Withdrawal Without Methadone

by | Aug 16, 2021

Here come all the opinion pieces. Here’s another.

I’m honestly surprised at the amount of folks critical of this withdrawal from AFG.

I’m sitting here this morning attempting to wrestle with the idea if they are truly critical of this foreign policy action, or is their reaction more aligned with ideology and they merely find themselves in the “opposed” camp because Biden currently rests within the Oval? I honestly don’t know.

I’m leaning toward politics for some, but certainly not all. I really am. Most of the voices I see on social media who stand opposed are generally “Right” leaning and Biden hating.

I hate Biden too. I have for a long, long time. Regardless of how right this move may be. I am stopping myself just shy of commending him for the withdrawal. Had Trump facilitated this withdrawal from AFG I absolutely would have praised him for such a move, but I’m stopping short of praising Biden.

Closeted Trump fan all along?


Perhaps my hesitation to congratulate Biden rests with this.

For a man who has been dealing with a lifelong stutter he miraculously managed to not stutter once as he brilliantly articulated his passionate stance to compel the Senate in ’02 to back Bush and his adventurism in the Middle East. Biden is equally to blame for the past 20 years as Bush, Obama, Trump or anyone else.

I’ve lost friends in AFG. I’ve lost friends to suicide DUE to AFG.

Many believe this withdrawal is wrong as it signifies a loss. It demonstrates that the loved ones we’ve lost have all been for nothing.

I’m not going to make an argument to help you believe that isn’t true. It IS true.

The problem? It will always be true. If we stay there another year, another 20 years, it will continue to be true. The only additional issue then would be us guaranteeing that future humans will also have to endure the loss of loved ones whose losses will also, be for nothing.

This is the sad reality, and, on some level, I truly believe every individual reading this today knows this to be true. Here is the saddest reality of all:

Every one of us, including Afghani’s, Iranians, Iraqi’s, has known from the very first day of this invasion that this was the inevitable outcome. Every human knew whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, this would be the outcome. Even the politicians like Biden who put us here.

At least GW Senior had the decency to pull out. He knew too.

Evaluating Senior’s role with the CIA is dismal. Most of his job centered on managing the propaganda campaign around the Soviet Union. Finding ways to keep the American public just scared enough to recognize they couldn’t survive without a well-funded government. He even funded the very group we now propagandize as an eminent threat simply because they were fighting Soviets on Afghan soil.

Once the USSR fell in 1989 career officials panicked and scrambled to establish a foothold on their most foundational narrative. Who would the citizens fear with the Red Scare now behind us? Bush, with his experience was unfortunately just the man for the job. His adventurism in the Middle East was little more than and effort to create a new monster under the bed as Americans slept at night. That’s why Desert Storm was literally a 43-day operation. That’s all it took.

At least he was decent enough to pull out.

Some tell themselves that we can’t continue being the World’s policemen. True enough, but what’s even more important to understand is that we never were the world’s policemen. I enlisted in the Marine Corps thinking I would get to be a “world policeman” and truly help others who couldn’t help themselves.

I was wrong. All of us in service were. These issues today are not with boots, they’ve always been with suits.

As a nation we were shocked and appalled to find out the depths of the CIA’s drug trafficking activity in our own backyard. Fueling the crack epidemic of the 90’s in Southern California for no reason other than to generate black dollars to fund black projects. Off the books.

Even after all that coming to light, we’re somehow dumbfounded when the CIA obtains control of the world’s richest opium fields, has a mountain of black projects to fund while managing more proxy wars than ever before in our history, and the nation is bombarded with an opioid crisis.

What do we do? We blame doctors.

We were never in AFG to police. We were never there to protect Afghanis. We were never there to escort peace, freedom or democracy on to a willing populace. We never showed up to liberate women. No evidence exists anywhere to demonstrate, empirically, that we were ever there for any reason other than empire.

A close friend made the very real observation that the inevitability of this outcome is a poor salve to treat the wound the outcome creates.

I can’t make this statement or sentiment less true, however, perhaps it’s the existence of salves to begin with that allows these atrocities to perpetuate across successive generations.

Maybe it’s the salves that allow everyday Americans to remain complicit and quiet through invasion after invasion, decade after decade. Maybe it’s those salves that allow us to drool over the visceral attractiveness of an Obama while he confidently begins five new wars in eight short years?

Maybe the salves themselves need to end. Maybe every American, not just those of us who fought over there, pointlessly, and lost loved ones, pointlessly, need to experience this betrayal. Maybe it’s time we all finally lost trust.

They certainly never earned it.

We all knew this was coming. Like a long, sad, anticipated death, the knowledge and anticipation don’t make the reality any easier.

Scott Shearin

Scott Shearin

Scott is a former Marine and Army Intelligence Officer. He's been through the corporate world having worked in Finance as well as leading Talent Acquisition for Fortune 500 CPG firms. For the past 6 years Scott has been an entrepreneur, currently leading a small recruiting firm for military veterans and managing a startup in the HR Tech space.

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