What a debacle…how do you spell Biden’s Afghanistan? Waterloo. God bless those who have died. What a mess. Wasn’t any of this foreseen?
God bless our troops placed needlessly in harms way by this debacle and eternal rest to all who are dying because of the president’s incompetence.
On 23 October 1983 307 people were killed in an attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut. The dead included 241 U.S. and 58 French military personnel, 6 civilians, and 2 of the attackers.
Was President Reagan incompetent?
What a pathetic comparison! REALLY????
You're right, there's little comparison between 241 dead US service members killed in Beirut and 12 US service members killed in Kabul, don't you think?
Both are tragic and, from my perspective, senseless.
Fr. Kavanaugh we can always caught on you to support the party of intrinsic evil
Father, why in the heck do you do this? Every time you go political all the Republican haters come out of the woodwork. Now we can expect a steady two days of leftist sanctimony until you stop the comments.
Jerome, sadly a Catholic priest who posts here is part of that group
You ask a good question. Here are some other good questions: What is a “Republican hater” and what is “leftist sanctimony.” Do these terms have any meaning or are they just emotive labels?
The other day, a third-party in a conversation--someone I did not really know--asked me if I was a Democrat or a Republican. I replied, "I am an American."
The fact is, I am currently registered as a Republican. For many years, I was a Democrat, but for a variety of reasons that I won't bother going into, that became untenable for me. I don't look upon the Republican party as a panacea for America's troubles, as much as I see it as the most practical path for someone like me at this moment.
But back to being an American. I am old enough to remember watching Republicans and Democrats in Congress endorsing BIPARTISAN bills. I have read enough history to recognize that many times members of both parties put aside their differences for the good of the country.
That is gone--long gone. The moment someone is elected, they have already begun their re-election campaign, which CERTAINLY includes fundraising and hiring media experts to track possible opponents and scouring any recordings or video for any damaging quotes--and since even the smartest people are capable of saying something stupid once in a while, those quotes will be part of their re-election advertising. And the entire tone of elections have become exercises in sanctimony on steroids. BOTH sides purport to hold some sort of moral high ground and feign outrage at the "immorality" and "lack of patriotism" of their opponents. Both parties do it.
I cringe sometimes when I hear Republicans inveighing against the "evils" of the Democratic party, because they paint with too broad of a brush. Yes abortion, the new gender ideology, the idea that we cannot have a border, homosexuality and redistribution of wealth ARE evil ideas, but they are (at least supposedly) based upon some ideal of COMPASSION--regardless of how that ideal is twisted to support such policies. When I see Democrats expressing their outrage at the "intolerance" of the Republicans, I likewise cannot help but ask "when did putting your country first and loving your country and respecting its heritage become obscenities?" These concepts strike me as rather timeless and the deft manipulation of them as gestures of intolerance and hatred and the reduction of every Republican initiative to "white supremacy" also make me cringe--if for no other reason, for the sheer intellectual dishonesty.
BOTH PARTIES COULD LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. But that isn't going to happen. It's all about winning now and party first has replaced country first. There are Democrat haters and there are Republican haters. Right now, I happen to be a Republican, but I too have become a hater. I am a politics hater. George Washington warned us about the dangers of political parties and we didn't listen. So, ultimately, I have NO HOPE WHATSOEVER in any kind of political solutions to our nation's problems. My hope is in God. If we ALL turn to Him, and stop looking at each other like cartoon characters and trying to define everyone we disagree with, we might just have a chance.
The New York Times is your answer. They are Republican haters and practice leftist sanctimony. Of course if you deny reality, you deny this.
At one stage in the conflict the BBC interviewed the British officer responsible for keeping one of the MSRs open by clearing it of IEDs, an ongoing task since the enemy were continually laying new ones. He cheerfully admitted that the reason for the IEDs was 'because we're here'. Were it not for the Western military presence the enemy would have no reason to mine the road since 'he wants to use it, too'. Unfortunately the IEDs, being indiscriminate, killed Afghan civilians as well as military personnel. There was a horrific video of a civilian minibus carrying a wedding party straying out of the cleared area and being blown to smithereens.
