President Biden called it and got it so terribly wrong. It is difficult to comprehend how Biden - not just with all the intelligence and wise counsel at his disposal but the man himself could make such a crass decision.
I suppose it all boils down to what sort of person you are - what are your values? But I keep asking myself - Why? We saw those Afghanistani's, so frightened and desperate for freedom that they were clinging to aeroplanes as they were taking off, and seconds later, falling from the sky to their deaths.
As a parent or God-parent or relation, friend, employer/employee or just another human being, we take on responsibility for each other every day and all the time. We try and keep each other safe. Safety comes before all other things, before health, education, infrastructure - anything. If we die - all other things are pointless.
So, unless I have been entirely wrong all my life, I can not understand how Biden reached such an asinine judgment to pull all troops out of Afghanistan. What is The United States of America about if it is not, amongst other things, being a force for good in our very messy world? - The land of the FREE.
I was brought up in a home in rural Suffolk that was plum between two American airbases equipped with nuclear weapons and all the warplanes to deliver them and attack our enemies if the need arose. The USA was an active member of NATO and was the undoubted leading defender of the free world.
Nato was and still is, all about watching each other's back. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That is what we are about in the West - Freedom and helping those in need - just as we were brought up to aid those who needed a helping hand.
When I hear politicians say things like - "it is not in our national interest" - what they are really saying is, "It is going to cost us if we help these people, and there is no financial gain for us." Which is totally different from the value-system we are taught by our parents and teachers when we are young - the Christian values with which we are all familiar.
Are we really going down that road where we are going to reduce human life and freedom to Pounds and Dollars?
Taking religion out of the argument - it usually gets down to "treating others how you wish to be treated yourself." "What goes around - comes around." The empathy we have, show and demonstrate for other human beings. So surely, after all the bloodshed, the enormity of the wreckage caused to human life during the last twenty years in Afghanistan, it was in everyone's interest to keep democracy centred around freedom for its people, so they can live there with the absence of fear? If anything is worth defending - it has to be that. After all, that is how it all started - The USA being attacked in its own backyard by terrorists - terror struck into the hearts and minds of the American people. For the USA, that was unacceptable. So why should it be any more acceptable for Afghanis having to live with the fear of the Taliban, and why couldn't Biden understand that?
And whilst I am about it - I was most surprised to hear President Biden sound like Trump and so unpresidential - blaming everyone for the ill-conceived withdrawal and the resulting fall-out. He took zero responsibility himself and shoved the blame onto the Afghani people and their Army - many of whom had been bravely fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Nato Forces. What were they meant to do? It was Biden who left them high and dry and eroded that hard-earned trust. Most of us have been in that position in some way - we know what it is like when people leave you when you need them the most.
Good a chap as Biden may be - as President of the United States of America; he has, in my view, sadly but clearly, demonstrated his unsuitability for that role.
It seems to be the curse of democratic nations - to find a deserving leader fit for the task.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 23rd - August - 2021