It’s time to learn.

Starting 8 years ago (and possibly before), articles such as one in Foreign Policygave out a warning to all US politicians that if alternative foreign policy agendas were not put into place in the very near future the cost would be extremely high for the country and the world if it wasn’t already.

6 years later no alternative exists. As a certain anniversary looms, another class of US politicians and yet another US president talk about the US’s place in the world as if History never happened all the while acknowledging that History did indeed happen. “Learn from our mistakes” is as dead as a broken record. “We will never forgive or forget” is exactly the same sentence uttered by every US president and politician who called for war and not peace. These words have been uttered to justify the invasion into Afghanistan. Unfortunately, this is still happening 20 years after the act began. It is disgusting but not surprising to see that the US still hasn’t learned its lesson. Stop meddling in the affairs of other countries and societies. Stop invading other countries. Stop telling everyone what to do and how to do it. These also apply to other “big” states who still find ways to want to meddle in the name of “interests”. France is an example of this, recently expressing a desire to get in Iraq. Hint: do not even think about it. Do not do it. 

Last month was the latest further proof to past several centuries’ worth of horrible decision making. Although the US leaving Afghanistan was long overdue, the manner applied was appalling: a horrific end to 20 years of terrible acts and a sliver of cautiously optimism. We cannot forget also the lack of respect for human rights, another term flung around during speeches as if it were a filler word. Human rights is a worldwide and inter-societal battle still going on today whether it is led by the First Nations and the Black-and-minority communities on the American continents, Palestine, minority groups in every region, the LGBTQ+ global community, the disabled, women, journalists, activists, and everyone fighting for their basic rights. This includes the Afghan civil society and their battles. Alluding to women’s rights without mentioning the rest of society, their hardships endured, and the cost of Afghan life is shallow, almost crude. No words or excuses in any speech, whether from Biden, other political leaders, or even the Bush administration, make up for the disasters, which have happened since colonisation began and, furthermore, since the US created its foreign policy. 

Afghanistan did not ask for any of the invasions the country endured over the past century. No society in the world asked for Western intervention or “moving in” over the past many centuries. The Afghan society is a chess piece for international politics or intelligence. They are people. They are a society. They are human beings who have fought for decades for their own sovereignty and right to decision making. They deserve peace. They have always deserved to have it and to keep it. They deserve to be heard and remembered. They never deserved to be used. As such, the US passive aggressiveness attitude of the past month (and the past many decades) is disgusting.

Candles. Black and white. March 2019. Cambridge, UK. ©le_chah_errant.

Hello all. This is a piece, which was hastily written after watching Biden’s speech last week (to be found here). The past month and the past 20 and 40 years and century has been very difficult. We, here at the Teapot and the Postbox, have felt it acutely. We apologise if the hastily written up was too much. Til next week. 

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