Here I sit on Sunday, August 15 watching the day’s news and the Taliban in Afghanistan have entered the capitol, Kabul, “....awaiting the peaceful transfer of power....”!
What? Is this de ja vu of Iraq and Vietnam or what? After ten years of war in that desolate foreign land, we are “turning tail and running” leaving a war torn nation to the Taliban insurgents. In October 2001, President George W. Bush sent troops to invade Afghanistan. Militarily, little has been accomplished there since. We have seen Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump come and go, and now the directionless non-leadership of Joe Biden. Soon after taking office Biden announced a complete withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 troops by August 31. Today, he apparently has reversed that order. While it is vague exactly what his goal is, and is sending 6,000 Marines back in to make an, “orderly withdrawal” of Americans.
Afghanistan has been a thorn in humanity’s side ever since Alexander the Great conquered it in 330 B.C. In the 1970’s, the USSR failed miserably in trying to seize the nation militarily, turning tail and fleeing for home after just a few years of catastrophic losses and humiliation.
With little doubt, the incursions into Afghanistan in the past have been driven political causes-not to protect the interest of the invaders! So, what do we tell the mothers, wives, and children of the 2,401 Americans killed in Afghanistan? Just as in Iraq and Vietnam, how can the political hacks spin their sacrifice as “noble and patriotic”, when after years of warring and staggering losses we throw up our hands and run for home - in effect, surrendering? One would think that at some point we would realize our errors and mistakes, but apparently not!
Take a look at these two photos: One is the evacuation of Vietnam in 1975. The other the evacuation of Kabul, Afghanistan last week.
De ja vu or what?
The saddest aspect of these two photos is in both situation we “turned tail and left the positions to the enemy!
Every American, especially the families of those killed in action, should demand better from our leadership, effectively declaring, “NEVER AGAIN!”
James W. Anderson