washington Post which fails to grasp that the only way to avoid what we are witnessing now in Kabul would have been through a permanent U.S. occupation of Afghanistan with once again high troop levels and corresponding high U.S. casualtires - something the vast majority of Americans do not support.
None of the foregoing views discount the tragedies being suffered and that will be suffered by countless Afghanis under the Taliban - or worse yet ISIS affiliates - but at some point the residents of Afghanistan need to be responsible for asserting the will of the majority against the religious extremists who are in the minority. American tried to train Afghan armed forces and spent trillions of dollars to position the now defunct governemnt of Afghanistan to counter the Taliban. What we have seen is that corruption and greed siphoned off huge amounts of U.S. dollars and when the time came to fight, the Afghan military laid down its arms, usually without firing a shot. If a people are unwilling to fight for themselves and their future and to counter extremism, why should more American lives and treasure be flushed down the toilet?
The events in Kabul also make clear to me that here at home, far right religious extremists - the Christofascists or "Christian Taliban" - need to be confronted and defeated by the majority and not coddled and pandered to as was the policy of the Trump/Pence regime and as is the current policy of the Republican Party. Thanks to many of these "religious conservatives" who have refused to be vaccinated, America remains in the grip of a pandemic which could have been ended. And, just as is the case with the Taliban and ISIS, these Christian extremists would impose their ignorance embracing, often racist beliefs on the entire country through force of law or violence as was witnessed on January 6, 2021, when insurrectionsts which included many, many Christian nationalists sacked the U.S. Capitol.
Responsible news reporting should be looking at the reality of the Afghanistan disaster launched by Geoprge W. Bush and Dick Cheney - after Reagan had funded what became the Taliban - and how religious extremism needs to be defeated here in America as well. Exchange the Koran for the Bible and we have equally dangerous elements here in the USA. Prior to January 6, 2021, some would argue that domestic religious extremists would not resort to violence, but that story line no longer holds water.
We may not be able to save Afghanistan, but we still have the opportunity to save America from religious extremism and autocratic rule. Part of achieving these goals will require the media to do its job and stop looking for sensation simply in order to increase page views while aiding the enemies of America and democracy itself.