What the Taliban Takeover Means

The fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, August 14, marks the beginning of dark days for a country and region, and the end of a two-decades-long climb toward freedom. It destabilizes peace and freedom everywhere and weakens America’s presence in the world. John Lovell talks about the consequences of this deplorable decision.

The senseless deaths last week of 13 U.S. Marines at the hands of a suicide bomb attack does not in any way diminish the immense courage and legacy of these brave men and women who died trying to protect innocents.

Many of them–most in their early 20s–had only just begun to live their adult lives and were already filling their days fighting for ideals and people worth defending, while their stateside counterparts and government decision makers were busy with quashing freedom and making women out of men–and vice versa.

And while this current administration is busy trying to take away our right to assembly and our right to own guns, Biden is allowing the Taliban to assemble and claim a U.S. weapons technology cache that includes ground vehicles, aircraft, helicopters and automatic weapons worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

There’s a picture from U.S. Central Command showing U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue as he boards a C-17 cargo plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday. In some ways this signals the end of a two decades war that I was proud to serve in. But it also signals the utter stupidity, callousness and unAmerican leadership of the current administration.

So What Are the Consequences of the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Where do I begin? I spent four tours with the Army Rangers fighting alongside Afghans who wanted nothing more than a peaceful homeland where their families could live without tyranny.

In the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, it was only a matter of days before the Taliban had taken territory defended for decades by U.S. military forces and our allies–including Afghans.

American and ally blood, sweat and tears were shed in Afghanistan as we fought to make that reality possible. And while I’m NOT interested in U.S. forces staying in Afghanistan forever, the consequences of this hasty and foolish withdrawal are going to be far-reaching and for years to come.

Tragic Consequence #1: 20 Years Worth of Known Terrorists Released To the World

The Taliban have been hunted and painstakingly imprisoned over the last 20 years and now are being liberated by their terrorist brothers. Now they get to do what terrorists have always done, which is spreading terror around the globe.

In short, the release of thousands of bad guys will absolutely result in the death of thousands of good guys and large-scale attacks like 9/11. We are already seeing this unfold in Kabul this week with the ISIS-claimed suicide bomb attack.

Tragic Consequence #2: U.S. Weapons Caches Seized by the Taliban

Now these thousands of terrorists have infiltrated Bagram, a base I remember well. I’m horrified that the base is now in the hands of terrorists and I’m even more horrified at what this takeover means.

The takeover of Bagram means sophisticated weapons systems and combat gear have fallen into the hands of terrorists. This equipment will inevitably amplify the ability of these radicalized, militant, murdering, pillaging, raping thugs to do their jobs with greater precision, efficiency, and brutality.

Tragic Consequence #3: Peaceful Afghan Families Trapped and Targeted

Those who will certainly suffer the most at the hands of this, now, well-equipped murderous militia are the Afghan families who were hoping to continue to lead peaceful lives without the fear of their women and boys being raped and their fathers and brothers being beheaded.

This is not sensationalizing. This was a reality before U.S. intervention and it sadly could be a reality again very soon.

Now, thanks to Biden and our emasculated military leadership, innocent lives will be hunted down and subjected to all manner of indecency at the hands of a wicked caliphate.

For two decades these people have been able to live safer lives because of U.S. involvement as military protection and humanitarian aid poured into the country. Now they’re left, suddenly, to fend for themselves.

Tragic Consequence #4: The Morale of the Taliban and Other Terrorists Emboldened

The Taliban are gleeful and emboldened for action as they’ve taken over the country, amassed great wealth and weapons and watched their mortal enemy, the United States, retreat from its own embassy. It’s like Saigon and Benghazi all over again.
And meanwhile, the Taliban sees us playing woke games under the leadership of a president whom they perceive as incredibly weak and incompetent. And an emboldened enemy with a high morale means they’re going to be gearing up for more and more attacks and more and more innocent lives taken.

Tragic Consequence #5: Shown the World that We Lack the Resolve to Fight

And now the rest of the world is staring wide-eyed at the world’s most powerful nation and we seem to have circumcised what’s left of its manhood in deference to roving bands of human debris. This consequence may be the worst of all.

Even if we have the technology and budget to be a superpower (which we do), without the military leadership and political courage to keep our enemies at bay, all the weapons in the world aren’t going to do us any good.

