The Stupidity Cycle—The U.S. in Afghanistan | Opinion | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

The Stupidity Cycle—The U.S. in Afghanistan 

Smart Bomb: The Completely Unnecessary News Analysis

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Well, Wilson, there we went again. For you and the guys in the band, this must seem like Vietnam Redux: We invade a country for reasons that require pretzel logic; we have little understanding of the people but assume they'll act like American suburbanites; we prop up a corrupt regime and throw hundreds of millions of dollars at it; we assemble an army that doesn't really want to fight; and then we bolt, leaving those who helped us caught between the Taliban and a hard place.

After 9-11, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al went after Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, who were camped out in the remote mountains near the Pakistani border. But instead of sending in Special Forces, as we eventually did to get him, we dispatched tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military hardware. Al Qaeda was soon routed from Afghanistan, so we had to have another reason for staying. But no one could say exactly what that was. In any event, we were bound, sooner or later, to get out of Dodge.

In Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi sums it up succinctly: "This stupidity cycle is the hallmark of American foreign policy." To date, 2,448 Americans have been killed there and 20,722 wounded. Luckily we declared victory or more would have died.

County Council on Kids and Covid—Que Sera Sera
You've got to hand it to 'em, the Salt Lake County Council knows the old song and dance routine—"whatever will be will be, the future's not ours to see, que sera sera."

A salivating mob crowded into the government center demanding the council rescind its own health department's mask order for elementary schools or they would shoot them with squirt guns. So, after careful and prayerful consideration, in a 6-3 vote along party lines, the council's Republicans sang a chorus of "Que Sera Sera" and noted that parents should be free to choose whether their kids die of the Delta variant, which is at least three times as contagious as the initial virus.

Triumphantly, the crowd chanted USA, USA ... freedom, freedom. Previously, the Utah Legislature had blocked school districts from making mask rules and left the decision to counties. There have been more than 37 million Covid infections in this country and more than 636,000 deaths. Hospital ICUs are now at capacity again. But Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton said this: "[N]one of us have a crystal ball to see how our decision today will impact the future." WTF! No, you don't need a crystal ball, just stack 636,000 bodies on top of each other, climb to the top and jump off. Que sera sera.

Psychic Olga Predicts Trump's Future
What will happen now that we know Trump tried to employ the Department of Justice to overturn the election? No one seems to know, so we turned to Psychic Olga, who has proven time and again that she can see what no one else can.

Smart Bomb: What's going to happen to Donald Trump?

Psychic Olga: As I gaze into the future, I see that he will continue to grift hundreds of millions more from his MAGA droids, who believe he is their savior.

Smart Bomb: OK, but what about the New York tax fraud case and fallout from new evidence of a botched coup?

Olga: Trump's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, and his sons will mysteriously disappear, crippling the D.A.'s case. The FBI will search the bottom of New York Harbor for people with cement shoes.

Smart Bomb: Well, what about treason charges?

Olga: Evidence will mount that Trump conspired with Rudy Giuliani to take over America. Rudy will go down, but Trump will escape on a Chinese billionaire's yacht and plot a comeback with a new reality TV show called "I, Me, Mine," which will co-star porn stars in leopard-skin bikinis and the the My Pillow guy in a Tarzan outfit.

Postscript—That's gonna do it for another fun-filled week here at Smart Bomb, where we keep track of tragedies in Haiti so you don't have to. If you've planned a beach vacation in Haiti you might want to reschedule. Sources close to Albany say Andrew Cuomo may book a discount Airbnb on the Dominican Republic-side of Hispaniola to avoid reporters covering the earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace that have ravaged Haiti. Laws against sexual harassment are lax there, we're told.

And speaking of water, it may be up to the Utah Legislature to save The Great Salt Lake—in which case we are totally screwed. The West's largest remaining wetland ecosystem has been sucked dry by growth and drought and is in danger of crashing in the coming months. It's a critical habitat for 8 million migratory birds. Meanwhile, everyone along the Wasatch Front has a green lawn, drought or no drought. Although the Bear River is a crucial water source for the lake, the state is looking to move forward with a project that would divert 220,000 acre-feet of the Bear for new development. And if we know anything about our lawmakers, it is that they love progress, which for them is synonymous with growth. Oh yeah, and they love the color green. Fore!

Well, Wilson, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Still, for some, the Vietnam War era produced better music. Seems like the Pentagon forgot the painful lessons learned in Southeast Asia, so maybe you and the guys in the band can take us back for a little refresher:

Well, come on all of you, big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way over there in Afghanistan
So put down your books and pick up a gun
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
Next stop is Afghanistan
And it's five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die
"I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag"—Country Joe and the Fish (modified by The Smart Bomb Band)

PPS—During this difficult time for newspapers please make a donation to our very important local alternative news source, Salt Lake City Weekly, at, a nonprofit dedicated to help fund local journalism. Thank you.

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