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With the last U.S. military planes departing before midnight Monday, America's chaotic and bloody flight from Afghanistan has finally come to an end, leaving behind untold atrocities and suffering in this war-torn country.

After 20 years of war and bloodshed, America's military adventure in the Asian country has proven a failure of epic proportions. Such a debacle is preordained because of Washington's hubris to dictate the destiny of others.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States embraced its "unipolar moment," which is rare in human history and has already gone.

Yet Washington decision-makers' common sense has been blinded. They ignore America's own chronic political and social woes and seek to impose American values and systems on the rest of the world. Over the decades, Washington has waged wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria in the pretext of fighting terrorism and promoting so-called democracy, but it has never truly cared about the well-being of the local people.

Take Afghanistan. The United States spent 2 trillion U.S. dollars on fighting that war, but little on improving the well-being of the Afghan people.

"The sad truth is that the American political class and mass media hold the people of poorer nations in contempt, even as they intervene relentlessly and recklessly in those countries," said Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and president of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Washington's monumental Afghanistan fiasco has proved once again that forcing others to copy a model is doomed to fail. Countries need to adopt developmental paths true to their own history, national identity and unique circumstances.

However, it seems that Washington has no interest in learning from history, including its own, but is becoming even more radical instead of rational. Former President Donald Trump's administration indulged in quitting international treaties and bodies, stirring up trade disputes, and imposing unilateral sanctions.

Now Trump is gone, but Trumpism lingers. Under the current White House, the United States is seeking to put "America First" without chanting the slogan, and its recommitment to multilateralism is mere lip service.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a test that the United States failed immensely. As the world community badly needs solidarity to beat this deadly pathogen, the United States, with its incomparable scientific research and development capability, has peddled sheer lies of COVID-19 all over the world, hoarded vaccines and tried to politicize the origins-tracing of the virus. Those despicable acts have severely disrupted the world's collective drive to arrest the pandemic.

When America gives up the spirit of win-win cooperation of the age, it also detaches itself from the trust of the broader international community. As some analysts have pointed out, America's dullness of the trend of the times and its condescending gesture have gravely hampered its ability to cooperate with others.

Then what has bred Washington's close-mindedness and arrogance? It is the egotistic, peremptory and hegemonic mindset prevailing in the American domestic politics.

The systemic flaws entrenched in America's political structure have nurtured the selfish, myopic and irresponsible political ethos in the White House. Amid inner-party struggle and partisan discords, U.S. politicians only cast their eyes on winning elections. They can hardly sit together calmly, think rationally, narrow differences, or reach constructive consensuses. Thus they can hardly serve the fundamental interests of American public. The so-called liberal democracy of the United States does not exist at all. This is, in fact, an American-style autocracy.

Washington's politicians need to reflect. They should understand that military intervention will never be a viable solution, and that their close-mindedness and deadly arrogance will never make America or the world a better place.

If Washington continues down this wrong path, the Afghan failure will only be the start of many more such failures of the United States in the future. 

This page is provided in cooperation with People's Daily Online.
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