ISSN 2330-717X

Robert Reich: Enough Sanctimony Over Afghanistan – OpEd

By

I’m as sensitive as anyone to the sufferings of Afghani’s now, but I’ve had it with the sanctimony of journalists and pundits who haven’t thought about Afghanistan for 20 years –  many of whom urged we get out – but who are now filling the August news hole with overwrought stories about Biden’s botched exit and Taliban atrocities. 

Yes, the exit could have been better planned and executed. Yes, it’s all horribly sad. But can we get a grip? The sudden all-consuming focus on Afghanistan is distracting us from hugely important stuff that’s coming to a head at home:

(1) Republican politicians and right-wing media worsening the surging Delta variant of COVID by fighting masks and vaccinations, as cities and school systems struggle to decide what to do;

(2) wildfires and floods consuming much of America, as House Democrats absurdly threaten to oppose Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget blueprint containing important measures to slow climate change;

(3) Texas on the verge of passing the nation’s most anti-democracy voting restrictions, adding to voter suppression measures in 24 other states, at the same time the “For the People Act” and the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act” – which would remedy these horrendous laws – languish in the Senate because Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema refuse to do anything about the filibuster. 

Enough sanctimony over Afghanistan. Enough about Biden’s falling approval ratings. We’ve had enough wall-to-wall coverage of the Olympics and then Andrew Cuomo and now the airport in Kabul. Can we please focus on the biggest things that need and deserve our attention right now? The window of opportunity to do anything about them will close sooner than we expect. 

If we don’t take action now on COVID and the critical importance of vaccinations and masks, on climate change and Biden’s $3.5 trillion package, and on voter suppression and the necessity of the For the People and the John Lewis Voting Rights Acts, we may never. 

Click here to have Eurasia Review's newsletter delivered via RSS, as an email newsletter, via mobile or on your personal news page.

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

8 thoughts on “Robert Reich: Enough Sanctimony Over Afghanistan – OpEd

  • August 23, 2021 at 4:58 am
    Permalink

    This war was so wrong all along. US got bin Laden, degraded terrorists in Afgh. That should have been it. We didn’t need all the force projection to accomplish that! The current ending was coming all along. On top of that, Trump and Pompeo made a surrender dial without the participation of the Afgh government, insuring a hard landing as Taliban could make surrender deals with Afgh military units, so the whole thing folded too fast. A 20+ year disaster with one highlight. Too much human sacrifice for soldiers and civilians. Too much wasted money into a corrupt hole. Never again.
    Let’s fix our democracy that’s under attack from Covid and voter suppression.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2021 at 5:19 am
    Permalink

    Very nice op-ed. Hits the nail on the head. We have been in Af far, far to long and Biden finally has the guts to pull us out, and yes confusion reigns. 6 months for Biden, 19 and a half years for everybody else who made mistake after mistake after mistake. Reich has his focus on the ball and we should turn toward those things that need fixing.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2021 at 5:26 am
    Permalink

    Right on Robert! I could NOT agree more.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2021 at 7:22 am
    Permalink

    I had to get to the end of the article and read the author’s CV and then go back to reread it. This article’s tone sounds just like me after a few rum and Coke’s . Who writes purile crap like this sober? Duh yeah America is killing itself from the inside. We don’t need China or Russia or Afghanistan. Trying to make up for over 400 years of colonialism in a generation is killing us on the inside. I’m glad I’m old. I won’t live to see what happens to my nation because no one can correct generations of abuse with dollars, or territory, or ceremonies of forgivenesses. There is no going back.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2021 at 9:13 am
    Permalink

    Lost me after opening sentence. Afghani is money, Aghans are people. Learn something then try again.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2021 at 12:11 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for keeping your eye on the prize. When the smartest of us tell us what we should be doing, the dumbest proceed along a brain-dead path, denying evolution and climate change, riding the t-rump train to oblivion. We are herd animals defined by the most stupid among us.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2021 at 12:12 pm
    Permalink

    I disagree and was very much hoping Biden would not repeat this great infamy that causes us to so easily abandon our friends overseas. This is on par with all the other crises you mention and totally part of them.

    I doubt Trump would have done better, but Bidens administration will own this. How can we be a respected force if we do not take care of the Frei ds we make. This just makes me sick.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2021 at 8:52 pm
    Permalink

    Right….Enough criticism of Biden. This article drips in the bias liberal dribble Reich is a part of. Try reporting unbiased next time.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.