An open letter to President Biden – The Suffolk News-Herald
By Dr J. Lyle History
The events that have taken place in recent weeks have been tragic and have far-reaching consequences. Your decision was reckless, incompetent and ill-informed. How not to consider the fatal consequences? For me, it highlights incompetence, tragedy, an inability to think through the real consequences, denials, blame shifting, treason to the limit (giving the Taliban names to be blacklisted), the betrayal of public and military trust the military, the shame, the devaluation of our military, American citizens and Afghans who supported the American military. Lies lead to more lies to cover up an original lie. This is an earthquake of seismic proportions, not just for Americans but for foreign governments, both our allies and our enemies – not just erosion. What about Afghan women and girls, who will now be subjected to execution and torture under Sharia law? Their hopes are dashed.
Currently, I cannot say President Biden and the Commander-in-Chief in one sentence. I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, and I know the Middle Eastern culture well. I never supported nation building because I viewed it as American arrogance, believing that our imposition of American democracy on tribal cultures for thousands of years would someday work.
However, with the withdrawal, Afghanistan is a safe haven for a number of training camps and the terrorist planning of several Islamic groups. What did you really think would happen? I am neither a politician nor a soldier, but it was easy for me to predict what would really happen.
I am a graduate professor and I teach so many military learners in my classes – many are now retired veterans. Today I had a conversation with one of my adult learners, who flew 600 combat missions in the Middle East in the Delta force, including Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering from traumatic brain injury and PTSD. . He is enraged, disgusted, degraded and filled with shame for what you have done. Your decision is not just an insulting slap in the face, but a kick in his guts. I understand and feel his rage. I also have a son who was an officer in charge of a Humvee platoon, which daily traversed the dangerous areas of Baghdad. Over Labor Day, we talked about his feelings.
When I was in college, our family came on a boat from Beirut, Lebanon, to New York. I well remember the tears of joy, pride and patriotism that rolled down my face when I saw the Statue of Liberty. But now that image is tarnished.
In addition, I am deeply alarmed by our culture and our division in an already polarized country, especially with the principles of CRT training for teachers, even as a “litmus test” for applicants for teaching positions. These principles will be taught to our children. Yes, I have always loathed racism and I feel corporate shame for anti-black racism and subsequent segregation, and the Jim Crow laws. But now the CRT indoctrination enforces another form of racism that pits black and white children against each other. The principles of CRT contradict the commitment and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with his mission and advocacy to value and respect people for their character and not the color of their skin. What happened to this?
I saw that you took responsibility for the Afghan decision, but that is not enough; it is simply political and impersonal. Gratitude must follow, begging the forgiveness of the American people and our military for such thoughtless and unreasonable decisions; you owe it to the American people, including the military. These events and decisions go against American values. Healing and reconciliation, not more polarization, should be the mantra of this administration. When you took office, you promised to commit to the unity and security of our country – now, a hollow wish, including irresponsible decisions and mixed messages for the southern border.
Confidence is the very motto of leadership. Confidence is tricky because it builds over time but quickly melts in a fraction of a second. For so many American citizens, trust has been decimated, and for others, it is impossible to renew.
Dr J. Lyle Story, a Suffolk resident, has taught graduate students for 42 years, has written books, book chapters and numerous professional and academic journal articles. He enjoys life in Suffolk with his wife and fishes for largemouth bass in the lakes of Suffolk. Contact him at [email protected]