History rarely falls between neat bookends. The Sixties didn’t end until 1975 with the fall of Saigon, for example. The New Millennium really started on September 11, 2001 and now, two decades later, is wrapping up with the 20th anniversary of the attacks on New York awkwardly bumping into the endgame in Afghanistan.

I was working for the U.S. State Department on 9/11/01 at our embassy in Tokyo. My job was to look after the interests of private American citizens (ACS work to the informed) and the summer had been abuzz with warnings and threats of some sort of terror…


The Kabul airport suicide bombing was the largest single-day loss of life for Americans in the Afghan War since 2011. It was a terrible day, but begs the question: what was the worst day of the Afghan war?

It is hard not to consider the Kabul airport suicide bombing the worst day; 13 Americans and maybe a hundred Afghans dead. How old were the Americans? How many hadn’t even gotten out of diapers when the war started 20 years ago? Did any have parents who also served in Afghanistan? Who were the Afghans?

All of the dead were so close…


The story of Afghans fleeing their country seeking Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) is the story of the war.

In the hubris of 20 years ago, no one could conceive the U.S. would need to evacuate locals who worked with us. Instead, they would form the vanguard of a New Afghanistan (and Iraq.) Admitting some sort of escape program was needed was admitting our wars were failing, and so progress implementing the SIV program was purposefully very slow. …


Who should we blame for losing Afghanistan? Why blame anyone?

Did anyone expect the U.S. war in Afghanistan to end cleanly? If so, you bought the lies all along and the cold water now is hitting sharp. While the actual ending is particularly harsh and clearly spliced together from old clips of Saigon 1975, those are simply details.

Why blame Biden? He played his part as a Senator and VP keeping the war going, but his role today is just being the last guy in a long line of people to blame, a pawn in the game. That Biden is…


Anybody miss the Olympics yet? It’s been more than a week now, and I am glad the Olympics are over. There was little joy in them. The closing felt like a mercy killing.

The absurdity of holding the Games at all when in most countries people suffer under various restrictions was enough. Was this all really, really necessary, now? The silliness of Japan keeping the “2020” on all the signage and the announcers calling them the “2020 Games” was cynical. Japan barring foreign tourists while allowing in athletes to live like hermits so they could pay off TV contracts (NBC…


It was never just a mask, it has always been a way of thinking. “Mask” is just shorthand.

I got dumped from my volunteer work at the Hawaiian Humane Society for choosing not to wear a mask outside walking their dogs. Neither science, the CDC nor the state requires a mask outdoors and I’m fully vaccinated. Some staffbot saw my naked face and informed me of their “policy.” I asked why they had such a nonsensical policy, and her only answer was “it is our policy.” The conversation ended like an ever-growing percentage of conversations in America now end, with…


We need to clear some things up before they get any further out of hand, as the Dems insist on making this stuff every day’s front page. For starters, stop saying “Reichstag moment.” And when Grandpa Simpson and Kamala “Silent Shadow” Harris tottered into the White House, they became president. Between the two of them they’ll get their four years. Done.

Some 500 protesters taking selfies inside the Capitol building is a tantrum not a coup. Among other things, a coup must have some path towards success, in this case, preventing Joe Biden from becoming president. The rioters at best…


See if you think this is funny.

He called himself a QAnon Tier I Ranger SEAL Operator, and had the 17 tabs down one sleeve to prove it. “In a situation like this, you, Embed, stick to me and I’ll get you home, brother. Unless the GPS gets us lost again.”

Behind the wheel of his F-150 looking for parking near the state capitol, I knew he meant it. The eyes, always the eyes. In the backseat was his AR-15 gun with the handle on top, equipped with several dozen accessories from Bass Pro. His personal gear said he was…


Here’s a tale of two cops and two murders, Derek Chauvin/George Floyd, and John Doe/Ashli Babbitt. Two cops, two unarmed citizens killed. One you care about, one you don’t. Even murder is politicized these days.

No one needs much of a recap on Chauvin/Floyd. George Floyd, a black man, tried to pass off a counterfeit $20 bill while messed up on drugs. White Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and other cops responded, and in the process of restraining Floyd, killed him. …


Political prosecutions are not new in America. Political pogroms are. It is sad to watch the Democratic party embrace such third world practices as policy. It is sadder to note there has never in history been a more sustained yet unsuccessful political effort to oust or destroy one man.

Even before Donald Trump took office Democrats claimed Russia elected him, the Manchurian Candidate. The intelligence community-Democratic Party-media tripartite axis then swung for the fences, using wiretaps obtained through FISA fraud, honeytraps, Australian and Israeli cutouts, intel scrubbed by GHQ, and every other trick in the spy biz.

They came up…

Peter Van Buren

Author of Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan and WE MEANT WELL: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts + Minds of the Iraqi People

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