The Humanitarian Disaster in Afghanistan is a Tragedy and Could Have Been Easily Prevented

By Joe Darby

To start, I must note that this is my first column in three weeks. Many of you will already know that I have lost my beloved Mary. After residing in a nursing home for six months because of advanced dementia, she succumbed to cardiac arrest on Aug. 4. I’m told she did not suffer and went quickly.

The rest of my life will be very different but I have wonderful memories of my sweet girl that I will cherish as long as I live.

Now, the situation that has been dominating my mind this week, along with Mary’s loss, is the horrible failure of American actions in Afghanistan. The news videos of those poor people who risked their lives to help our forces and are now trying to escape are just appalling.

Also appalling is President Biden’s reaction, saying he could have done no better and that chaos after our troop withdrawals was inevitable. What utter nonsense.

How difficult would it have been in the past couple of months, when our forces were still on the ground and we securely controlled Kabul and its airport, to begin evacuating in a orderly fashion our civilian American personnel there as well as all — and I mean all — of those brave Afghanis who helped us?

Our Air Force and Army would have been able to handle that. We have the planes and the uniformed men and women who are entirely capable of such an operation. But they never got the order and Biden pulls out our troops, leaving the vulnerable to their fate. Now he’s sent forces back in to try to deal with the chaos.

Biden is scrambling around, in deep denial, trying to salvage a sad situation that he alone created. Yes, Donald Trump announced the plans for troop withdrawal while he was still in office but Biden is in charge of this fiasco. And, yes, George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in the first place, back in 2001 following the 9-11 attacks. But, in spite of the military difficulties we have had there, the great majority of the Afghan population has lived safely in the last two decades.

Women were free to pursue their lives as they wished and the ordinary citizen felt free from the danger of being beheaded for violating some minor Sharia law. Those freedoms are all over now and God help those good people who will be left behind.

The handling of the withdrawal confirms my belief in Biden’s incompetence. The man is not up to the job and is completely out of his depth. Some are already calling for impeachment. But, hold on with that. If successfully impeached, Vice President Kamala Harris would take over. She’s so far left I’ve little doubt that she would complete the ruin of our country in short order.

I lived through the 1960s, when American went through the turmoil of the Vietnam War, the youth rebellion and the breakdown of many of the old American values. I think the 2020s are a more fraught time for our country. We probably haven’t been in such dire straits since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

I wish I could be more optimistic. I hope my despair will turn out to be unfounded. But it’s not looking good.

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30 thoughts on “The Humanitarian Disaster in Afghanistan is a Tragedy and Could Have Been Easily Prevented

  1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife! I know your heart must be broken. I will be praying for you & your family!

  2. Yes, maybe it could have been avoided, but at what cost? More blood and more treasure, but why? The Afghan government is corrupt beyond comprehension and after 20 years of training, the Afghan security forces hardly fired a shot. We cannot overcome that type of mindset. Withdrawal was the right decision, the execution has been messy as with any withdrawal. It does not help when every military move and the details are now made public.
    We gave them every opportunity to defend themselves and they choose not to. We would do well to remember the words of John Stuart Mills.
    “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice, — is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

    • Interesting and legitimate perspective.

      Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to Sir Joseph Banks (July 27, 1783)
      “There never was a good war, or a bad peace.”
      Food for thought.

      Perhaps all such generalities need examination.

      Is America the world’s policeman?
      Where do we draw the line?

    • First let me say I sorry to read about your wife.
      I can tell most of you have not done your research as to why dumb shit pull the troops out? Biden is not making the decision, he does not have the mind to make decisions. He can’t complete a sentence. He is not a commander, president or anything else. He needs to be removed at once. The blood of many will be on his hands.
      All of you need to do your research. Afghanistan has the riches minerals that have not even been touched, has enough optium for decades and check into the pipeline that will be going through from Russia, China and guess where else, Afghanistan. Who will benefit from all of this?? All of this was being stopped by Trump.
      So, I hope all of you are happy that voted for a man that can’t even comprehend what the hell he has done. And, yes I am a TRUMP supporter and always will be. I am also un-vaccinated.

      • How can anyone who listens to trump speak not realize how incredibly stupid, self-impressed, misinformed, ignorant, self-serving, boastful, indifferent to everyone but himself, spoiled rich brat, attention-seeking, whoremongering, thoroughly corrupt, mentally ill, undemocratic, un-American, lazy, tasteless, insulting, demeaning to women and everyone but himself, cowardly creep.
        “He’s a f****** moron,” said his first Secretary of State. Rex Tillerson, a sentiment echoed and quoted by many serving under him.
        “Suckers” and “losers” he called American troops during a Memorial Day visit in 2017 to the grave of then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly’s son, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, confirmed by others but politically toxic so heavily denied.
        Not to mention the tens of thousands of lies he’s told (How do you know trump is lying? His lips are moving.) and the still rising toll of illness and deaths because of his actions (and inactions).
        Maybe searching out non-right-wing sources of information that won’t constantly edit out his self-revealing stupidity might enlighten some.
        And this is the Satanic clown many Christian Evangelicals worship as God’s chosen?
        May you live in interesting times (not, by the way, a Chinese curse).
        Sorry, Trump-thumping, and yet sworn to abstain.
        My God, what would trump have to do to alienate his fanatical supporters?
        Where is Elvis now that we need him?