Alexander the Great once remarked that “An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.” We may or may not be lions now, but we are most certainly led by a sheep.

We have become hypersensitive, easily offended fragile people who other nations now see as a worldwide joke. With our retreat from Afghanistan, world leaders see our leadership as lacking the intestinal fortitude to even use our own weapons and armed forces. After all, we don’t even have the fortitude to secure our own borders. This, sadly, is absolutely not a joke. This is super serious business.

So some of you might be asking: “If we shouldn’t be in Afghanistan long term, why not pull out now? Here’s two reasons.

Reason #1 Not To Withdraw Yet

Contrary to leftist belief, the United States is NOT a bully nation. We don’t conquer foreign governments and steal from them. We are NOT a country of imperialist tyrants. And in the case of Afghanistan, we delivered people from tyranny as we attempted to rebuild that nation after decades of oppression.

And in recent years, the Afghan people and government have been counting on us and relying on our presence so they could build a country strong enough that the Taliban couldn’t overthrow it. It’s clear from how quickly the Taliban took Bagram Air Base that the Afghan government was not ready for us to leave.

We may want to see terrorists dead, but I can assure you not as much as a lot of Afghans do. For decades they’ve watched helplessly as Taliban and Al Qaeda have beheaded their men, thrown acid in the faces of women and raped boys and girls. I’m not being sensationalist here. This is normal stuff in Afghanistan. I have personally fought shoulder to shoulder with some of these victimized Afghans. I’ve become friends with the interpreters we hired and have gotten to know their families. Our government has doled out hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid. Our medics have healed thousands of Afghans.

All the while, woke college kids cry to their mommies and professors about us without ever bothering to learn the history of why America deserves some special praise.
At least since World War 2, when we win a war, we help conquered nations get back on their feet or at least try to do so. In Afghanistan, we were hopeful and many Afghan leaders were hopeful that their country could be led by democratically elected officials capable of playing nice with the rest of the world.
We are, by far, the most charitable nation on the face of the planet, giving away hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid every year. Unlike the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire, even the more recent British Empire, when we beat a people in war we don’t keep the country as a piece of US territory.

Vietnam hasn’t been added as a foreign state or territory. We didn’t add Germany or Japan or Panama or Granada or Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, or North Korea. We could have conquered and kept but instead handed the keys back to them.

The fact of the matter is, we don’t want to conquer the world. We just don’t want to see Holocausts. We don’t like genocides. Now I want to back up and be careful to paint the U.S. as an absolutely “perfect world player. I don’t believe that we are always a beacon of virtue. I think we have our own growing list of evils and have a lot of work to do, but compared to many conquering empires we’re doing all right. Certainly we’re doing far better than the Taliban and other terrorist groups are doing for Afghanistan.

Reason #2 Not To Withdraw Yet

What the last two decades have proven is that the best defense against Taliban and Al Qaeda attacks around the world is to keep them busy on their own soil. Military minds understand that the best defense is a good offense.

Are we actually going to allow the terrorist organizations that flew planes into buildings to now have a reprieve? Are we really going to allow them take our equipment, our embassy, our equipment, and then run roughshod over innocent lives?

I don’t want the global war on terrorism to go on and neither do our soldiers overseas or their families. But terrorism in this day and age of jets and chemical weapons and nuclear weapons, we really can’t afford to let them stop hiding in their caves. Evil never sleeps and so goodness has always got to be ready to wage war against it.

We Are Not America the Weak

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the left is willing, and maybe even eager, to make America look weak in the eyes of the world. Maybe they want to change the “imperialist” reputation our great nation has developed on the world’s playground. But freedom has never been won and defended by people who were mostly just interested in getting along or who cared primarily about the opinions of people who have no real skin in the game.

When you fight battles that don’t matter (the rights of men to call themselves women, etc.), you weaken your resolve and defenses to fight the real battles–the battle for the rights of men and women to be free from oppression and tyranny. I refuse to lie down for a world that believes otherwise.

In the words of William Faulkner: “I refuse to accept [the end of man]. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. It is [our] privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.”

In other words, it is our privilege to remind the world of who God made us to be. Only in that way can we have true freedom and peace. Not through weakness but through fighting for what matters.

Train Hard. Train Smart.