Pompeo: We Won In Afghanistan!

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is feelin’ good:

If you read the story, it turns out that by “delivered” Pompeo means only that we kicked al-Qaeda out of Afghanistan, something we did back in 2002. So this is perhaps not as impressive as he thinks it is.

Still, this is a case where Donald Trump might be doing something that only he could do. It’s been obvious for a long time that there’s no good reason for us to remain in Afghanistan, but it’s also been obvious that if we leave the Taliban is likely to take over. No US president is willing to accept that, so we’ve hung around for years accomplishing nothing of any consequence.

The obvious solution has always been to declare victory and go home, but neither Bush nor Obama quite had the chutzpah to do that. Trump does. Not only that, but if the Taliban does eventually take over he’ll loudly blame it on Obama and decline any responsibility. This will lead to hundreds of chin-stroking explainers and think pieces (“Did Obama Lose Afghanistan?” “Is the Taliban Really That Bad?” “Why Afghanistan Was Never Winnable,” etc.) and unanimous support from conservatives. Trump will get away with it in a way that no other president could.

Which is fine. It would be nice if Trump’s moronic bluster finally accomplished something useful.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate