Apparently dead guys make good props.
And so it was that as part of his announcement of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, President Biden stood among the headstones of American heroes who fell in Afghanistan to talk about, mostly, his son’s service in Iraq.
And to fundamentally mischaracterize the Afghan war and the sacrifice of the Americans who died there.
“They didn’t do it for their country,” he said, before rambling off about mom and dad and the guy on the right and the guy on the left and other platitudes which he knew nothing about.
Because Uncle Joe was never G.I. Joe. In fact, he – like Trump and Clinton – was a draft dodger. Five separate times he got deferrals because of the debilitating effects of childhood asthma. Of course, at the time he was too handicapped to be a soldier he was playing college football, and had come off a high school wide-receiver career that had him lead his team to an undefeated season and which had him listed as one of the highest-scoring players in the state.
Sure, the state was Delaware and the high school was a prep school for rich boys, but, nonetheless, the asthma only seemed to bother him at induction-physical time.
So forgive me for not taking Uncle Joe as a subject-matter expert on the military.
Especially when we know he’s wrong.
“They didn’t do it for their country,” as an assertion about the men and women who fought the Global War on Terror is patently false. And we know that because they told us so.
On May 2, 2011.
In a crackling radio call from a compound in Pakistan.
“For God and country,” a Navy Seal’s voice said, “Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.”
In that simple broadcast – heard live back at the White House by President Obama – this one representative warrior, taking out that one representative terrorist, explained what it was all about.
For God and country.
And that purpose was explicit in every day of America’s two-decade effort in Afghanistan.
A war, by the way, which Joe Biden didn’t end – Donald Trump did. All Joe Biden did was delay the end of it some several months by countermanding Donald Trump’s order to shut it down.
But about the war in Afghanistan: It was one of the most successful wars America ever fought.
Because every day we accomplished what we set out to do.
We weren’t there to topple the Taliban. We weren’t there to build schools and hospitals. We weren’t there to hold votes. We weren’t there to advance the rights of women and girls. We might have done all those things. But none of them were the point.
The point was protecting America.
And we did that in spades.
On September 11, 2001, Muslim terrorists went to war against civilians in America. That was the war they wanted to fight. They wanted to slaughter unarmed people in our homeland.
We said to hell with that, and we changed the venue and the participants.
Within weeks we had servicemembers on the ground in Afghanistan, and that changed the paradigm from one advantageous to them to one advantageous to us.
Instead of fighting flight attendants in our country, we got the to fight American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in their country. We changed who they were fighting and where.
Yes, Afghanistan, and then Iraq and Syria, became magnets for jihadis of every stripe, who wanted to get a piece of the Americans. That was exactly our plan. Because every day they were coming after our military over there, they were leaving our civilians alone over here.
And so it was that for 20 years the American homeland has been safe from organized international Muslim terrorism.
That’s because of the men and women who fought in Afghanistan. That’s because presidents of both parties saw the wisdom of that effort.
The Afghan war wasn’t about Afghanistan, it was about America.
It was about protecting America.
Nothing could be further from the truth than, “They didn’t do it for their country.” America’s servicemen and women did it precisely for their country. And their country was safe every day they served.
The Afghan war, like every righteous war, was to protect the people, sovereignty, freedom and security of the United States of America.
And we won the Afghanistan war.
Every day for 20 long years.
Uncle Joe doesn’t know that. And the progs on the evening news don’t know that.
But Americans do.
Especially Americans who truly understand and reverence what those white headstones mean.