The remarkable collapse of the Afghan government and the scenes of U.S. embassy personnel being shuttled out of the facility in helicopters brings to mind Saigon’s fall in 1975.
One of the big questions some who served in Afghanistan over the last 20 years are now asking is: was it worth it? In a powerful personal essay on Medium, Afghan War veteran Laura Jedeed says the whole thing was “20 wasted years.”
…we are leaving and the predictable thing is happening. The Taliban is surging in and taking it all back. They were always going to do this, because they have a thing you cannot buy or train, they have patience and a bloody-mindedness that warrants more respect than we ever gave them.
I am Team Get The Fuck Out Of Afghanistan which, as a friend pointed out to me today, has always been Team Taliban. It’s Team Taliban or Team Stay Forever.
There is no third team.
And so I sit here, reading these sad fucking articles and these horrified social media posts about the suffering in Afghanistan and the horror of the encroaching Taliban and how awful it is that this is happening but I can’t stop feeling this grim happiness, like, finally, you fuckers, finally you have to face the thing Afghanistan has always been. You can’t keep lying to yourself about what you sent us into.
No more blown up soldiers. No more Bollywood videos on phones whose owners are getting shipped god knows where. No more hypocrisy.
No more pretending it meant anything. It didn’t.
It didn’t mean a goddamn thing.
There will be many, many more essays from veterans wondering if their service, and the sacrifice of those they knew and served with, meant anything. At minimum, we should expect those who got the nation into the conflict, insisted we remain, and then stay some more, and maybe just a bit longer after that, to be held accountable for their actions.