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Editorial

It Was the Right Decision for the U.S. to Withdraw from Afghanistan

Was it inevitable that Kabul would fall into the hands of the Taliban in this humiliating way? For Afghans to hang onto U.S. military planes in order to be rescued?

It was not inevitable. The Biden administration should have planned for a more organized withdrawal, instead of this chaotic one that recalls the nightmarish departure of the Americans from Vietnam…

And it should have planned for the timely departure of the Afghans who believed in America, who worked with her, and who have now been left at the mercy of the Taliban.

Certainly these scenes are not pleasant. They do not increase confidence in the U.S. for those who fight for principles and values, for democracy, around the world.

And yet this war had to end. And better now than later.

This dictates the interest of all.

After 20 years of war, with 2,500 Americans dead, trillions of dollars spent supporting an ally who could not or did not want to fight and win for its country, the U.S. had no choice but to leave, to heal her wounds, to rebuild her strength so she can fight another day.

So that when her real national interests call, she will be ready to fight.

After all, America – and NATO – cannot be more interested in Afghanistan and its people than the Afghans themselves.

Biden could have postponed the decision to exit for another day. For six months, a year, three years from now. But even then things would not be better in Afghanistan.

On the contrary, it would be worse.

So better now.

Today, many Afghans post on social media that they claim to have been betrayed by the Americans.

They are, up to a point, right. They should have been protected by the U.S. They should have been able to settle in the U.S. and other countries.

The same serious mistake was made by the U.S. in Vietnam. And in Iraq. And now in Afghanistan. This repetitive mistake does not honor America.

But the one who really betrayed the Afghans is none other than the Afghans themselves. They were betrayed by their compatriots who did not believe in a new Afghanistan with human rights, respect for women, some form of democracy, and who did not fight for them against their enemies.

It is clear that the war in Afghanistan, which, to recall, began after the destruction of the Twin Towers 20 years ago, went awry from the beginning when, instead of concentrating efforts there, the U.S. also attacked Iraq.

And it is clear that, as in Vietnam, the decisions of U.S. administrations have been based on ignorance, lies, and the selfishness of many of those responsible for waging war.

President Biden himself seems to have been so misinformed that he recently made statements exposing him.

"None whatsoever," he said. “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy… of the United States from Afghanistan [as was the case in Vietnam]… the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”

Yes, it is a pity and an injustice to the dead, to the wounded, and to the fortune that was spent ending the war in this humiliating way.

And yet, I repeat, despite all this, a month or a few more years would not have made any difference.

It was time for the U.S. to put an end to it. To regroup. To put its own house in order.

This will be much more respected by friends and foes alike than another year of sacrifices without rhyme or reason in Afghanistan.

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