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Tom Rinaldo

(22,963 posts)
Tue Aug 31, 2021, 01:21 PM Aug 2021

Those close to the Afghan people over the last twenty years have a unique perspective on "betrayal" [View all]

Everything that is happening inside of Afghanistan is much more personal for them than it is to the rest of us. People they know there include the best that Afghanistan has to offer; the bravest and the most determined. Afghans they know sacrificed greatly to build a better life for themselves and the citizens of their nation: they are people who fully committed to a future very different from the society that the Taliban once ruled over. In many cases American journalists, aid workers, business contractors, and members of our military who either worked or fought inside of Afghanistan, developed deep and significant friendships with people in that nation: people who not only hoped for, but believed in, a better future for themselves and their children, people who were actively building that future.

Now those dreams are reduced to ashes, those hopes replaced by fear, those hard fought for freedoms suddenly lost, seemingly forever. And thousands of lives are now literally at risk. No wonder there is so much anger now in many Americans who knew these Afghans best, who remain their personal friends. "They have been betrayed."

That's what I think about when I see someone like Andrea Mitchell, or Richard Engle reporting about Afghanistan now For them it's about betrayal, the abandonment of good people to the force of evil. Someone must be to blame, and Americans are the ones leaving Afghanistan without taking all those good Afghans with them. They are right to be angry.They are right that there was a betrayal. They are wrong about the betrayers.

Americans are the ones leaving now because Afghanistan isn't our home, and we never promised to stay there forever. We did stay there twenty years, which in the context of America's wars is the closest thing to forever. Once we finally headed toward the exit Afghanistan's government folded in the blinking of an eye. If betrayers must be found, there is a good place to start finding them. The good people of Afghanistan were betrayed by self serving so called leaders, and thoroughly corrupted hacks, who pocketed American aid money while their troops out in the field went unpaid for months.

But Andra Mitchell and the likes of her are used to having influence. Ultimately they had about as much influence over the recently former leaders of Afghanistan as they do with the Taliban today. To her type, America should have saved their friends, all of them, and if we didn't then we are to blame What the hell are we going to do about it they cry, as if Afghanistan were our 51st State. It isn't, it never was. After twenty years, trillions of dollars, and thousands of American lives, we tried, thy lost. The independent women of Afghanistan, educated Afghans, all those who believed in civil society and civil rights, all of them stood with the losing side in a protracted Civil war. There are millions of them, and the United States can not save them all from the consequences of defeat. We tried. They lost. It is genuinely tragic. Even those who rushed desperately to Kabul's airport seeking evacuation never thought the end could come so suddenly, closing all their doors. Yes, they were betrayed. But not by us.

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