Last Flight from Kabul

Ricardo Mangual

“Afghanistan” by R9 Studios FL (Thanks to all the fans!!!) is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Jake Stewart, Columnist

“Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs, make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes write sorrow on the bosom of the earth” (Richard II Act III, scene ii).

I have Shakespeare on my mind, readers. If that does not denote my mental state, I don’t know how else to describe the chaos of my thoughts. These last two years have come far too close to serving as a tragedy written by the Bard—a plague ravaging the nation (not to mention, the rest of the world), a brutal uprising in the heart of the capitol, and of course, we have the troops coming home, just as Richard II’s had from Ireland—beaten down, savaged by what could be described as a pointless war.

Sure, we managed to kill bin Laden, but this was back in 2011. We spent an additional decade in country only to watch the Taliban regain control. History repeating itself, leaving us to play the fool.

Indeed. The United States has not shown an ability to learn from the past. We could have learned something from the ugliness of the Spanish Flu in our fight with Covid-19, we could have remembered the insanity that was the Vietnam War, or even looked to the outcomes of the British Empire and the Soviet Union when they attempted to take control of Afghanistan.

Now all we have are body bags filled with those who paid the price for our collective ignorance across numerous fronts. When will we learn, readers?

That question hangs on my mind as Shakespeare mutates into the heavy notes from Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell.”

We’re all addicts, in some way or another. All of us under the spell of some medicine we see crucial to our drive into tomorrow and tomorrow—another Shakespeare line for you, folks. Yet, when you gather us all into a shared space, the addictions become nothing more than the bizarre cacophony of symphonic groups all fighting in musical absurdity in a single room. That’s what this nation is, and while we’ve seen it do some fantastic things, we’re witnessing the harsh reality that all good things come to an end, all empires collapse.

What does this all mean, readers? Well, it simply stands as evidence to my burnt-out mind. We’ve come through a confusing summer, rushing headlong into what could be a bitter winter, one promising for artic temperatures and true ugliness. Of course, this will be seen as “normal” to all the straights. After all, climate change doesn’t exist.

No, and the pandemic is only a hoax, the 2020 election was a lie, Trump was in fact the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

These are the types of lunacies that drive me to the bottle on this still September night, readers, and while we’ve managed to rid ourselves of the would-be tyrant (for the time being), the fight is still far from over. The Yorkists and the Lancastrians still have armies in the field. We’ve simply entered another chapter from the histories as presented by Shakespeare.