Two commentators on previous threads mentioned Tony Blair (UK PM 1997-2007). Apart from the damage he did to the United Kingdom by arbitrarily meddling with the Constitution, he is excoriated, not least in his own Labour Party, for misleading Parliament when he joined in the Iraq adventure whose aim was regime change for no obvious reason other than that it wouldn't be too difficult to achieve. His involvement in the US-led coalition against the Taleban in Afghanistan was less controversial, but he is not best placed to lecture anyone in the light of its lamentable failure.
He did have one undoubted success - the military intervention in Sierra Leone from 2000 to 2002 which ended a long-running insurgency war and has achieved a lasting settlement. It wasn't much reported on at the time, but was a textbook example of how things should be done. Blair is still a hero in Freetown.
Back to the present, there can be no doubt that the United States has suffered an immense blow to its prestige and influence, and the enemies of freedom (China, Iran, Russia) are gloating. George W Bush's 'War on Terror' was, as its name suggests, vague and unfocused; and it seems that America has still not learned the lessons of Vietnam, namely that overwhelming military might in itself does not guarantee lasting influence.
The effect among its junior partners, including the UK, is much less since they did not have much, if any, regional influence to start with (I noted on an earlier thread how Britain squandered hers between 1947 and 1950). Already British senior officers are analyzing the 20-year-old conflict largely in terms of its (positive) effects on the armed forces, as if the whole thing, with 457 dead and 616 seriously wounded, were an extended training exercise with live ammunition.
John, I would be interested in what the opinion of those in the UK is about how President Biden has handled American withdrawal from Afghanistan.
I saw the British parliament condemned his actions and Tony Blair called his actions imbecilic. So much for the adults are back in charge. Strange there were no new hot wars under President Trump and the Mideast was in relative peace, a fact liberals refuse to acknowledge
Comparing the events in Afghanistan to the results of Vatican II may show the fruit of assuming that everyone will do the right thing, or even agree on what that right thing is, when given the latitude to choose.
Thank you for your very thoughtful response. I am right with you in what you say. Rather than giving up on politics, however, my hope is that we can find a way to connect the turning to God you mention in your final paragraph with an improved politics, or even that we can find a way to engage in political conversation with each other that itself both constitutes and reflects such a turning.
I am re-posting something I posted on an earlier thread. The last sentence echoes some of what John posted here.
Here is Tony Blair’s complete statement on the withdrawal from Afghanistan:
Notice that he does not name Biden specifically, contrary to the impression given by the Fox News headline (no surprises there, of course):
This said, Blair’s statement includes this passage:
“We did it when the February 2020 agreement, itself replete with concessions to the Taliban, by which the US agreed to withdraw if the Taliban negotiated a broad-based government and protected civilians, had been violated daily and derisively.”
Arguably, then, the U.S. may no longer have been bound under the agreement due to the violations by the Taliban. But here I am just noting the argument not attempting to analyze and evaluate it.
Of course, we should also recall that Blair was a great supporter of George Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq as well as the invasion of Afghanistan.
Fr Allan, you asked about UK opinion concerning Biden's actions. Even the left-leaning BBC is highly critical, and after seeing his performances in front of the cameras (e.g. the press conference which had to be pulled because he couldn't or wouldn't answer any questions) most doubt his competence. Meanwhile Boris Johnson is under fire because HMG was scandalously slow in bringing over those Afghans who had helped the British military, despite a sustained press campaign on their behalf. Even British passport-holders have been abandoned. The sense of shame is not confined to the US.
Biden claimed he was saving the lives of America's 'daughters and sons'. At that time there had been no US military casualties since February 2020, and of the 2,400 US service personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001 only 46 were women.
Military equipment worth tens of billions have been left to the Taliban, along with biometric data on all those Afghans who supported the West, providing them with a convenient 'kill list'. The news gets worse by the day.
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