A reader writes:
“Keith, have you noticed how American sentiments around the war in Afghanistan seem to cut across all political affiliations? It reminds me of how Brexit cut across party lines in the UK.
Against the war are the majority of the public (at least, that’s my impression) — whether they see themselves as conservative, MAGA, liberal, progressive, independent, or apolitical. Though, some of these folks are more busy blaming one or another “side” or specific politician for why the war failed (goaded on by their preferred TV-news-clown of course), while others have rejected the war on a more wholesale basis. But regardless, the majority seems to support the withdrawal, however messy the end looks.
Who then seems to have still been for the war, till the bitter, embarrassing end? Well, the unreconstructed neocons at the top (as well as unreconstructed all-purposes-imperialists still within the GOP ranks), many liberal internationalists, bleeding-hearts who saw footage of the chaotic withdrawal and are somehow still naive enough to think 20 or 100 more years would have somehow worked, the military-industrial complex itself, and what seems like most of the mainstream media.
It’s the media’s reaction I find the most interesting — some of them vociferously denouncing the manner of the withdrawal and many the withdrawal itself — essentially turning on Biden over this (as though he really had a choice). They are true believers in the imperial project. These same people, I think it’s important to remember, heaped mountains of praise on Trump whenever he dropped bombs, and only then. It’s like they’re single-issue voters for war and projections of American power, whatever the context.”
Yes, it seems as though the war party amounts to the house politicians, house journalists, and house intellectuals for the ruling class and virtually no one else.