Tag Archives: afghanistan

Spare Me The Sudden Experts

When the US pulled out of Afghanistan, I was surprised. I was used to us being there, and “leaving” was something always discussed in the future. It came fast.

The news kept coming fast. The Taliban on the move, the invasion of Kabul. Everything was so rapid.

What was even more rapid was watching so many people suddenly become experts on Afghanistan. Social media lit up with opinions and advice and critique and so on. Plenty of people were happy to provide great wisdom that, for some reason, they’d never shared before.

It was the same as everything else I’ve seen online and in the news for years. Plenty of very confident people holding forth sudden opinions on complex subjects. Of course, most of them had political agendas, even if they didn’t know it. Even an opinion I might agree with stoked suspicion.

Sadness oozed through me like hot tar. Twenty years in Afghanistan and it took a day or two for it to become the territory of Reply Guys, Keyboard Warriors, and annoying pundits. The all-devouring news cycle closed in, and the opportunists pounced on fresh meat.

Spare me these sudden experts.

I watched the same kind of people opine on Benghazi and COVID-19, Biden’s electability and the safety of going maskless at school. There are legions of people, for pay and for free, who will pontificate about anything for no good reason.

Our culture has no place for ignorance. For admitting you don’t know. For humility and re-focusing. It’s all about the immediate satisfaction of acting like you’re right. It’s all about a high, engagement numbers, and whatever agenda.

These experts are meaningless. Scrambling, hollow things trying to feed a voraciously empty ego. No plans, no goals, just the next buzz and sometimes a political agenda disconnected from their moralistic posturing.

Of course, I know where this goes – I feel I can hold forth on this due to observation. The American attention span is short. People won’t want to go back. Afghanistan is going to be a discussion, then a buzzword, then a footnote. Also we have COVID-19 to deal with.

The Sudden Experts will just find something else.