Turning a Blind Eye

“The vicious battle took place in the early morning hours in a key district of Faryab Province. The Taliban seized Dawlat Abad district roughly a week ago—one of dozens that have fallen since American and international forces began withdrawing from the country last month.” New York Times, June 17, 2021

Taliban insurgents are targeting Afghan citizens who aided U.S. forces.” NPR’s “Morning Edition,” June 18, 2021 at 4:57 a.m. ET.

The Russians spent over a decade—most of the 1980s—in Afghanistan before withdrawing. The political and diplomatic cost was high, as was the emotional devastation of many of the USSR’s military personnel. It was a cruel and vicious war. So what did we do? The U.S. dove right in, along with the bogus war in Iraq. Now we are trying to leave. In our wake, we are not leaving a country and its people better off than we found them. NO. We can’t wear the t-shirt or own the coffee mug. We have sacrificed numerous American and allied lives, as well as countless Afghan lives, and for what? To abandon them to even more terror and death.

Should we stay? No. Should we go? Yes. Have we betrayed our military? Yes. Have we betrayed the Afghan people? Yes. We have turned a blind eye to our folly there, just as we turned our backs on the Kurds. If you Google “turning a blind eye,” you will find hundreds of quotes from Einstein to Martin Luther King, Jr., all condemning those who walk away, stand aside, and pretend not to see.

Surely our day of reckoning will come.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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