To the Editor:

It hurts my heart to see the pictures of desperate Afghani people rushing to the airport in the capital city of Kabul with hopes of leaving their country.

It angers me that the Afghani president and his administration fled his country and the entire Afghani armed forces gave up and quit. It angers me that seven of our presidents have been involved with what happened in Afghanistan, starting with President Reagan.

In case we forget, it was under his administration that the United States armed the Taliban — remember Ollie North, Charlie Wilson’s War? Then it was G.W. Bush who on Oct. 7, 2001 announced that our armed forces were on the ground in Afghanistan because the country was harboring the al-Qaida terrorists who attacked our country on Sept. 11, 2001.

Since Reagan, Bush, Clinton, G.W. Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden, our country has spent over 2 trillion dollars in trying to make Afghanistan a democracy. Taxpayer money was given to defense contractors under the guise of “spreading democracy” and “liberating the oppressed”, instead of being kept in America used to improve American lives.

Too many of our politicians were bought off enough by these defense contractors and the military complex to keep supporting this war.

I have been waiting for one of our presidents to say “Enough” and President Biden did just that. Yes, he is being criticized for ending the 20+ year war the way he did, but know this, many of the critics are individuals who wanted to nation build and keep the military industrial complex rolling in tax payer’s money.

Also know that some of the people who are crying about the slowness of the evacuation of our Afghan allies are the same ones who voted just last month against giving more visas to them while continuing to support former president Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.

Also know that now we have politicians beginning to cry out against the proposal of bringing any Afghani refugees into our country. Afghani people have a saying that goes like this: “Americans have watches, we have time.” I thank President Biden for looking at the watch of time and saying “No more!”

— Carol Cate

Ripon

(25) comments

Dan Gatzke

Does anyone see the differences of when trump pulled out of Syria and abandoning our Kurdish allies without trying to evacuate our helpers to what Pres. Biden is doing to save those people that helped us for over 20 years? Where was your right wing outrage when that happened? trump abandoned our allies to one of his favorite dictators who proceeded to exterminate a great many of them. That is what will happen now because of the surrender policy put in place by the trump administration.

Sallie Helmer

Biden did not follow Trump's plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Trump would have gotten U,S. citizens and our allies out of Afghanistan before he withdrew the troops.

The difference between Trump withdrawing troops from Syria is Trump had a plan but Biden didn’t. Biden’s plan is to lie to the world--- which he is doing. It’s working because those who voted for Biden are buying the lies.

Trump asserted that American troops in Syria are not performing useful work. They are, he said, “not fighting.” They are “just there,” he said.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2019/10/14/trumps-syrian-maneuver-works-president-erdogan-asks-for-negotiations-with-kurds-insyria/

“The actual result hasn't been quite what everyone expected. Erdoğan suddenly understood the box he was in when Trump authorized Treasury secretary Mnuchin to prepare sanctions against Turkey. By themselves, sanctions haven't succeeded much in that part of the world. But in concert with the departure of the U.S., they became a scary signal that Turkey was all by her lonesome. Having steadfastly refused to negotiate, Erdoğan now nervously rang up Trump and asked for an emergency conference.

These are the long sought negotiations, brought about by U.S. troops leaving Syria..

Only Donald Trump saw it — just as only Donald Trump got North Korea to the table, forced the Chinese to play fair, and got the Mexicans to handle the immigrant caravans on our southern border. Trump once again exhibits strategic insight not seen in the White House since George Washington.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/10/trumps_syria_plan_reveals_a_master_strategist_in_the_white_house.html

Adam Umbreit

Interesting how the GOP is trying to spin this. What a truly sad bunch of Americans! The ONLY people to blame are the Taliban and their religion. Biden will have to deal with the fallout and these GOP spinners are losing their base faster than they know. Let's just hope we can save as many people as we can!

Sallie Helmer

I will try to stay on topic.

Letter: It was time for U.S. to pull troops from Afghanistan-- By Carol cate

Published on Aug 25, 2021

Joe Biden is the Commander-in-Chief--- since January 20, 2021. Sadly.

