Joe Biden making a phone call. | Facebook

“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.