I take pride in dedicating my narrative today to the 13 men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation in Afghanistan – their pictures heading this article. At this time, I would like to warn you, today’s dissertation is lengthy, so, with all due respects, if you happen to be one who prefers short and/or brief narratives, this one is certainly not for you.
My only reason for over-extending today’s plot, is relative to my compelling and overwhelming need to pay tribute to the fallen American heroes, who’s legacy, I venture to say, will go down in our history books as a nothing less than a landmark moment -one which you and I are, hesitantly, a part of. Such a momentous occasion, I thought, could not and should not be compromised by any limitations in all that I feel obliged to share with you as testament to the events that led to the untimely death of our service men and women.
As you may have observed, in the aftermath of the suicide bombing that yielded the deaths of these 12 brave American marines and 1 Navy Medic, in Kabul, Afghanistan, while in a recent public appearance, Joe Biden did not hesitate to try and lay blame for the Afghanistan fiasco on Donald Trump – the usual and customary “blame-game” that Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are so used to playing anytime that something goes terribly wrong.
As I fear that some of you may have mistakenly taken Biden’s words for face value, I thought I owed it to myself and to you all to give you my humble rendition of the events leading to embarrassing debacle in Afghanistan, albeit one of the darkest chapters in the political history of this nation. As part of this endeavor, I thought it would be best to start with some historic prefacing to this week’s tragedy as follows.
So, America’s war in Afghanistan began following the terrorist attack to the United States on September 11, 2001. The objective, back in the day, as simple as retaliating against Osama Bin Laden and his jihadist terrorist organization al-Qaeda known to be the perpetrators of the 9-11 attack.
At the time also, U.S. intelligence knew that Afghanistan was home to some of the world’s leading terrorist groups which included al-Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and other Islamic extremist organizations pledging to destroy the West’s superpower, their supreme enemy, the United States of America. Yes, the U.S., it’s NATO allies and, for that matter, the world knew that Afghanistan, simply put, was a beehive of Islamic extremists– a compilation of jihadist fanatics composed by the worse of the worse.
Meantime, as we all know by now, politics and politicians are, and have always been, for the most part, one of the if not [the] dirtiest of all professions – bar none. Wars, to most policymakers is looked upon a chess game –played mostly as it relates to polls and public opinion; much more so than the righteous causes typically sold in the arena of public opinion. I dare say, the war in Afghanistan typifies and is the quintessential example of the political game I am taking about. And, like they say, the proof is in the pudding. After twenty years, trillions of dollars spent, and thousands of lives sacrificed in the name of political righteousness, just look at what we have to show for at the end of twenty years.
I will spare you the very intricate details of it all. But just think about it for a moment, the Afghanistan war has been and is, to this day, the longest- war ever in U.S. history. Interestingly, this war has been survived by four consecutive presidents, to wit, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now Joe Biden. Ironically too, one can readily surmise that, for the most part, the Afghanistan war has been, a bi-partisan blunder of sorts, with a 50/50 split of the blame between two Republicans and two Democratic Commanders in Chief – not usually the case
Peculiarly also, if you look back at this 20-year-old conflict, you can summarily begin to associate the political footprints left behind by each of the Presidents as they all dealt with the war relative to their political vantage point during their terms in office. The gauge and/or measure of U.S. involvement in this war, simply put, always relative or measurable by the extent of our presence in the region.
For instance, by 2005, under the Bush administration, there was a total of 20,000 men and women from all our armed forces. In 2008, within weeks of taking office, Obama up the ante and ordered an additional 20,000 more troops bringing the total to about 40,000.
By 2009, amidst a series of setbacks, and a deteriorating situation, including but not limited to a resilient and growing insurgency, Obama’s Commander of the International Security [ISAF] warned the administration of the seriousness of the situation. Soon thereafter, the Commander’s assessment leaked to the public fueling a perception that Obama’s policies in Afghanistan were failing – a perception which ultimately led Obama to order another surge, this time of 30,000 troops for an all-time high of 70,000. This number was, as you may expect, far and above what was really needed or necessary to accomplish a mission originally perceived solely as a deterrent to terrorist activities – a counterterrorist ensemble for which certainly 70,000 troops was outrageously high and unnecessary to say the least.
