As the news cycle gives even the savviest consumer whiplash, there are some stories that should still be on the public’s mind until there is accountability. In this case, it’s the botched Afghanistan withdrawal that President Joe Biden managed to get away with.
Although August 2021 may feel like a long time ago, it doesn’t feel that way to the families of the 13 American troops who were killed in the Kabul airport bombing. Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when one considers that Afghans are now living under Taliban control after essentially being under Western supervision for years.
Afghans were promised increased rights and quality of life by the U.S., and they are now back to living under extremely restrictive laws under their “new” oppressive leaders.
It appears that the Biden administration forgot the words of former first lady Laura Bush years ago in the months following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“Life under the Taliban is so hard and repressive, even small displays of joy are outlawed. Children aren’t allowed to fly kites,” Bush said, according to The Washington Post. “Their mothers face beatings for laughing out loud. Women cannot work outside the home or even leave their homes by themselves.”
While one arguably can criticize how former President George W. Bush handled Afghanistan too, it remains true that the Taliban makes life horrific for women and children. It’s unacceptable to go back to this after the U.S. put its stake in the ground. In 2022, Human Rights Watch is one of many groups sounding the alarm about what is happening to women in the country.
“Afghan women and girls are facing both the collapse of their rights and dreams and risks to their basic survival,” scholar Halima Kazem-Stojanovic said in January, Human Rights Watch reported.
“They are caught between Taliban abuses and actions by the international community that are pushing Afghans further into desperation every day.”
Biden’s poorly planned withdrawal that allowed the Taliban to swiftly take back power meant doom for millions. The Afghan National Army hardly put up a fight and the U.S. failed to evacuate people who would be targetted beforehand. The Taliban ended up going after many of those former Afghan officials, including roughly 500 who were “killed or forcibly disappeared,” according to a bombshell report from The New York Times earlier this week.
To make matters worse, let’s not forget about the military equipment that was left for the taking. It was a disastrous exit all around, which resulted in unnecessary chaos.
Of course, the Biden administration hobbled away from the situation with minimal accountability. Four House Republicans filed Articles of Impeachment against the president, according to The Dallas Morning News, except that effort did not go anywhere due to the Democrat-controlled Congress.
The U.S. is now dealing with new challenges both foreign and domestic, but Americans must not forget about the tragedy still impacting military families and Afghans alike. Biden and his team want to believe that there’s no interest in learning more about why the withdrawal went so poorly, and the public and the media have a responsibility to remain curious.