Well, if it isn’t the consequences of our actions come back to haunt us in the form of a coup d'état. I remember writing about a certain pernicious party back in February regarding their hand in high treason in the 80’s and acquitting former President Trump. There are many things I disagree with libertarians on with their issues in favor of capitalism, but for once, I agree with Spike Cohen’s statement on the recent events in Afghanistan. He mentioned on Twitter, “Thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Afghan lives, trillions of dollars. All for nothing but the lined pockets of bankers and weapons contractors. End all of the wars, and bring all of the troops home.” Southern Oregon I want to point out that local republicans don’t see the irony in being against the Taliban when they both have similarities in faith and violent extremism. This is the perfect time to discuss the lack of accountability in military spending, toxic belief in a singular faith being taught in schools, and white nationalism as the influence in history books.
According to Brown University, the United States has managed to spend $822bn between 2001 and 2019, not including the base in Pakistan used for Afghan-related activity. If I could describe my thoughts about the U.S. military, I would say that I am pro-veteran and anti-military because of my time working at the Department of Veterans Affairs in White City, OR. I asked one veteran why he joined the military in the first place, and he said it was because he was homeless. That conversation led me to believe that his story, among many others here in the United States, involves exploitation as the main reason for joining the military, not because they were feeling particularly patriotic. What if instead of spending hundreds of billions of dollars on sending troops overseas, we used that money on ending homelessness nationally? Instead of spending trillions of dollars to line the pockets of weapons contractors, we make college accessible to all U.S. citizens? Ok, now I’m finished with my soapbox speech for the time being so now let’s observe what Governor Brown’s response to the Afghanistan crisis is. Kate Brown stated in a letter, “As we watch the current situation unfold in Afghanistan, Oregon stands ready to help the federal government resettle Afghan refugee families…” but something about her statement doesn’t sit right with me. Here in Southern Oregon, our local government encourages inhumane sweeps of homeless people and continuously fund high barrier shelters! In this state, republicans associate terrorism with the Black Lives Matter movement and justify their islamophobia because of 9/11. They never mention that; thanks to Reagan, Scott Weekly, and James Gritz, we trained the mujahideen which led to the attack in the first place! I remember seeing a news article about Eric Osterberg who experienced a literal hate crime at a Klamath Falls council meeting not too long ago. Instead of addressing the racism and homophobia that exists here in Oregon, the comments on social media were using Islam as a scapegoat for their bigotry. This is the knee-jerk reaction when Christianity is critiqued for hate crimes committed in the name of the faith. My concern is why the Governor has failed to address the actual climate here in Oregon and chose to paint this false picture of inclusivity. We can’t ignore the Islamophobic tension that will increase the moment that Afghan refugees touch American soil so let’s talk about the elephant in the room-white supremacy.
I’m sure by now everyone has heard about yet another threat in D.C. but this time it wasn’t a mass gathering of “Trumpers, just a lone bomb threat with some GOP sympathy from Rep. Mo Brooks. Floyd Roseberry told law enforcement he had a bomb in his truck which resulted in immediate evacuations of buildings near the Library of Congress. There were no viable explosives but according to this man’s live stream, he was very anti-immigration and pro-Afghanistan airstrikes as part of his list of demands. Because he also demanded Biden’s resignation, we can all assume he was on the Trumper bandwagon. There have been some memes going around on social media insinuating that the Taliban equates to the insurrectionists on Jan. 6th. The Trumper terrorists had help from those that currently hold public office and they had merchandise indicating when they would be attacking the capitol. There was no clear plan of action when they stormed the capitol in the first place and one of them was wearing buffalo horns! The Taliban on the other hand seized control of the government and demanded state governors to release political prisoners previously arrested by the Afghan National Security force. When the U.S, forces withdrew from Afghanistan, former President Ashraf Ghani fled to the United Arab Emirates to ensure a safe transition of power to the Taliban. The Trumper terrorists couldn’t handle a mask mandate let alone public policy, so these two groups are different in that regard, but their ideas are frighteningly similar. Trumpers want Christianity to be the center of legislation, the curriculum they want to be taught in schools is similar to what’s going on in Texas, and to overturn Roe v. Wade. Between residential schools that natives were forced to go to and forced sterilization imposed on welfare recipients in this country’s history, when have we ever been a safe space for women’s rights?
Governor Brown’s written statement on accepting refugees is inclusivity that was never the foundation of this country. Hatred for women and people of color is woven into its design but state representatives are trying to shield that truth from the public curriculum. Their actions lead me to believe that those in power have no interest in changing the system that oppresses us so who are we to look down on the Taliban when we won’t address our flaws.