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Daily Journal
     August 24, 2021      #84-236 KDJ

Withdrawal from Afghanistan shows how deep our

By Ron Jackson

We have finally cut our losses. After sacrificing nearly 2,500 American lives and more than $2 trillion over two long decades in an unwinnable engagement, a complete and definitive withdrawal from Afghanistan is a good thing. No amount of chaos as a result of our leaving is worth another moment of worry. Satan can take over that country. It is not our problem. It was never our problem.

If putting an end to our longest foreign futility and irretrievable loss doesn’t give us a reason for a unified celebration, our division is wider than we are willing to admit. It may take a foreign intervention to put us back together again. That is the crisis we must deal with.

We need not waste one more ounce of energy with concern for any outside entity. Let the Afghan people dictate their own direction. We cannot and should not determine what is their best form of government and way of life while ignoring the decline of our own. We wasted two decades. It may take longer to repair our own internal damage.

Now is not the time to worry about the after-effects of our Aug. 31 departure. It is not our crisis. Months ago, when the final departure date was determined, we decided we would not fund the safety of the Afghans who helped or agreed with us. It is too late now. We shake the last sand from our boots and do not look back. Enough of pretending that we care.

End that useless war. Bring the troops home. That is what we have wanted from the last four presidential administrations. We got what we asked for. Yet, we are calling it a crisis.

Granted, some of the scenes of some Afghan citizens and American allies falling to their death from planes was reminiscent of scenes from our 2001 terrorist attack. And there are thousands of US citizens yet to be evacuated. Beyond that, I don’t agree that the immediate and expected post-occupation transition is a crisis for us. What other expectation could there be? We did not destroy the Taliban. We merely played an expensive chess match with them for years. During our entire 20-year occupation there was nothing more than sweeping water uphill. When we stop sweeping, the water will naturally return via the path of least resistance.

This political fad of rebelling against anything the other side proposes has run its ignorant course. Like sagging pants, it is no longer cute to object to everything just because the other side proposed it. If the withdrawal had occurred 10 months ago, the side currently condemning the move would have been touting it as a great success. Just as it is being considered a success by those who agree with today’s decision.

We really don’t have time to concern ourselves with the plight of the Afghan people. We have bigger issues at home like to mask or to not mask our school children and to vaccinate or to not vaccinate. After all, our rights are being infringed. We have local and state governments overstepping their authority with mandates that directly violate our right to make personal choices.

How dare the government dictate to us that children must wear a mask during school when there is no guarantee that wearing masks is effective against the virus. Mask wearers are still dying each day. Before we know it, the government will want to mandate we and our children must wear seat belts when there is no guarantee that seatbelts save lives. Seat belt wearers are still dying each day.

Come home. Let the Afghan people determine their own future.

Not to sound unsympathetic to the people of Afghanistan, but we have our own crisis to deal with. “America First” is more than just a political slogan. It is akin to our self-care before we can help others.

Ron Jackson can be contacted through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com

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