Fast forward now to May 2nd, 2011, the day Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan. Hypothetically, if you think about it, Bin Laden’s death, together with what appeared a renewed stabilized region, where terrorist organizations such as the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and others had, presumably, repatriated, seeking refuge in new safe heavens such as Pakistan, were all reasons to believe it was time for the U.S. to bring back their troops – this rationale, nonetheless, contingent and subject to the homeland’s public opinion polls guiding and/or directing whatever lay ahead .
As far as Afghanistan was concerned, resurgence of terrorist organizations was in the form of unorganized clusters of insurgents, which everyone agreed did not pose any major military threats. By then, as they say, perceptions had become realities. To many, Obama included, the time was ripe to begin withdrawing our troops.
Ostensibly, by 2011, just prior to Obama’s bid for a second presidential term, public opinion on the war, once vastly supported by most Americans, began to reveal that numbers in terms of war-advocates and supporters had dwindled some as the U.N., hesitantly reported that “the Afghan districts under insurgent control had greatly decreased.” Quickly thereafter, Obama announced his intent to begin winding down our presence in Afghanistan – a withdrawal of our troops which, to many, had no military logic whatsoever, if yet, Obama decided to follow-through inasmuch as he smartly sought to do it for his own personal political gain.
Enter Donald Trump into the 20-year-old dilemma. Trump, as we all know, had campaigned, and had promised to end the war in Afghanistan if elected president, notwithstanding however his hawkish rhetoric against “the radical Islamic terrorists”. While at first, following the advice of his National Security Adviser and his Defense Secretary, McMaster and Mattis respectively, Trump began repudiating any talks of withdrawal and vowed to win the war pledging for a modest increase in troop numbers. Trump’s game-plan was not a return to previously used counter-insurgency strategies, but a beefed-up version of a counter-terrorism approach at first botched by Bush in 2006 and by Obama in 2012.
In Trump’s quintessential role as deal-maker, he sought to strike a deal with the Taliban. Signed in Doha, Qatar on February 29th, 2020, Trump’s agreement with the Taliban called for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. The agreement which excluded the Afghan government, also included, amongst other things, the freeing of 5,000 al-Qaeda prisoners as well as a pledge from the Taliban’s that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for attacks against the United States or its allies. Critics, to this day, argue that Trump’s agreement, lacked provisions, contingencies, and the necessary measures for enforcing the commitments made by the Taliban. Trump, on the other hand, repeatedly referred to his extemporaneous communications with the leaders of the Taliban, in which, he vouched to annihilate them if ever any Americans were in any way harmed by the terrorist cabal in the U.S’s efforts to withdraw.
By the end of Trump’s term, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan had been brought down to 2,500, so we can say that Trump did, in fact, live-up to his part of the deal. Not so, by the Taliban as, a few months after the Doha Agreement, the U.N. publicly said to have evidence that the Taliban still held close ties to al-Qaeda and that they had launched dozens of attacks in Afghanistan ramping up the violence – not surprising, I may add.
Notwithstanding, the Taliban’s truthfulness or lack of it in the Doha agreement, however, and notwithstanding the public opinion’s approval and/or disapproval of Trump’s agreement, nor for that matter, yours, or my approval, we can reasonably make the argument that, yes, both Biden and Trump were, in fact, committed to withdrawing the troops. Having said that, this is precisely where all similarities between the two leaders, Biden and Trump, begin and end – the alpha and the omega.
To be sure, agreement or no agreement you can be certain, assured, asserted that Donald Trump’s retreat, would have been executed in an orderly, methodical, and highly safeguarded fashion. You can rest assured that a Donald Trump, Commander-in-Chief, would have crushed, annihilated, obliterated, the Taliban or any other terrorist organizations if any of them, would have but attempted to interfere and/or in any way, shape, or form, jeopardize the U.S. withdrawal under his command. You can be certain and sure that, the slightest threat, the slightest interference to a Trump withdrawal by any terrorist organization, would have triggered, unleashed all the military might of the world’s most powerful armed forces – that I can assure you.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, did exactly what he has done since he first took the office of President, to wit, do everything the precise opposite of what Donald Trump would have done as President – no more no less. And, whereas to now, Biden’s asinine decisions have had disastrous consequences for our nation, none however reaching stature of the Afghanistan debacle.
