“People were hurled everywhere,” an eyewitness of the Kabul airport explosion told Daily Mail. “Their brains were scattered.” Afghanistan has become the stage for a man-made hell on earth, courtesy of the Taliban and the Biden administration. Chaos and violence reign, aided and abetted by confusion, terror, and incompetent leadership. It’s time to root out the incompetence that permeates our government.
Hillsdale has a stake in this conflict.Some of the soldiers who were posted in Afghanistan are relatives or children of Hillsdale students and faculty. It could have been them who paid the ultimate price. Now, the U.S. has completely withdrawn its troops and hundreds of American citizens remain to be tracked down and evacuated. Their fates are unknown, their families are terrified, and their government is just as incompetent as it was when the conflict first started 20 years ago.
In April, President Joe Biden announced that all U.S. troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the infamous 9/11 attacks. In July, that deadline was moved up to Aug. 31. Then, on Aug. 15, the Taliban conquered the capital city of Kabul. Not two weeks after, all foreign occupying forces are scrambling to evacuate what is now effectively a Taliban-controlled state. Suicide bombers destroyed part of the Kabul airport on Aug. 26, the U.S. military welded the airport gates shut, and hundreds of Americans are now stranded. There’s no telling which ones will make it home.
That’s a little jarring, isn’t it? The American people are desperate for an explanation, but that is precisely what the administration and the military refuse to give. Instead of holding press briefings, Vice President Kamala Harris is taking a business trip to help campaign for California Gov. Gavin Newsom. When our president can form a complete sentence, it amounts to “let them eat ice cream.”
But why are we in Afghanistan in the first place? The obvious answer is “in retaliation to the 9/11 attacks,” but that doesn’t fully explain it. We killed Osama bin Laden already — he’s been dead for 10 years at this point. The war had no reason to go on, but America just had to “help the Afghan government build a stable nation,” according to a 2012 BBC article.
More than $1 trillion dollars spent, thousands of lives destroyed, and all we accomplished was giving the Taliban $85 billion worth of our weapons. Is that stability?
With our enlightened and democratic ideals, not to mention superior military technology, we became a crutch for the Afghanistan government. To fulfill our duty as policemen of the world, we tried to fix the country that’s earned itself the appropriate nickname “Graveyard of Empires.” Now, a decade after we should have been gone, we’re reaping the fruits of arguably the worst interventionist blunder in recent history.
So what are we going to do about it?
First of all, let this be a lesson about interfering where we have no real business. This prolonged bureaucratic folly has done nothing but foster misery in the world and transfer funds to the military-industrial complex. How many more countries do we need to burn to the ground until we realize this isn’t helping?
Perhaps more obviously, impeachment is in order. This withdrawal would have been messy no matter how it was done, but leaving thousands of American citizens for dead and abandoning our highly sophisticated military equipment for the Taliban to confiscate is inexcusable. That alone is treason, but the Biden administration has also displayed a mixture of silence and ineptitude in addressing the issue.
Pulling out of Afghanistan would have been a rough process under any circumstance. We committed ourselves to fixing the unfixable, and backing out of a commitment is never easy or elegant. Former President Donald Trump may have executed a better plan for withdrawal, but do not entertain notions that it would have gone “well” by any standard. The best the previous administration could have hoped for was to fare a little better than the current disaster — but no one should be surprised that we’re struggling to get out of a hole we’ve been digging for at least 10 years.