GURVICH: Our Shameful Afghan Anniversary

This week marks the one year anniversary of the collapse of the democratically elected Afghan government. Although a small American military presence lingered on for two more weeks (enough time for thirteen additional American soldiers and several thousand Afghans to die), August 15th was the day that our embassy was evacuated and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban became inevitable. August 16th marks the day that the panicked two week airport exodus began. As you might expect, this anniversary has been little remarked upon by the Biden administration and the left-wing press. Joe Biden remains on record as having said that he has “no regrets.”

In retrospect, it was a horribly tragic day for virtually all forty million Afghan citizens, as well as a very dangerous strategic embarrassment for the United States. This embarrassment will linger for decades- it has clearly destabilized the world order by undermining the credibility of the world’s strongest power, namely us. By way of example, it most certainly contributed to the present Russo-Ukrainian War, and is likely also having an effect on the situation in the Taiwan strait. For the first time in a long while, the threat of nuclear war has reared its ugly head, and for these developments we must hold Joe Biden and his far-left Democrat administration responsible.

To be sure, Afghanistan is truly a victim of its internal socio-economic situation. Multiple tribal and ethnic groups speaking several different languages compete for dominance within this impoverished country. The religious divide (majority Sunni Muslim v. minority Shia Muslim) only makes the situation more volatile. Incredibly, the average Afghan woman gives birth to five children in her lifetime, nearly seven percent of whom die in infancy. Even so, almost half the country’s citizens are under fifteen years of age because the population growth rate is one of the highest in the world outside of Africa.

Barely over half of the men and less than thirty percent of the women are literate. Life expectancy is about sixty-three years; unsurprisingly, in this environment the men outlive the women on average. Sixty percent of the population is primarily engaged in agriculture, which includes the raising of poppies for the production of heroin. Most tragic of all, these statistics were compiled before the collapse of the legitimate government. By all accounts the situation has worsened considerably under Taliban rule, especially for the twenty million Afghan women and girls.

But perhaps the greatest enemy of the people of Afghanistan is geography. It contributed to and sustains Afghanistan’s ethnic divisions because the country is carved up by the numerous mountain ranges, river valleys, and deserts which divide it into its three main regions- the central highlands, northern plains, and southwestern plateau. The diverse inhabitants have little in common and deeply distrust each other, a lesson which American sociologists do not seem to have imbibed. Their one common interest is in resisting foreign incursions into their territory. This seems to be the only thing which has united them over the last several millennia, but there have certainly been many such incursions.

This is because Afghanistan lies on a high plateau in the very heart of the world’s largest and most heavily populated continent, Asia. Because of its valleys, Afghanistan is crossable via several ancient trade routes (the old ‘Silk Road’), which are still very much in use today. That explains the intense interest which would-be conquerors such as Darius I, Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan, and the rulers of the Mughal, British, Russian, Soviet, and again Russian Empires have shown in attempting to control the region.

But only one country has ever sought to control Afghanistan for purely defensive purposes, and that was the far off United States. Recall that the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon (which killed nearly three thousand people), as well as the attempted attack on either the White House or the Capitol, were planned and launched from Afghanistan. When the Taliban government refused to turn over the 911 plotters and promptly shut down Al Qaeda operations within its territory, our military began bombing suspected targets within days and followed up with a successful invasion.

America’s longest war followed, but Al Qaeda was largely shut down, the Taliban government was overthrown, and no more attacks on America were launched from Afghan soil. Just as importantly, by Afghan standards the country became prosperous and twenty million women and girls achieved a substantial degree of personal freedom for the first time in at least fourteen hundred years. Although the Afghan war was expensive in lives lost and money expended, only a small American garrison had been stationed in the country for several years prior to the sudden collapse of the duly elected government.

Doubtless the state of affairs in Afghanistan had been slowly deteriorating before the collapse, but it was a reversible situation. Some level of reinforcement for the American garrison and additional air support for the far larger Afghan army were needed, but considering our original reason for going there, the costs would have been more than justified.

Instead, Joe Biden and his administration decided that we should pull out in embarrassing haste, leaving billions in military equipment and supplies on the ground for our enemies. Our Afghan collaborators and even American and allied citizens were left to fend for themselves, and many thousands paid for our fecklessness with their lives. You can be sure that Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, the ayatollah, and every other enemy of America rejoiced at our humiliation as the videos flashed across the world’s screens.

Even if the necessary repairs to our reputation were to begin immediately (this cannot happen until after the Biden administration has departed the scene), it will take decades to recover from the disaster. In the meantime the world will be a much more dangerous place as long as the United States is led by a doddering serial lawbreaker controlled by the woke progressive wing of the Democrat Party.

God protect us, especially those of military age who could soon be called upon to serve in a major war, or wars. Thank you, Joe Biden.

LOUIS GURVICH, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana

 

P. S. To begin fixing the problems caused by Joe Biden and the Democrats, please vote Republican on November 8th, and FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES WITH REQUEST THAT THEY FORWARD IT IN TURN. Time is running out!

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