Don't like to read?
Let’s end all of the discussion about withdrawing from Afghanistan; after all, the truth is America should have never been there in the first place. The war began on Oct. 7, 2001, when President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan. The mission was partially fulfilled when American security forces learned that the architect of the cowardly attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden, was hiding in caves inside the mountains of Afghanistan.
Even though the Marines discovered his exact location, they were told to stand down because he was inside the Pakistani borders, an American ally. This was the first significant act of cowardice by an American president in decades.
Our military should have withdrawn immediately after the mission failed. History should have taught us a lesson, but arrogance from the Bush administration and our military leaders ignored the facts. The Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and left after experiencing a major loss in 1989. History proves that waging war in Afghanistan is futile.
From 2001 until August 2021, those in power refused to admit that the world’s most powerful military had lost another war. American forces have not won a war since WWII.
The Taliban is financed by several foreign nations, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. So when Trump reduced our forces to 2,500 in 2020, the end of America’s longest war was inevitable.
President Biden is the only president since 2001 who dared to do the right thing. He could not have anticipated that the Afghan army was composed of cowards and lay down their weapons as the Taliban approached. If the people of Afghanistan refused to fight for themselves, why should we?
The right-wing propaganda machine strives to use the chaos that erupted in Afghanistan as a weapon against President Biden. However, I see it as an act of an intelligent and courageous man who loves his country and realizes that not one more life should be lost in an unwinnable war.
And we cannot forget the economics of waging war halfway around the world. A Republican president began the war and is ultimately responsible for losing lives and billions of dollars.
Beginning in 2002, I made a decision based on the facts. If the Afghan people wanted freedom from the Taliban, they must fight for themselves. We cannot be the world’s policemen or wage wars to save the world’s people any longer. We have enormous problems in our own country which must be the priority.
It’s not that I don’t care about the people of Afghanistan, but every nation’s people have a responsibility to create change. If we can assist them in any realistic manner, I am all in. Our country exists because farmers, merchants, and professionals joined to defeat the British army, manned by professional soldiers. When the Afghan army refused to defend the people of their nation, apathy replaced courage and a desire for change. We trained that army.
Anyone who cares about their nation and its people must decide what is important. Unfortunately, Afghanistan was a lost cause nearly 20 years ago. Although our government and military leaders “never met a war they didn’t love,” our failures loom large.
Meanwhile, serious issues face us and have since 2017, but were ignored by the incompetent Trump administration. The list is long, but the most important is income inequality, which involves:
- Fair taxation.
- Healthcare for all.
- Free or affordable education.
- Sensible immigration reform.
- Changes in gun laws that will end domestic terrorism,
- Equality for women, the LGBTQ community, and all religions that are not based on Christian beliefs.
- Reforming our judicial system.
- Guaranteeing the voting rights of every citizen in our nation.
Not one of these issues is more important than another.
Every right-wing politician has been focused on defending the legacy of the worst president in history, Donald John Trump. Not a single person who claims to be a Republican cares about the future of our nation’s people.
I remain a proud Independent voter, but I fail to understand how I could have ever voted for any member of the once Grand Old Party.
Op-ed by James Turnage
History: U.S.-led attack on Afghanistan begins
The Hill: Taliban say they won’t work with US to contain extremism in Afghanistan; by Lexi Lonas
Featured and Top Image by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Chlosta, ISAF Public Affairs Office Courtesy of ResoluteSupportMedia’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License