Stumble, suffer, learn, forget – again and again

Annie Dear
The Independent Aussie

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, said philosopher George Santayana. 

Well, it seems we’ve managed to do just that. 

Annie Dear

Back in the ‘80s, the U.S., along with England and other allies, either directly or indirectly funded the Afghan mujahideen to help repel the Soviets, who had taken over Afghanistan in 1979, and in between 1987 and 1989 Soviet troops were withdrawn. What did they leave behind? Guess who – the Taliban. 

After a little while as the world watched these fundamentalists systematically wiping out groups who disagreed with them. Men whose beards were not quite correct were beheaded. The women were subjected to untold horrors, their faces and bodies had to be completely covered; to go outside with a man who was not a relative was punishable by flogging. Education was forbidden to them. Do you think much has changed? 

The U.S. and other allies went – oh woops, maybe we should’ve kept a better eye on this, and once again went in to rid the country of these extremists. 

Does this all sound familiar? 

The current situation is the past in “repeat” mode. 

The problem is, it appears we got out of Afghanistan in a back-a&*wards manner.  It would be like the manager of a warehouse that had most inconveniently caught fire, deciding the best line of attack would be to send all the firefighters home first, vowing, of course, that he would rescue civilians trapped inside by magical means while the group of arsonists waited just outside the gate. 

“I’m in talks with the arsonists, and they’ve agreed not to set anything else on fire until midnight three days hence so we can get the civilians out – if only they could get to the door,” mused the manager.  

Unfortunately, one of the barrels of paint thinner blew up and killed 13 firefighters who bravely stayed behind to help the civilians. “Collateral damage is to be expected,” blew the manager. Ignoring the nearby buildings housing thousands of gallons of gasoline and Bic lighters, the manager fled the scene. 

Thankfully, Hurricane Blanche blew in back at HQ, and the media was able to self-righteously and thankfully shift their storyline away from the misguided manager who has since only been seen helpfully offering to campaign for his failing colleague in another warehouse complex in a different state. 

We appear to have our own regime whose motto is “caecum ducit incompetentem agnoscens” – the blind leading the incompetent. 

You know, the best companies in the world value the input of their employees, so as to keep the company not only profitable but happy and healthy, as replacing employees has proved over and over again to be a very costly, short-sighted, bottom-line solution. 

While I know it can be difficult getting to speak to the CEO directly, many of these companies have employed the use of suggestion boxes, and once a week the "suits” get together to go through the ideas. 

So – I am appointing myself keeper of the keys of our very own reverse-suggestion box to spread and disseminate this country’s owners – i.e., us, - thoughts on their current employees. 

Any suggestions, dear reader? I have a suspicion that axes will fall fairly soon. 

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at