My bygone, middle school’s Social Studies instructor, H.M., taught me how critical thinking, in part, depends upon one’s ability to accurately sift thru the cause and effect aspects, of the situation at hand.
As of late, the media analysts / would-be strategists (of all political stripes) have been rehashing Afghanistan’s downfall. Considering these talking heads’ inconclusive hand wringing and worthless finger pointing, it’s my conclusion that their difficulties, in part, are based upon their inability to grasp how cause and effect actually interact. Let’s dig deeper.
Twenty Augusts ago, on the 6th, (then president) George W. Bush, (purportedly) took a gander at his Presidential Daily Briefing; that PDB ominously titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”; that very document even envisioning commercial jet hijackings!
As everything eventually panned out, the recently installed prez had been granted / gifted an ample five week long heads up; i.e., to prepare in a prompt, proactive manner; to protect and defend the United States of America; to, ultimately, prevent needless human suffering and death.
Did W even lift a pinky finger to do so? NOPE! By the time 9/11 had rolled around, W’s leadership vacuum had managed to suck 19 of Osama bin Laden’s box cutter wielding terrorists into America’s airports and comfortably seat them aboard 4 jetliners. If things had been any worse, he probably would’ve served ’em breakfast, too.
Ergo, ObL’s predicted attacks wound up catching W with his Commander-In-Chief pants down, all of which horrified his handlers. However, it was not the attacks, themselves, which had formed worry lines on their mugs. What actually sent them reeling in panic mode boiled down to the Q:
How will we ever be able to cover our boss’s sorry ass; firm up his politically flaccid image?
Their eventual, concocted M.O. amounted to a diversionary scam. They’d instruct bush-leaguer W to, FIRST, fearmonger the gullible, non-critical thinking public and, NEXT, dupe these sheeple into blind acceptance of his vengeance seeking, “smoke out” Osama bin Laden (dead or alive), willy-nilly, batshit crazy crusade.
One wonders if they had ever considered flying a more brains over brawn approach up the flagpole; i.e., something akin to Operation Neptune Spear, which President Barack Obama would eventually approve (come 2011); the meticulously orchestrated, regimented operation, where U.S. Navy SEALS were able to finally track down and obliterate bin Laden (not that his death did much of anything to win W’s no-win War on Terror/make our world a safer place).
Anyway, seeing how W’s “smoke out” plan was never anything more than a CYA smokescreen, he had never actually intended to bring 9/11’s architect to justice. All his wranglers did manage to accomplish was snagging their boy his coveted second term. And, as is true with most other cookie cutter Republicans, clutching to power (and amassing obscene wealth) is all that ever really matters to them.
Alas, throughout W’s eight year reign of terror, he exploited the Afghans as his political pawns; used them as his punching bag; even waterboarded / tortured suspected enemies of his own making; while trying to cover it all up with his euphemistic catchphrase, “enhanced interrogation techniques”.
Abroad: W was, still is, guilty of  needlessly slaughtering 241,000 people, 71,000 of them civilians [read it and weep article located here],  stifling / snuffing out that nation’s culture, and  blasting the real estate / infrastructure to smithereens.
Domestically: To this very day, W’s fear generated, U.S. Patriot Act still bulldozes and buries our once-upon-a-time Constitutionally guaranteed personal freedoms and has pissed away TWO TRILLION FREAKIN’ DOLLARS; revenue that would’ve been far better spent on domestic programs to vastly improve Americans’ quality of life.
As bad as all of that already sounds, the repackaging and rebranding techniques, which served to refurbish W’s image, long ago, became canon within the Republican Party’s mucked up, political playbook.
You see, what those wranglers / spin doctors learnt during W’s Era, is that IF they could so readily groom an asshat, such as the ne’er-do-well George W. Bush; morph that imbecile into a pseudo conquering superhero, THEN such a coat of whitewash can also be easily slapped onto any subsequent, political wannabe stumblebum.
Case in point, in preparation for the 2024 Presidential Elections, image makeover (con) artists will be able to easily groom elitist Donald J. Trump; morph that insurrectionist fascist freak into a fake founding father figure.
Bottom lining it, George “Dubya” Bush’s negligence was, still is, and shall forever brand him the CAUSE of the EFFECT; better known as the War in Afghanistan! Dubya flat out owns that godforsaken debacle!
Had Dumbass Dubya properly and promptly reacted to his PDB’s dire warning and thwarted the 9/11 attacks, his pre-existing leadership vacuum would’ve never been strong enough to suck America into that two decades too long, no-win war! Hell, that war would’ve never even existed!
Regarding Bush’s dreadful character faults and deplorable deeds, be these mentioned above or not, on behalf of America, my heartfelt apology to all Afghans. I know what I’m about to type will be of no consolation to either you or me, but say it I must:
I never voted for him!
Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!