"I have been waiting for one of our presidents to say “Enough” and President Biden did just that." Biden is responsible for the present withdrawal debacle. We all knew this was going to happen because Biden is not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. You cannot spin this any other way.

Biden gave our enemies all around the world a great victory when he unexpectedly and inexplicably removed our great soldiers from Afghanistan before taking out our U.S. citizens and allies.

He abandoned billions of dollars of the highest-grade Military equipment.

Leaving our Military until the very end was such a simple decision that anyone with intelligence and commonsense would have made. Biden did it wrong and instantly created the greatest embarrassment for our country in history.

Biden absolutely abandoned our citizens in Afghanistan with his poor decisions which he made in the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan.

Al Fresco

What happened this past week in Kabul would have happened regardless who is president. Bush and Cheney started this senseless war and every administration since has had a part in prolonging it. Trump initiated the withdrawal of troops and Biden got stuck seeing it to the end. Whether it's the Taliban or ordinary Afghans, these are all Afghans and they must decide on their country's future.

We never should have been there in the first place. All the contingency planning in the world cannot foresee the unexpected. There will always be the possibility of violence or a suicide bombing. It happened this past week and it will happen again.

If anything the past 20 years has taught us, perhaps it is the fact that the US does not have solutions that work. We meddle in other countries' affairs and fail every time.

Bill Bumby

Thank you for being a voice of sanity here, Al!

Michael Shohoney

Sallie, Do some reading. This article explains a LOT of what you have wrong.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/08/29/afghanistan-war-exit-joe-biden-critics-wrong/5639051001/

Sallie Helmer

“The Trump administration that set the deadlines, drew down the troops, left behind the materiel and released up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners owns this.“

This is asinine. The Taliban released the prisoners when Biden is acting president. Biden didn’t follow Trump’s withdrawal plan. If he had 13 marines never would’ve died in vain. Trump would have gotten our citizens and allies out of Afghanistan before he withdrew the troops. Biden created this debacle. He did it for Iran and China. Iran needs Uranium and china has a deal with the Taliban to mine their Rare Earth. Biden committed Treason.

Dale Failor

Good letter Carol. I agree with getting out now, it's been way to long. There would never be a good outcome from this battle. This is a hostile region and sorry to say I think it always will be. Getting out is the only smart decision. I agree, the way Biden went about it was wrong but that is water over the dam. Most people learn from their mistakes and I am sure Biden will not forget this mistake. Carol I hope you are ready for nasty comments from you know who.

Sallie Helmer

Biden is responsible and his Secretary of the State department for his foreign policy on the Afghanistan troop withdrawal. You wrote it is ‘water over the dam’ as if this debacle will end soon. The American Citizens will be held as hostages. The media may stop blaming Biden but this will not end anytime soon.

Al Fresco

We don't live in a perfect world. Biden may have committed from your perspective and you still have freedom of speech. Enjoy!

Bill Bumby

Afghanistan’s mineral deposits are no more ours than Iraq’s oil was ours, Sallie… Convince me otherwise…

Sallie Helmer

This is what I wrote, " Biden created this debacle. He did it for Iran and China. Iran needs Uranium and china has a deal with the Taliban to mine their Rare Earth. Biden committed Treason."

I never said Afghanistan's mineral deposits were ours or mentioned Iraq's oil.

Bill Bumby

What's your point in mentioning Afghanistan’s mineral deposits in the first place then, Sallie?

Bill Bumby

How has Biden committed treason?

Andy King

I feel the need to correct a statement I made. Biden had wanted to extend the withdrawal date to 9/11/21 and the actual withdrawal date is 8/31/21.

Bill Bumby

trumps agreement with the Taliban for complete troop withdrawal was set as May, 1st, 2021. In that time, trump reduced troop levels from 13,000 down to 2,500.

Sallie Helmer

Trump’s plan was conditional on the Taliban obeying certain rules. If Biden would have followed Trump’s plan. Biden’s surrender never would’ve happened.