        • How can anyone not see how much EVERYTHING was better under President Trump? Even if you don’t like Trump it’s impossible not to see it!

          • Wow!
            What a terrible restricted perspective must be at play here.
            The sad irony is that the most fervent trumpies are the ones most negatively impacted by his policies.
            Even if you are obscenely wealthy, when the Gulf Stream stops flowing because of global warming, there is no where to hide, and it will be too late to reverse the damage (sounds like the COVID situation, doesn’t it?)
            Please, read, think, and stop being manipulated by those Republican politicians laughing at the tsunami of trumpie ignorance.
            Talk about sheep.

  3. Yes, we can say this disaster has been mishandled. Remember Viet Nam? I do. No American president could avoid this disaster. How it is handled is a different matter. History shows us that the same old mistakes were bound to be repeated. We just keep on keepin’ on.

    • If you are going to pull out of a country, you do NOT leave that many people stranded and close down the air base. Common sense tells you to get all citizens and people who were promised they would be protected after helping the US. Then you get the last of the people out as the base closes. That seems like a basic thought that should be the first thought of any leader.

  4. Donald Trump arranged to spring aTaliban leader from a Pakistan prison in order to negotiate with him for for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trump’s negotiations gave Biden no choice but to pull out our troops. If he had refused, the Taliban would have launched another offensive and the U.S. would have had to surge thousands of our troops to combat it. Biden has nothing to do with the fact that our Afghan translators have waited years for SIV visas . Trump and Stephen Miller deliberately slowed down issuance of these visas because they fear immigrants. Google Olivia Troye and Afghanistan for details. Everyone wants to blame Biden for what is happening in Afghanistan, but Trump left him a time bomb.

    • Like I said, Biden could have begun evacuations weeks ago. I believe very few people agree with your point of view. Biden owns this. And his evasive and lying reaction to the disaster is despicable.

      • Actually, many people agree with that viewpoint. They just don’t live amongst the stupids (pro-trump, anti-vaccines, hate masks, etc.) living in this area. Stop watching Fox and read, folks.
        By the way, the name of the man you wished to commemorate for saving the human race during the Cuban Missile Crisis is Vasily Arkhipov.
        Very sorry about your loss.

        • Just so you know, I’m anti-Trump, vaccinated and I wear my mask. I just know incompetency when see it. And thanks for the condolences.

          • Okay.
            Biden’s Afghan withdrawal was pretty crappy (personally, I find it difficult to forgive him for letting that jerk C. Thomas on to the Supreme Court).
            And to give the dog his due, trump did officially begin the process. (And didn’t Obama run against McCain on the promise of getting out of Afghanistan and closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp?)
            But, hell, why do we all argue about politics when we should be showing more compassion for each other.
            Biden-bashing or Trump-thumping; both are a waste of time.
            Life is too short.

    • Troye was fired from her job as advisor to VP Pence by Lt Gen Kellog, National Security Advisor to the President, for her lack of competency in the role. I suspect she had harbored some animosity towards the administration.

    • Members of the “Taliban Five” — a group of high-value leaders held at Guantanamo Bay until they were swapped by President Barack Obama in exchange for the return of deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014 — also appeared across the negotiating table from the U.S. in Qatar after their release.

  5. Biden’s handlers are making the decisions. All they need is his signature. He he is not even competent enough to answer questions to the press on the issue without a teleprompter. I truly feel sorry for him and for his wife to allow him to be used like this is reprehensible. That is elder abuse. I feel horrible for all of these Afghans and Americans still over there. I also blame the voters that voted for this nut job. Y’all did this. Being a military mom, my nerves are a bit on edge but I know I have to trust in a higher power and know God has this. God protect our troops and Afghans.

    So sorry on the loss of your wife. Please accept my sincerest condolences.

  6. Sorry for your wife’s passing. Prayers for you and all the family.

    Open the southern border to who knows what.
    Then shut out men and women who bravely helped our military.
    This present administration is all about a foolish radical agenda. No thinking of the real needs of the USA.
    Please dear and mighty Lord, help us all!!

  7. The President has a whole cadre of advisors that he is supposed to rely on to make informed decisions. Either he has shunned those advisors or they gave him some lousy advise. I suspect that it is a combination of the two. The Sec of the Army has little or no combat experience. Gen Milley, the chairman of the JCS has been busy pushing CRT to the troops. The Sec of State just doesn’t appear to know what he’s doing. Then there’s our President, Obama once said about his VP, ” Don”t underestimate Joe’s ability to F things up”.
    They never should have closed Bagrum AB, it was a high secure instillation and they wouldn’t have had the problems with people over running the runways and the Taliban controlling the entry points. The intelligence offices were at Bagrum, and when the base closed, so did the intelligence office, and they had no way of knowing what the Taliban were up to.
    Whoever was in charge of this had no idea of how to handle the 10’s of thousands of Afghans that were told that they would be cared for. It appears to me that the planning for this evacuation was virtually non existent.
    Anyone with any military or logistical training could have done a better job.

  8. Well written and I’m sorry for your loss. Prayers for our country, those that helped us in Afghanistan, and you!

  9. Joe you are correct in everything you said. To add in my opinion this is biggest failure in American history. Not only are thousands of people going to be killed but now Biden’s decisions have created the best armed terrorist organization in the world. The world will be paying for his decision for years to come.

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