The American and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the entire 20-year military occupation there, are widely recognized as the worst disaster in NATO’s history.
But have the lessons from his failure been learned?
Shortly following the suicide bombing that killed a dozen U.S. troops and over 100 Afghans at the Kabul airport, President Biden announced to those responsible: “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.” While making such a statement (and using drones for revenge) was obviously far superior to extending the date of U.S. withdrawal, that such a statement would be considered politically necessary or expedient points to a deep and widespread sickness in the trans-Atlantic establishment. This sickness is seen in far more advanced form in Britain, whose institutions are frantically trying to assure themselves of their ability to continue to project force anywhere in the world, and to continue their endless war policies, with or without the United States. The sickness comes in a denial of the nature of the human species, a denial that looks towards a future of maintaining past dominance, rather than one that looks towards an era of new development, of growth, and of changing dynamics.
Aeschylus captured this tension in his Oresteia trilogy, in which a series of revenge killings, including a demand for revenge in the form of the Furies—the Erinyes—is transformed, through the mediation of the goddess of wisdom Athena herself, to a concern for the future. The furious Erinyes become the Eumenides (the Gracious Ones), and serve as a constructive force for the future of Athens.
The “forever war” policy that has come to characterize the trans-Atlantic approach since the murder of U.S. President Kennedy, against which Trump inveighed in his campaigns, and against which Biden took what could be a significant step with his Afghanistan withdrawal, must be replaced with a policy of peace through development. In the Eastern Economic Forum, held in Vladivostok, Russia, aspects of this principle were raised by Presidents Putin and Xi, who insisted that development is the path forward, and that “democracy” could not be instilled at gunpoint.
Will Biden’s executive order on declassifying 9/11 reveal truths that will cast the 20-year experience in Afghanistan in a new light? Terry Strada, the leader of 9/11 Families United, rejoiced: “We are thrilled to see the President forcing the release of more evidence about Saudi connections to the 9/11 Attacks. We have been fighting the FBI and intelligence community for too long, but this looks like a true turning point.”
Biden’s move for declassification, following his decision, taken despite enormous pressure from media and political layers, can be a powerful flank against the intelligence agencies whose lies have been used to maintain the forever war policy.
Will the momentum away from permanent warfare continue through improved relations with Russia and China? Will a growing portion of the world’s leaders and thinkers—aided by you—come to understand that the true, immortal self-interest of the human individual lies not in maintaining power over others, but in doing good?
If so, this present era can be a singularity, an inflection point, a change from one geometry to another, in which we defeat empire and raise our heads from the muck of conflict to look to the stars that hold our future.
Lyndon LaRouche devoted himself to fighting for such a world, a commitment carried on by Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the LaRouche movement, internationally, today. Will that movement, and its allies, succeed?