Will America Ever Recover From the Disaster of Afghanistan?

August 17, 2021 Updated: August 18, 2021


Josh Rogin writes in The Washington Post:

“As the situation on the ground in Afghanistan’s capital continues to deteriorate, thousands of U.S. citizens are trapped in and around Kabul with no ability to get to the airport, which is their only way out of the country. As Taliban soldiers go door to door, searching for Westerners, these U.S. citizens are now reaching out to anyone and everyone back in Washington for help. The Biden administration must get moving on a plan to rescue them before it’s too late.

“There will be plenty of time later to look back on how and why the 20-year American intervention in Afghanistan failed so miserably, why the U.S. withdrawal was so badly mismanaged, and how the U.S. government failed to predict that the Taliban would take over the country with almost no resistance.”

Plenty of time later? What an optimistic fellow Rogin is.

Not only are, as he wrote, thousands of American citizens “trapped in and around Kabul,” not to mention who knows where else in the vastness of Afghanistan, but the same extraordinarily inept foreign policy team—Blinken, Sullivan, and so on—surrounding the (to be gentle) “challenged” Biden is still in place.

And Biden is the one who assured us only weeks ago not to worry, that the Afghan army, one of the most well-armed in the world we were told by him, had everything under control.

Now, the Taliban controls most of those same arms that have been left behind in panic.

How can we expect these people to solve a problem that they largely created in their stunning ignorance?

Robert Gates could take some solace in the accuracy of the well-known assertion in his memoir that Joe Biden was wrong on practically every foreign policy decision throughout his four-decade career, but I doubt the former SecDef is gloating in these dark times.

As many have pointed out, JFK “owned,” accepted responsibility for, the (minor by comparison) disaster of the Bay of Pigs. Biden has blamed practically everyone but himself.

This disaster is bigger than mere politics. It goes to the core of our nation, our image to ourselves and to the world, which has been battered as never before.

The idea that we could be an example for anybody is, for now, ludicrous. The idea that we have anybody’s back even more so.

How do we speak to anyone seriously about the rights of women or any oppressed group?

Even longtime Democratic Party stalwart and Obama adviser David Axelrod has called for a “shake up.”

I wonder, however, if Axelrod is even aware of this recent report in the Hindustani Times on the time and place of the release by a U.S. president of the man who is said to have planned the Taliban resurgence:

“Khairullah Khairkhwa was released from the Guantanamo Bay prison along with four other Taliban prisoners by former U.S. President Barack Obama. The ‘Gitmo Five’ were labeled ‘hardest of the hardcore’ by U.S. intelligence officials who urged Obama to reconsider his decision.”

This happened in 2014, when Axelrod was advising Obama. No one is untouched by this tragedy.

The same goes for the leadership of our “woke” military, which appears to still be in place, although the recent addition of Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, I am told, gives some cause for hope.

Meanwhile, the Taliban, according to the ever-credulous Associated Press, is putting a positive, “moderate” spin on things:

“In his first news conference, Zabihullah Mujahid, who had been a shadowy figure for years, doubled down on the Taliban’s efforts to convince the world that it has changed from the group that imposed a brutal rule on the country in the 1990s.

“Mujahid promised the Taliban would honor women’s rights, but within the norms of Islamic law. He said the group wanted private media to ‘remain independent,’ but stressed journalists ‘should not work against national values.’ And he promised the insurgents would secure Afghanistan—but seek no revenge against those who worked with the former government or with foreign governments or forces.”

I see. Well, that was then (i.e., yesterday’s press conference) and this is now. Today, Fox News is reporting that people are being beaten on their way to the airport.

Oh, well, there are Taliban and Taliban, like everything else. Some will be “moderate,” others less so, undoubtedly considerably less.

And some of our own people have apparently forgotten the Islamic doctrine about the permission to lie to the kafir (non-Moslem) for the promulgation of their faith, assuming those same people ever knew it.

But what about my title question—will ever America ever recover from what has transpired?

Not easily. Our reputation is justifiably tarnished. The road back will be hard, even arduous.

And it is up to us, the People, to do it. We have to put our shoulders to the wheel. It’s on us. Never trust a politician, even ones you like. They always have to know we’re there. Twenty-four hours a day. This is supposed to be a democratic republic. We have to act like it. That is the road back. I hope we can make it.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Roger L. Simon
Roger L. Simon
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on GETTR and Parler @rogerlsimon.