Pullout From Afghanistan Signals End of ‘Liberal World Order’

August 17, 2021 Updated: August 17, 2021

Commentary

If President Joe Biden’s no-questions-please press conference on the collapse of the American puppet government in Afghanistan and the end of the U.S. imperium in the Middle East felt like a funeral, that’s because it was.

The ignominious defeat, after 20 years of fruitless, half-hearted warfare, marks the end of the federal geopolitical Leviathan state that emerged during and in the aftermath of World War II.

Good riddance to it.

It’s fitting that the end should come with Biden, a lifelong, legislatively undistinguished congressman first elected from Delaware in 1973, and who served as President Barack Obama’s vice president from 2009 to 2017. Over the past seven months as president, however, he has ruined the economy, expanded the welfare state, encouraged anarchy, criminalized dissent, destroyed the First Amendment, elevated a superannuated apparatchik such as Dr. Anthony Fauci to a position of unconstitutional authority, and crippled patriotic Americans’ faith in their country and its ideals.

Biden couldn’t do it alone, of course. But with partners such as Gen. Mark Milley as the “woke” chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Antony Blinken at State; Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon; William Burns at the CIA, which just put another “O-fer” on the board by failing to accurately assess the situation in Kabul; and veteran Democrat operative Ron Klain as his chief of staff, he’s had plenty of help, particularly from the country’s malignant media, which fans the flames of “social justice,” gender studies, largely manufactured racial resentment, and sexual deviancy.

Biden did stumble upon one important truth in his speech: The United States should never again engage in fruitless wars of choice and nation-building against third-rate, largely imaginary countries in which we have no vital interests. He thus implicitly endorsed the position held by presidents as disparate as George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower, and to whose sage advice about foreign entanglements and the ravenous military-industrial complex we should have been heeding more often, instead of international adventurers such as Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama.

Their so-called liberal world order has given us the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War (which ended with Saddam Hussein still in control of Iraq), and the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine a world designed and run by the Council on Foreign Relations and other interventionist think tanks, and you’ve pretty much got it.

In his speech, Biden should have stopped there, but, of course, he didn’t—and that was even more illuminating. Biden directed the bulk of his ire not toward former President Donald Trump, or his defeatist military, or his incompetent advisers or even his AWOL vice president, Kamala Harris, but at the Afghans themselves, including their formerly 300,000-strong armed forces.

“We gave them every tool they could need … every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.”

He and the rest of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party establishment should look in the mirror. The will to fight has been absent from American “warfighting” practically since the War Department became the Defense Department, and the Pentagon was built. Warfighting without victory has, in fact, become the Pentagon’s mantra, the better for its insatiable maw to consume American blood and treasure in pursuit of tax dollars. The reason we fight wars of choice isn’t because we need to, but because we can.

During the Civil War, Grant had no sooner received Robert E. Lee’s surrender than he planned to immediately return to Washington because, in the words of his adjutant, Gen. Horace Porter, “he was anxious above all things to begin the reduction of the military establishment, and diminish the enormous expense attending it, which at this time amounted to nearly four millions of dollars a day.”

The idea of a huge, permanent standing army was anathema to American sensibilities. And America as world policeman? Perish the thought.

Since World War II, however, we have rarely stood down. We still have troops in Germany (!), Italy, the UK, Bahrain, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. Like the British before us, who sought to make the world England, we believe our culturally specific Enlightenment values are shared by all.

“We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom,” Bush said in his second inaugural address in 2005. “We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul.”

What naïve foolishness. But it’s thinking like that which has brought us to our present pass. So let it die with the American misadventure in Afghanistan.

What’s needed now is to return to first principles. Cut the Pentagon by at least half and abolish the CIA. Retire every military officer higher than a major general or rear admiral (there must be some penalty for failure and dereliction of duty) and start promoting on the basis of ability, not ideology. Expunge “social justice” from the service academies and refocus on their only mission: winning on the battlefield.

Return the decision to go to war to Congress. Make the commander-in-chief understand that he is not to micromanage the conduct of wars, but simply to set forth the objective—total victory and unconditional surrender—and leave the rest to the generals. (During the final year of the Civil War, Grant repeatedly—and correctly—rejected Lincoln’s tactical suggestions.)

Further: Take women off the front lines. Use the threat of the nuclear arsenal to keep the peace, not the limbs of our young people hampered by restrictive rules of engagement. And, if necessary, use the nukes themselves. To take anything off the table in an increasingly dangerous world is national suicide. Fight to win, and have no regrets about doing so.

The next Republican candidate would do well to observe these principles. The liberal order is dead: Long live the restored constitutional Republic.

In 1971, testifying against the war in Vietnam, John Kerry asked: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

Therefore, in conclusion, one last, especially painful thing: Send the disgraced generals and the venal politicians and the pusillanimous warmongers in the media to personally visit every Gold Star family, look them in the eye, and tell them that their children died in Iraq and Afghanistan for absolutely nothing. And then promise them that it will never happen again.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh is the editor of The-Pipeline.org and the author of “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace” and “The Fiery Angel,” both published by Encounter Books. His latest book, “Last Stands,” a cultural study of military history from the Greeks to the Korean War, was recently published.