The tragedy of Afghanistan
For more than 20 years, American soldiers have fought and died in Afghanistan. Many who survived came home badly wounded and disabled. Others suffered the mental and emotional traumas associated with warfare. Some of them have since committed suicide.
The issue of Afghanistan is very personal to me my family. I lost my Marine grandson in that war. At the time of his death, I wrote that I did not want to see him having died in vain. He and those others who fought and died in the sands of Afghanistan are national heroes, but the deaths were still in vain –because American leaders chose to drag the war on for two decades and then retreat in defeat.
Some argue today that our only purpose for going into Afghanistan was to get Osama bin Laden and break the back of al-Qaeda. It was never to drive out the Taliban. Never to do nation building. But we found and killed bin Laden 10 years ago – and we still have not destroyed al-Qaeda or ISIS, for that matter.
And we did engage in nation building by helping to develop a more democratic and less oppressive government in Kabul. The people of Afghanistan – especially the women and schoolgirls – enjoyed a new era of freedom. All that is now lost.
Today the Taliban are swiftly taking over the nation they ruthlessly ruled over at the beginning of the war. America and the civilized world gained nothing. The Taliban will be more powerful than ever for having beaten the allegedly most powerful nation in the world into submission. Terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, will again have a state sponsor – a safe haven from which to continue their attack on the civilized world.
The undeclared war in Afghanistan continued through four presidencies – two Republican and two Democrat. Afghanistan has been a bipartisan failure on top of a succession of failures in other nations – Korea, Vietnam, Syria, Iraq. The folks in Washington – who oversaw this slow-moving disaster – will not admit that we were defeated in these wars. They prefer the euphemism that we “got out” of the conflicts.
President Eisenhower got the United States out of the Korean War. President Nixon got us out of the Vietnam war. President Obama got us out of Iraq and Syria. And now President Biden got America out of Afghanistan. We got out because we refused to win. Ergo, we lost.
Not only did America lose these wars, but we turned out back on the indigenous people who fought side-by-side with our forces on the ground. We left behind the Hmong to be slaughter in the killing fields of Cambodia and Vietnam. Left behind the Kurds and the freedom fighters in Syria.
And now we are leaving behind those who served America in Afghanistan. At this very moment, men, women and children are being slaughtered. As are the provincial officials as the Taliban continues to claim more land and more cities. And the worst is yet to come.
Biden assured those who served as interpreters, advisors and fellow combatants that we would not leave them and their families behind. He was lying the very moment he made that promise. He knew that there was no plan to rescue them. They were being hunted down and killed at the very time Biden offered those meaningless and dishonest words.
Biden lied when he told the American people that the Afghanistan government was now strong enough to hold back the Taliban. He lied when he told the president of Afghanistan that we would still have the government’s back.
Biden says that our soldiers will be completely out of Afghanistan except for a couple thousand to project the U.S. embassy and the Kabul airport. I would bet that we will be pulling them out when the Taliban begin their assault on the Afghan capital. America’s latest retreat.
So, there ‘tis.