Readers were a bit cynical that global warming contributed to Hurricane Ida. It is a bit eerie, however, that we are running both flood and western fire pictures on the same day. Lake Tahoe is getting nervous.
But even during a hurricane, the lead story has to be the final US withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years.
“Who’s to blame for the deaths of 13 service members in Kabul? We all are” is featured Guest Columnist Max Boot’s take on our horrific ending at the Kabul airport.
“The last thing President Joe Biden ever wanted to do was to preside over another ramp ceremony for more flag-draped caskets returning home from Afghanistan” writes Boot in the understatement of the year. “Indeed, the entire rationale of his troop withdrawal was to avoid further casualties. Yet there he was on Sunday at Dover Air Force Base honoring the 13 service members killed in the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. Fate can be cruel that way.”
Boot talks about how we are all haunted by pictures such as Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee’ last Instagram posts, where she was pictured holding an Afghan baby in her arms. “I love my job,” she said. Now she is gone.
“Their deaths were not in vain” asserts Boot. “They died so that more than 114,000 people could escape to freedom. Generations as yet unborn will remember these heroes for helping them to find a better life.”
And yet, Boot wonders if their sacrifice was unnecessary. They died, in part, because of the blunders of their superiors. Max points to not only President Joe Biden but to former president Donald Trump as worthy of blame.
Boot mostly blames “all of us, the people of America.” He reasons that by carrying out the pell-mell withdrawal from Afghanistan, our leaders, after all, “were only giving us what we wanted.”
In all honesty, he has a point.
Certainly, it can be argued that George Bush was all at fault for going there in the first place, but a majority of our readers have already agreed that we had legitimate security reasons for doing so.
Boot is saying that the horribly botched, tragic and humiliating ending was the explosion of a bomb that was lit 18 months ago. That was when Trump, with bipartisan support, concluded a terrible troop-withdrawal deal that freed 5,000 Taliban terrorists and sapped the morale of our Afghan allies.
Boot details how Trump made scant provision to save Afghans who had fought with our troops.
“Biden should have done better, but he didn’t” writes Max. In April, with bipartisan support, Joe Biden announced that all U.S. forces would rapidly withdraw, along with the 17,000 contractors who kept the Afghan air force flying and the Afghan army supplied. This “denied the ability to support their forces, the Afghan military rapidly collapsed in the face of a Taliban offensive.”
Biden, of course, made matters worse by ignoring calls from veterans’ groups to evacuate translators and other Afghan allies.
Boot blames this on three factors. “First, Biden was afraid of a xenophobic backlash from bringing so many Afghans to the United States. Second, he was concerned about sending a signal of no confidence in the Afghan government. And, third, he wagered that there was plenty of time to get people out later. “ And he gambled wrong.
“Our leaders were simply giving the American people what they thought we wanted” argues Boot. “They wanted out, but they did not want to bear the consequences of withdrawal.”
“Do the American people share blame for the tragic ending to our War in Afghanistan?” That’s The Daily Post Reader Poll for Tuesday.