Dean Clough

August 18, 2021

Portico Darwin: The Department of Defense Did It

I know I ranted recently about Afghanistan and our pointless defeat at the hands of a bunch of fanatically religious primitives.   But the speed of the total collapse at the hands of The Taliban of a government we've spent 20 years and $1 trillion + propping up riles me again.

First, I place the onus of responsibility on America's Department of Defense, in both their civilian and military guises.  But that wrongly gives the CIA and our other "intelligence" groups a pass, because they're a big part of this debacle, too.  Both failed us as a country tremendously, from late in 2001 when we were this close to getting Osama Bin Laden in Tora Bora (but missed), right up until this past weekend's meltdown in Kabul. 

This was taken Sunday by the AP and it's a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster II filled to capacity with Afghanis escaping their own nation.  Many more may be left behind and that's not a good thing.


Think of it.  We have every material advantage vs. The Taliban in Afghanistan.  Yet it took us forever to get the original target, Bin Laden, and he wasn't even there - he was hiding with our ally Pakistan.  From the start, our intelligence and defense agencies were either unable or unwilling to fess up that we'd never be able to calm the entire country into anything resembling a liberal democracy.  Never.  There were/are just too many tribal factions, it's nutty-fanatical, and it's just too corrupt.  My gosh, the place is known as the graveyard of empires, yet all our smart guys couldn't see we'd face the same problems as Britain and Russia did before us?  I believe the word is "hubris"?

Secondly, some are trying to now blame Biden?  No.  Please.  Many (I was one) cheered Tr*** and others who called for "an end to endless wars".  But now, Biden is ending it, and he's wrong?  Folks, there was just no way to get out of Afghanistan in an elegant, much less a victorious, fashion.  I believe Biden should be commended for taking the fall now so no future president will have to.  He is also living up to the terms Tr*** negotiated while in office, and yes, even a campaign promise he made.  Yes, I know he was there for 8 years of it with President Obama, but still.  This one cannot be blamed solely on Biden - the failures run too deep, for too long, across administrations of both parties. 

Wasn't Vietnam enough and why the hell didn't our leaders study and learn from that experience? 


At the risk of giving Hunter Deuce too much exposure in this blog, he filed another of his remote reports, again from he and wife Fi's hush-hush Sonoma compound.  They're there for an inordinate period of time, but no worries, says Hunter, as he was clearly relieved his beloved (yet mediocre) Wilco got a shout-out here:

" 'And please, no requests for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot from a particular reader of this blog,'

I feel seen.

Looking forward to a relaxing week at The Burndale Bungalow (how's THAT for branding?). Cocktails, food, wine, hiking, golf, farmer's market - just wish the Sonoma Stompers hadn't (understandably) cancelled the season - an evening of Single A baseball would have been fantastic."

I am so glad you're in a safe space, re:  your dodgy musical taste.  But dude, I'd leave the marketing to the pros and stick to your real estate knitting.  And no one - and I mean no one - cares that you can't see a Single A baseball game.  You're in f'ing wine country, near the Plaza, in your own private house with a pool, for cryin' out loud.  You don't find me whining about problems at check-in at a fancy desert resort.  Oh, wait.

Next, Byron Browne IV, who in response to my Arizona Biltmore review shared information about a particular graduation from a particularly famous Arizona business school that was held at the hotel.  I am omitting his comments in the interest of protecting his budding career as a network equipment peddler.  But he did have some nice comments about Julie and the beer I chose (I call it "water with alcohol"), which I can publish.

"Where did you find that awesome model for those great pictures!?

Was that a Michelob Ultra I see you with poolside?

Would love to check it out!"

As I said to Byron, I do foresee return trips to The Arizona Biltmore.  December 8 sounds like an especially nice time of the year to visit, perhaps as a test drive for a certain blogger's 60th b'day party, to be held there in 2023?  Time will tell and wow do I like to plan.  But it's hard to not like a place that features this at the entrance.


Thank you to any one that is reading this blog.

This post is about peace, so there is only one way to go here.  Sadly, I do not own any of this man's works in high resolution.  So here, via Spotify, is the horribly missed John Lennon and "Gimme Some Truth", a great collection of his music.

Beyond the world peace he demanded during his life, John's death reminds us of the mindless nature of murder - be it committed in Central Park, by Mark David Chapman, or in Kandahar, by US troops.  

(I know there are real bad guys out there that have to be dealt with, but I struggle to see how, in general,  violence doesn't only lead to more violence.  Maybe a post on soft power is in order?)

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.