There is no better and more apt current way of describing what I keep saying all the time - and what people keep arguing against -
As we think - so we ARE!
Ultimately all boils down to thought, my friend, deep thought.
People make all sorts of excuses about "people really want that - but the government doesnt let them" (in countries like India, for instance, while ignoring the fact it's a democracy, so what you see in the form of elected leaders - well guess who chooses 'em! Might be a sozzled voting process in many regards till this day - but still the CHOICE is there).
People make all sorts of excuses in a country like China as well - which to an extent - THESE days I can understand - but not fully.
True, there are many in China that privately not just wish, but long for a more open and transparent government.
If you were to ask them what they'd choose tho - solid economic growth - red hot - and an open government?
Most people would choose the fomer, my friend.
Even today, even with people traveling abroad from there, even with the Chinese knowing (and wanting to live like) the rest of the world do . . .
The China model of control has ALWAYS been focused on economic growth above ALL.
Once the shoe starts to pinch, everything goes awry - and we're seeing this in China right now in all regards, right down to apparently and I just heard this - expats banned on domestic flights (I ain't flown in a while - especally not in China - so I dont know!).
Probably a rumor, but given everything going on, no-one really knows.
Like the rumor of requiring covid tests to travel betwen different CITIES in China.
I dont know.
I wouldn't put it past the CCP to anally swab... ah, but wait.
Why do I even bring the up?
I guess one reason, because they're one of the very few people that engage with the Taliban - and recognize their legitmacy - along with Hamas, and other extremist groups globally.
Of course, the liberals stay silent on that one!
But anyway, this isn't about China, friend.
It's about a sad, sad situation unfolding in rugged Afghanistan.
And yet, to be honest, a lot of us saw this coming - or something like this. I must admit, I didnt quite forsee anything like what has happened!
Certainly not so quickly!
20 years of U.S. backed rule in Afghanistan came to an end - and how?
The leader bailing with helicopters full of wads of cash.
And the Taliban taking the whole damn country over (it ain't small!) within a week, or less!
Most surprising, or may be not - in comparison to the extremely well equippied Afghan Army - the Taliban had nothing but hand weapons.
Yet, you'd think the situation was the opposite.
The Afghan army just GAVE UP - period.
There was no actual fighting, if you can believe this!
And thinking about it ... to me, it's a massive failure on the most important front (Iraq is a similar story in some regards).
THINKING - and failure to get the people in general to change the way they think.
More importantly, not noticing what the people there really want ... and using THAT to change thought.
Now, to be fair, the U.S. shouldn't be responsible for the world.
To be fair, the U.S should never have entered Iraq, period.
And to be fair, they gave the Tailban a chance to hand over Bin Laden.
IF someone is attacking you the way terrorists do, there is only option - so in my view, the US was RIGHT to enter Afghanistan - try to get a democracy going albeit highly flawed and extremely corrupt...
Well - I dont know about the last bit!
The US had one objective in mind - simple - root out terror.
So much so that rare minerals in Afghanistan, that China, no surprise, you opportunistic beauty has jumped in to mine - were ignored as well (despite the global paucity of the same in many places).
And possibly many other things I dont know about.
Afghanistan in theory could have been a resounding succcess - a barrier against extremism in many ways - yet it went in the opposite direction despite all the money the US could pour into it (hint - China - just throwing money at something doesnt solve the issue!).
And ESL etc...
What didn't happen was simple.
The people's thoughts ultimately didnt change.
To me, it seemed the 20 years of US occupation brought chaos - which isn't necessarily anyone's fault either, and Biden's hasty exit in the way he did was just the icing on the cake.
(and just why he had to choose 9/11 as the final exit date to Tom Tom 20 years ending or what not is beyond me. I mean, get them home asap - period - end of story!).
And to me, a lot of the Army in Afghanistan were so weary of all of it that "at least now we know what to expect" seemed to be the motto as most didnt even bother to try and stop the Taliban.
Despite being vastly superior in terms of weaponry etc they had.
And training too!
Ultimately, they didnt WANT to do it.
Maybe the model of democracy YOU and I believe in so much doesn't work for them.
Yes, it seems incredible that someone would want a dictatorial and tyrannical "regime" at the helm - not to mention internationally recognized terror outfits but remember, like my buddy from the Marines told me...
Dont expect everyone to think like you, Rahul!
Sure, to you and I its the right thing to do, and it IS - humanity evolves.
But not everyone agrees, myf riend.
And you cannot force people beyond a point, let alone the collective subconscious.
Some may argue lack of economic progress, any real progress in the country made it hard for people to see and believe what is possible.
I dont think so.
The U.S. presence in itself there was a very glaring reminder of what was possible...
And second, all the money in the world can't buy feeling or will power.
Look at Saudi Arabia for one, they have all the dough in the world.
But is the regime there any less brutal in many ways?
I dont think so, my friend.
Oman, with way less money is way less "extreme" in many regards...
It's about thinking, my friend.
To me its sad, but million dollar question - COULD their thinking have been changed, and SHOULD the U.S. have tried more (and allies) to do so?
From a certain standpoint, perhaps - once you change thought processes, extremism naturally goes out the window.
Another standpoint ... the PEOPLE ultimately have to want.
Whose responsibility it is to make them want is another story!
I'd argue it falls upon the people.
Others might disagree...
None of that matters though now I suppose, with the chaos rapidly unfolding ...
And, 20 years of ... comes to what?
All comes full circle, to a huge NAUGHT.
Thought, my friend, is what changes things.
And if there ever was more burning proof of this, it is what is going on in Afghanistan right NOW!
P.S. - And while thought might not change (with regard to you) what is happening globally, you, my friend, can only take responsibility for YOU.
And your life - and fitness.
Do so now, my friend. Invest in the best fitness system out there today - and get started!