SHAME ON US!
I am angry, and I’m deeply ashamed. I just turned off the news (which I watch with decreasing frequency, as it seems designed to make me fearful, angry or both) showing scenes of the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, with our Secretary of State announcing with a straight face that this is nothing like our calamitous retreat was from Saigon a half a century ago. No, this is EXACTLY like Saigon was back then, with bad intelligence, woeful diplomatic incompetence, and abandonment of the native translators and allies to whom we promised safekeeping and a new home, if they so desired, in the Land of the Free.
For anyone who had boots on the ground in Vietnam then or Afghanistan today, none of what is happening now comes as a great surprise. The only surprise should come from the fact that there are still people in the world who believe that America’s promises of military aid are to be trusted, and that we will honor our commitments to assist those who help us achieve our aims.
I suspect that the soldiers who served our cause believed at the time the local Afghans were recruited that the rhetoric they heard from our leaders was honest. After all, they were putting their own lives on the line. However, our elected officials have again proven their mendacity. They remain willing to put young, innocent lives in harm’s way, but both the American public, as well as their representatives lack the fortitude to suffer the sacrifices it takes to win a war or to keep our commitments to our allies.
Our enemies, and we have many, have been watching the rapid erosion of the values we profess in speech and in our slogans. While I know many who still believe and are willing to fight for democracy, sadly those numbers are rapidly decreasing. True patriots have become an endangered species, at least in the ranks of our politicians. As for finding allies to help us in our cause in the future – let’s hope they are as blind to history as we have become.