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Is this who we are?

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The Afghan man was one of thousands in Kabul attempting to escape Taliban and ISIS fighters who had conquered the country. He actually evaded the Taliban checkpoints and was even able to show his papers to the U.S. officials that granted him permission to be evacuated. They agreed to allow him to enter the sanctuary of the airfield but said he would have to leave his wife and children behind as they hadn't been cleared. He pleaded with the officials, just as I would; what man would abandon his cherished family to save his life?

His pleas were to no avail. When American forces retreated in the most ignominious and shameful surrender since the fall of Vietnam in 1975, the man and his family were abandoned, subject to the "mercies" of the Taliban.

The man was an Afghan interpreter. In 2008 he saved the life of then Sen. Joe Biden along with Sen. John Kerry and our secretary of defense. Their helicopter made a forced landing deep within Taliban territory during a winter snowstorm. An American emergency reaction force was unable to reach them. After two days on the ground, a Special Forces team rescued Biden. The Afghan interpreter who kept Biden alive along with many other Americans for two decades is now hiding, pleading for rescue. His cries fall on deaf ears as Biden has declared victory and a successful surrender.

The Taliban are diligently searching for this man, and when they find him, as they have others, he will be tortured after they rape his wife and daughters in his presence, who also will suffer torture and decapitation before he suffers a similar fate. Children are burned alive as local villagers are forced to watch this slaughter. This is happening now all over Afghanistan, even more effectively as we left behind 7,000 scanners used to verify ID of Afghans working for U.S. forces. All of that personnel data is now in the hands of a ruthless terrorist organization.

Another group pleaded for rescue—230 orphaned Afghan girls, many training to be musicians, were turned away despite pleas for rescue by Western-aid groups. They were left behind, captured by the Taliban, and are being sold off as wives to Taliban fighters. The girls were mostly of middle-school age, as young as 12, sold off into a life of misery, their hopes destroyed by the callousness indifference of bloodless State Department lackeys. Their fate is now the fate of all women in Afghanistan. For 20 years they were allowed to hope and dream of a better life—where women were treated not as property to be bartered, bought, and sold for the pleasure of men but treated as human beings, receiving medical care and education for the first time in centuries.

Our retreat and surrender has plunged Afghanistan back into darkness, devoid of light, even music, which the Taliban bans. To make that point last week, they captured a popular Afghan folk singer and hanged him from the rotor blades of a captured American Blackhawk helicopter. The gross incompetence displayed by Biden and his national security team is responsible for every drop of Afghan blood being spilled, a result of a malevolent policy of deceit of both the American Congress and people.

The Reuters news agency revealed a leaked phone conversation between President Biden and Afghan President Ghani in which Biden insisted Ghani present a more positive perception of the rapidly deteriorating Afghan military situation despite military and intelligence reporting of a massive Taliban offensive, supported by 15,000 al-Qaeda fighters from Pakistan. The Pakistani intelligence services were supplying logistical and intelligence support to the Taliban as Biden's team was ordering a reduction of American airpower and logistical support to the Afghans.

We'd built a military force for the Afghan government, heavily dependent upon American intelligence, drones, logistical support, and contractors to maintain it. All of it was summarily withheld to meet Biden's arbitrary deadline of withdrawal of Aug. 31. The Taliban offensive collapsed Afghan army units who, when literally out of ammunition, surrendered and were summarily executed on video, displayed globally on the internet.

We abandoned hundreds of Americans, thousands of Afghan allies, and military equipment equal to 85 percent of all the military aid we've given to Israel over the last 70 years. Biden caused a generational strategic disaster that decimated our intelligence capabilities in the region, destroying our global credibility as a reliable ally. Biden has increased the probability of war in this decade with China/Taiwan, Russia/Eastern Europe, and North Korea as our failure of political will to fight is irreparably compromised.

Our worst sin however is moral as we have violated a biblical admonition:

"'Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.' If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this, does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?'" (Proverbs 24:10-12)

Once again, America abandoned an ally, demonstrating it no longer has the political will to stand for the moral principles that make a great nation. Δ

Al Fonzi had a 35-year military career, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Respond with a letter to the editor emailed to letters@newtimesslo.com.

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