For almost two decades now, the United States has flown its flag in Afghanistan in response to terrorist attacks. We went in with goals of preventing it from becoming “a safe haven or sanctuary for al-Qaeda” and to help set up a “stronger democratic state” in Afghanistan.” Now, after an agreement with the Taliban to remove our military from the country, we are leaving Afghanistan and its citizens in a humanitarian crisis.
When Biden announced the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in April, he said, “in this context, speed is safety.” But did that mean the safety of all human life or just those with a U.S. passport?
Despite elongating the timeline set by the Trump administration, Biden completely failed to deliver the “secure and orderly” withdrawal he promised. By expediting the process with seemingly no plan to orderly evacuate American citizens, Afghan allies or asylum seekers, the Biden administration has opened the door to leaving people behind at the mercy of the Taliban.
By going into the country for self-serving reasons and now leaving them in the dust as our planes fly off, we are ignoring the obligation we have to the citizens of Afghanistan who became dependent on the United States to defend their rights and livelihoods. We have now left tens of thousands of women and children desperately fleeing to save themselves from being raped, murdered or both. Simply for being educated, a girl or woman can be executed, and men who do not submit to the Taliban risk being killed alongside their entire families.
All that civil rights activists, employees of the government set up by the U.S. and the rest of the civilian population have to hold onto for hope is the chance at being allowed refuge in another country where they are allowed a voice. Because of the United States’ abandonment of them, they are now prisoners in their own country and potential refugees.
How can we balance ourselves as a “nation under God” while still paying mind to those suffering? Instead, we pulled out, putting targets on their backs and watching as they literally handed up their crying babies to our soldiers in hopes that their children could live a better life — one that didn’t include fear of their own government.
Instead of watching in terror at what is happening in Afghanistan and feeling hopelessly unhelpful, educate yourself on why this topic has consistently made the top headlines across the national media, and understand the reason why this is yet another important part of history we are living through.