Two years ago, the Biden administration oversaw the unprecedented disaster that was the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Thirteen service members lost their lives, thousands of American citizens and tens of thousands of allies were left behind, tens of millions of women and girls were abandoned to lives of sexual slavery, and tens of millions more were consigned to starvation and violence.
And yet, the Biden administration touts this withdrawal as an “extraordinary success.”
An “extraordinary success” for whom, exactly? Certainly not the many thousands of service members who sacrificed blood, sweat and years of their lives to watch it all chaotically surrendered to the Taliban they had fought for so long.
Two years ago, 13 brave service members lost their lives during the disaster Biden claims was an “extraordinary success.” Then the nation collectively gasped as he checked his watch while the flag-draped coffins of our fallen were rolled off the plane. Was their ultimate sacrifice such an inconvenience to his schedule?
After two years, the nation finally got to hear from the families of these brave service members. They revealed the “disrespect” with which their fallen loved ones were treated by their leaders during the withdrawal, including making service members clean bathrooms and remove anti-Taliban graffiti before abandoning Americans, allies, innocent civilians and a valuable military stronghold to our enemy.
Our team witnessed this all during our efforts to rescue the tens of thousands who were being left behind. I was shocked at these bizarre and disgraceful priorities during a withdrawal that would end up being a chaotic and deadly disaster. In all the death and chaos, that’s what our leaders cared about? Leaving the bathrooms clean for the Taliban?
Gold Star mother Kelly Barnett detailed how she was “told lies” about her son’s death, saying, “I was lied to and basically told to shut up.” I suppose the Biden administration didn’t want something as pesky as the truth getting in the way of their insistence that the withdrawal was an “extraordinary success.”
Shockingly, Biden later insisted that he “makes no apologies” for the disaster that unnecessarily sacrificed American lives.
Was it an “extraordinary success” for the thousands of Americans left behind in the chaos, abandoned to the terrorists who immediately assumed violent control? Despite Secretary of State Antony Blinken initially claiming that only about 100 Americans were left behind, reports revealed the number to be almost one hundred times that estimate.
Shockingly, Blinken just recently bragged that they “brought back virtually all the American citizens who said they wanted to depart.” It seems that thousands of abandoned Americans don’t factor into their determination that the withdrawal was an “extraordinary success.”
Surely the millions of girls and young women who were similarly abandoned to the Taliban and who are now being denied an education and often subjected to sexual slavery would not consider the withdrawal an “extraordinary success.” And how about the millions more Afghans who are starving as the Taliban enforces their violent and radical authoritarian control?
It doesn’t seem like such an “extraordinary success” for the people we sacrificed so much to help.
Working with veterans and as a veteran myself, I know the devastating mental and emotional toll this has taken on them. After immense sacrifices for our own nation and for a struggling nation that depended on them, brave service members watched in desperation as their leaders, including their commander in chief, made catastrophic decisions that resulted in deadly chaos and an ongoing humanitarian crisis.
They were baffled to hear that same commander in chief, just two years after the deadly catastrophe, dare anyone to “name me a single objective we’ve ever set out to accomplish that we’ve failed on,” apparently still considering the withdrawal an “extraordinary success.”
Hindsight may be 20/20, but we never needed hindsight to know how truly devastating the surrender of Afghanistan would be. It’s been two years and still, the only metric by which it can be considered an “extraordinary success” is as a carefully scripted political talking point for a politician who is desperate for some semblance of a “win.”
Aside from the fact that Biden can emphatically declare that we are indeed “out” of Afghanistan, the entire debacle was and continues to be one of the most tragic and avoidable catastrophes our generation has witnessed.
Almost as tragic is how our government doesn’t seem to care about anything other than carefully scripted political talking points. America and the world deserve better.
On this anniversary of the Afghanistan withdrawal, I pray Americans will take the time to see through the political narratives and grasp the reality of the tragedy that didn’t have to happen during those chaotic and deadly days. Remember the millions who were abandoned to horrific atrocities and the immense sacrifices that have been made by service members willing to give their lives for freedom and safety.
Let us never forget.