To now, Joe Biden, has been able to get away, literally speaking, with murder. Not this time around though. This time is not literal, this time is real. In Biden’s pathological compulsion to do the exact opposite of what Trump would do, this time around, he messed things up badly; so bad, there is no way of measuring the ensuing repercussions that Biden’s blunder in Afghanistan will have on the future of this nation, even on the future of the world. Biden’s embarrassing, spineless, and gutless surrender has, at best, undermined our image as the leaders of the world we once were, at worse, he [Biden] has made an open invitation to all our world enemies to challenge our supremacy – to challenge our might and our leadership.
Because of Joe Biden and his Afghanistan debacle, the U.S. today is a weaker and feebler nation than it was seven months back when he first took the office of president. Besides it all, my dear friends, as I look upon the pictures of the 13 noble men and women who lost their lives in this regrettable, shameful, and dishonorable surrender, I can’t help but to wonder and ask myself, was it all worth it? Was the death of these 13 heroes worth it all? Hope it was.
In searching for answers that make some sense of it all, I could not help but look upon this war in retrospect and think of it as nothing less than a colossal political mistake shared by many, and the facts, I am afraid, prove me right. Think about it, after 20 years in Afghanistan, through April of this year, reports estimate that up to 241,000 people died in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a direct result of the war.
The war cost the lives of 2,442 U.S troops, six DoD civilians, 3,936 U.S. contractors and 1,144 allied troops. Between 66,000 and 69,000 Afghan national military members and police lost their lives, as well as another 9,314 Pakistani troops and police. More than 71,000 civilians — roughly 47,000 in Afghanistan and 24,000 in Pakistan — died, according to the report. The report also says that about 136 journalists and media workers, and 549 humanitarian workers, also died in the war.
In addition to all the loss of life, the actual costs of this twenty-years-old war are staggering. As much as it is will be hard to come up with a realistic total of expenditures in this Afghanistan extravaganza, for now the price tag, is estimated at approximately $2.6 trillion dollars and counting.
So, what do we have to show for it all? What we have to show for it, is a country, a nation, under the command, the control, the rule of, of all things, of a tribal alliance of some of the most despicable, disgraceful, and contemptible people in the face of the earth – the very same animals that started it all. We have, a country, a nation, which, in twenty years after-the-fact, is still, incapable of fending for themselves against the insurgents; a nation which, after twenty years is incapable, unable, to sustain their own military and security forces, even though the U.S. provided them with an estimated $83 billion dollars’ worth of training and equipment. We have a nation with a runaway coward President who, like Biden, chose to cowardly run rather than fight for his country.
As if this was not enough, we have a nation, a country now ruled, presided, by a rogue band of U.S. haters, who, courtesy of Joe Biden and company were willed, free of charge, billions of dollars in priceless, state-of-the-art, strategic-intelligence equipment, military assets, weaponries, or otherwise all kinds of armaments, which they will, eventually, use to kill more Americans.
In summary, I personally, believe, the war in Afghanistan, much the same as the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, all, individually and combined have been nothing short than a waste of lives and a waste of taxpayers’ money, with nothing to show for despite it all. I will not hide my feelings of resentment for the denigrating, disparaging, and vilifying games that our politicians and policymakers from both sides of the aisle have dared play over the years while engaging us in these wars; in these exercises in futility at the expense of the thousands of Americans who have lost their lives, who have been maimed or mutilated, both physically and emotionally as a result of the war games that our men and women in Washington have played for their own self-serving interest as they climbed their political ladders -as they sought to be re-elected in their dirty roles pretending to defend the national interests of this nation and those of every American.
In closing, dear friends, followers, fellow-Americans, on behalf of all who have died in America’s useless wars; on behalf of the families, relatives, friends of all who have perished fighting these wars, a byproduct of men, who, like Joe Biden, epitomize, embody and personify the essence of the worse this great country has to offer; the very worse of what politics and politicians are all about, I beg you all to please join-in an effort to redeem this great nation from the hurt, the physical and emotional damage that men like Joe Biden have caused to this great nation.
In the person of Joe Biden and this administration you find the absolute worse of what America and Americans can expect from their government. On behalf of the 13 heroes who sacrificed their lives because of Joe Biden, I ask everyone in America to hold Joe Biden and his administration accountable, responsible, liable for the deaths of the Afghanistan heroes, including but not limited to all who will be left behind. On behalf of the 13 noble men and women we lost, on their behalf I ask everyone to join-in to impeach Joe Biden for dereliction of his duties as Commander-In-Chief of our nation – for his unforgivable betrayal to all that our nation stands for. God be with our fallen heroes, their families, relatives, and friends – God bless our glorious United States of America.