Dear America

Is the Ocean Still on Fire?

I’ve lost the plot. I think we all have. All I know is I’ve asked “how many places is the ocean on fire this week?” far too often this year and the answer hasn’t been none for far too many weeks.

President Biden is pulling all the troops out of Afghanistan, which is ultimately, of course, the right thing to do and it wasn’t ever going to be not ugly, but honest to fucking Christ, we probably could have had a couple or three people on the ground… actual people, maybe generals, maybe something less ranking… who could have organized that better for the poor bastards and their families who helped us while we were there and are now just being left for the wolves. The Department of Defense says otherwise, but I… how the fuck are they going to get those people out before the Taliban gets to them? Fucking hell. Who didn’t see that coming? Who, when the shit started hitting the fan, didn’t think maybe this would come to pass and there are a lot of people who are really busy but maybe these guys who work directly with our allies there on the ground could put their heads together and get them out.

The problem is paperwork, or more, our pathological need to create it. They vet these guys up the wazoo on the regular, and honestly? You’re going to fall back in to the Taliban’s hands, you’ve been showing up to work, and you tell me you feel you need to leave because you’re not safe? Great, grab your stuff, you’re coming with us. So here’s all these special immigrant visa applications out there and the last four years with the orange fascist meant that none of those were being processed, meanwhile, we still need these guys. And they are still in danger. And there is no way we’re going to be able to do what we promised them, and that’s damaging to them, but it’s damaging to¬†our soldiers too. Can you fucking imagine feeling like the guys who helped you, bled and died alongside you, kept you safe and helped you navigate the world around you in exchange for the promise of a better Afghanistan or the safety of a home in America depending on how things worked out — can you imagine feeling like you somehow let them down, lied to them? Everyone is bitter. Of course everyone is bitter. And it couldn’t have gone well and everyone probably wasn’t going to make it through regardless, but I don’t care, this is still a shitshow.

Management tip, from someone who really shouldn’t give out management tips, except it isn’t the shittiest take ever, so deal with it:

Believe the people in the field and the boots on the ground. They might have a clue, anyway, of what’s going on.

But I’m way out in the cheap seats. Hell, I am no where near the stadium and I could hear the collective panic of the people in the field and the allies there before this went down. Plus, it’s an eighteen week wait in the US now for a passport renewal, and it isn’t because everyone has turned their attention¬† to processing these applications. Did they die of COVID? (No, I think most quit ages ago. But really, who the fuck knows?)

Half the fucking states in the south and west have lost their minds and are being led by governors who were willing to sacrifice grandma for the economy and their kids for… I don’t know. I just fucking don’t know. It’s like someone dropped a giant stupid bomb on the whole fucking world.