Bill Bumby

The Afghan Army surrendered. Why is that so hard for you to grasp? Blinded by your hatred, is my guess…

Andy King

Carol,

I think it is important to fact check your statements before posting them.

1st: Ronald Reagan had nothing to do with arming the Taliban. The Reagan presidency armed the Mujahideen Resistance (freedom fighters) to battle against the Russians in Afghanistan. The Mujahideen actually fought and still fight against the Taliban.

The Taliban wasn’t organized until 1994.

2nd. I do remember Oliver North. He was involved the the Iran-Contra. This involved the illegal sales of weapons to the Khomeini Regime in Iran and then funneled the proceeds from those sales to the Contra Rebels in Nicaragua. Nothing to do with Afghanistan.

3rd. Congressman Charlie Wilson through the US House Appropriations secured funding to support the Afghan Mujahideen’s fight against the Soviets. This took place in the early 1980’s. The Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989.

4th. You are correct that President G. W. Bush put troops into Afghanistan in 2001. It was to get pursue al-Qaeda, mainly their leader Osama Bin Laden. However, you are not correct to say that Reagan, H. W. Bush, or Clinton had anything to do with our direct involvement with troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

Trump is actually who negotiated our withdrawal from Afghanistan with the Taliban, which was supposed to happen back in May 2021. Biden extended the withdrawal to Sept 11th 2021, which was strictly ceremonial. I really don’t care what President brings our troops home.

I do feel it is time for the US to be out of Afghanistan. What I don’t agree with is how poorly the Biden administration has handled the task at hand. You do not remove your troops from country before you have all and I mean ALL of your essential personnel out of country. You ensure there is safe passage and get every last American, translator, contractor and at risk personnel out of country. Then you get the troops out.

If you are going to try and write a political hit list, at least get your fact straight!!

As a military veteran, I totally support our military efforts in Afghanistan and feel that over the last 20 we have done some good. Thank you to every veteran who served there and elsewhere.

Carol Cate

Ah Andy, you are correct. I was wrong to mention Reagan, HW Bush, and Clinton as being part of the War in Afghanistan. Thank you for the correction. When I think of the Middle East, I start with Reagan because of his interference with the hostages of Iran and his supplying weapons to fighters in Afghanistan. You are correct in saying that the war started in October,2001 when GW Bush put troops in Afghanistan in order to capture bin Laden. The US began bombing the country when the Taliban refused to turn over bin Laden. The bombing was so successful that in December, 2001, the Taliban offered to surrender, but the US rejected that surrender. I believe it was in 2002 that GW Bush claimed our country’s right to strike preemptively against any country that harbored terrorists! That claimed right by Bush led to the war on Iraq which meant that money and troops were then taken from Afghanistan. With our focus now on Iraq at that time, the Taliban was able to regroup and they started to regain some of the territory it has lost to the US in 2001. What were we still doing in Afghanistan? Bush and our military leaders began selling the idea that they could turn the Afghan government into a modern democracy with our help. That help dragged on and on until now.

I also agree that our soldiers have done some good in Afghanistan during their time in the country. Several of my family members have done more than one tour in Afghanistan and thankfully, all of them have returned home safely. I too appreciate their service. My letter was not meant to be a political hit list, it was meant to be a thank you to President Biden for ending this unwinnable war that had gone on far too long. It was also a reminder that our country has an obligation to any Afghani who assisted our soldiers to give them a place of refuge which some members of Congress are reluctant to provide.

Comment deleted.
Carol Cate

Please go away Sallie, your comments have been and are inane.

Comment deleted.
Bill Bumby

We have plowed military arms and equipment into Afghanistan for 20 years to equip the Afghani army which folded like a cheap, trump suit without firing a single shot. The fact that the Taliban are now in possession of a vast store of arms is on the Afghani army, not Joe Biden. Why do I even bother replying to your factless, toxic gibberish, Sallie?! It’s beyond me.

Bill Bumby

Thank you, Carol. It grieves me to think of what we could have done with several trillion dollars had we not poured it into ”the graveyard of empires”.

Comment deleted.
Bill Bumby

Please, attempt to post on topic once in awhile, Sallie

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