Frankly, so much is happening so fast, on several fronts, one doesn’t know where to start.
The Afghanistan story is far from over. We saw Americans and Allies try to pull-out (they called it “Retrograde” – covered in last month’s Newsletter) by the end of August, 2021. They did achieve a remarkable result within the time frame given for the air withdrawal – called the largest airlift in history, but they couldn’t get everyone out. There is an interesting, maybe frightening, tale to be told as to who left, who stayed, who wanted to leave and who wanted to stay. Some, mostly children because of their size, are dangerously hitching rides under big trucks plying between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, it looks like the Islamic State is making a serious attempt to “come back” into what they see as a “void” in opposing their evil approach to Islam and the West’s resolve. It seems for now, best to let the Taliban worry about it. There are those commentators who are saying that it may not be too long before some nations who left, might have to strike back.
Neither has the Great Covid Pandemic withdrawn its ugly face from the world. Every time the “Western World” and the so-called Enlightened East seems to have the public health situation under control, a new outbreak or surge appears. The “developing world” remains very vulnerable as the vaccines so far have gone to those nations that can afford them. If this past Football Sunday fans are any indication, many Americans have put the Covid Pandemic in the rear view mirror. But, the quest to get Americans vaccinated remains a political and philosophical quandry. It just won’t go away as an issue in spite of a strong majority and legal precedent for mandating what the Brits love to call “the jab”. If I have an opinion, not agreed to by many of my own friends, (and after all, this Newsletter is an opinion outlet) a mandated vaccination is legal and correct to save lives.
So we come to (and let’s hope the vaccine helps get us there) the future of this great nation. Almost every day we are told that we seem to be more divided as a people than ever. Probably against the mainstream of medical input, the very vaccination seems to be adding to the divide. And who knows about 2024 or even the 2021 Governorship race here in Virginia. Will citizens go for the “ the devil that they know”, in spite of the reluctance of some. Or, will they go for the “new political guy on the block – i.e. take a chance. Or, in non-democratic frustration, will voters just not cast their ballot at all. In a few weeks, we’ll see.
Now, as if we don’t have enough to worry about in our delicate world, we face a gigantic supply chain morass. Will the Holidays this year be filled with all the gifts that we or our kids may have wanted last year? Will trucks start getting materials off wharfs, assuming ships can get into ports and can be unloaded – and will these trucks get to warehouses and stores in time for the pent up demand to be satisfied – in December, in January – in February, who knows?