True Lesson of Afghanistan

The world watched in terror, live, as 19 Islamist terrorists flew three hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. With the rest of the world, a changed world, we watched it on television in shock. That day, 2,996 Americans were murdered. Now images are out there of the carnage being wrought by the same Islamist regime that helped perpetrate 9/11. And now, 20 years into a war spawned by that atrocity—which is ending with even more atrocities—we see how bad it is getting—and how bad it’s going to get.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks shocked Americans into action. Church attendance spiked, patriotism surged, political parties temporarily set aside their differences, allies lined up, and President George W. Bush delivered a rousing speech, saying, “The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them. Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

President Bush targeted al Qaeda, the Islamist terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden, and told Afghanistan’s Taliban regime to hand him over and expel members of his group. The Taliban refused, and on Oct. 7, 2001, United States forces invaded Afghanistan. Operation Enduring Freedom forced them from power. By Dec. 17, 2001, Time magazine ran a cover reading “The Last Days of the Taliban.” In the 20 years since those words were written, the U.S. has spent $2.3 trillion on the War in Afghanistan. It has sacrificed more than 6,000 American soldiers and military contractors. The goal was to stop the Taliban from returning to power.

Now the Biden administration has abruptly pulled the plug. “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” Joe Biden said on July 8. “It’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.” He then set a September 11 deadline for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Many people immediately thought of the historically shameful and embarrassing American retreat from Saigon, Vietnam, 46 years ago, and the iconic image of dozens of people crowding onto a roof to try to board a single helicopter to escape. When asked about it, Biden 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. It is not at all comparable.” That was in July. Now it’s August. We are now seeing U.S. helicopters reportedly lifting people off of the roof of an embassy of the United States in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military left Bagram Airfield in the dead of night without even notifying the Afghan military and government that we helped set up. We left so fast that we left behind thousands of civilian vehicles and hundreds of armored vehicles. Now the Taliban has conquered the capital of Afghanistan and terrorist insurgents are posing with ammunition, Humvee’s and even Black Hawk helicopters.

So much for “our war on terror will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” After 20 years of war, the only thing the U.S. has accomplished in Afghanistan is to provide the terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center with new and better weapons for future attacks and to show the world we really are as weak as we seem.

The official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party said America’s defeat “proves that Washington is an ‘unreliable partner’ that always abandons its partners or allies to seek self-interest.” Both American allies and its enemies know that the most powerful military on Earth does not have the will to defeat a group of nomadic tribesmen. This fact will certainly embolden Iran, China, Russia and other enemies to stand against America. And why wouldn’t it? What a shameful debacle we are perpetrating.

“In the unholy armory of the enemies of the West, their single-most important weapon is their understanding that the West is no longer willing to do what it needs to do to defend itself,” wrote political commentator Melanie Phillips in The Rout of America.” “It is no longer willing to be in it for the long haul. It no longer has the stomach for a fight. In baleful contrast, jihadis take the longest possible view. They have been waging holy war against the enemies of Islam—as they view them—since the seventh century; and for them this holy war won’t end until the whole world is under Islamic rule or the world itself ends, whichever comes first.”

Now those jihadis are taking over Afghanistan, promising their fighters “wives” as young as 15 from among the people they conquer, and executing Afghans who helped America and its allies in an attempt to build a better nation for themselves. What the whole world is witnessing is the moral, societal, political, financial, military disintegration of the American empire!

This disintegration has intensified dramatically in these 20 years. The fact that the Biden administration unilaterally surrendered to the Taliban is living proof of how far America has fallen. The Afghanistan catastrophe is an abject, shameful dishonor for America. Our nation has lost 2,448 soldiers and spent $273 million per day every day for 20 years on that war—a total of over $2 trillion. Yet our soldiers were evacuated in the darkness of night to leave this nation to barbarians gathering up girls age 15 and even younger and giving them to their fighters as “wives.”

After we hastily pulled out, it took the Islamist terrorists a matter of mere days to conquer the nation. Now America is being overrun in Kabul even before we can finish retreating from it. We are scrambling to try to get even the last of our own people out of there—a replay of the humiliation we suffered when we pulled out of Saigon, Vietnam. Now, as then, millions of people are going to be greatly persecuted and killed. Children and women are going to be abused, raped and murdered.

And America will leave behind one of the biggest terrorist nations in the world. Especially because of the air base, jets, armored vehicles, ammunition and other weapons and equipment America just abandoned—not to mention all the Afghan soldiers we trained who proved that they have no loyalty to anyone but themselves. What a miserable deed by the American “superpower”! This is as shameful as anything America has ever done.

America is not just declining, it is dying. Other powers around the world see this clearly. They are taking advantage of this and preparing to replace American dominance with their own dominance. America is being destroyed before our eyes. Many are now in a state of open despair.

There is a sore lesson staring us in the face here. It points not just to the Afghanistan war started 20 years ago—but even back to Vietnam, and Korea and even World War II before that!

America’s humiliation in Afghanistan at the hands of Taliban fighters should alarm us all—and wake us up to a terrifying truth. Why is this happening? Because, as Leviticus 26:19 warns, God has broken the pride of our power. Yes, God is punishing us for our sins! That is why we can have such overwhelming military power, yet be so pathetically weak.

Then in verse 20, God warns, “Your strength shall be spent in vain.” Does anything more graphically illustrate this than America waging an impotent war for two full decades at such high cost and evacuating in such disgrace?

The radical left want to blame all our troubles on things like climate change. But that is just a diabolical distraction from the lesson God is showing us so clearly: “We as a people are disobeying God and facing the dire consequences. And because we refuse to acknowledge this, these wretched events are going to get far worse before this is over.”

Americans are willfully ignorant of the facts. It is God who gave America its power in the first place. It is God whom Americans have turned their backs on. And it is God who is allowing America to decline and who is actively punishing us in order to show us our sins.

There is a lesson in the Afghanistan catastrophe, if only we will learn it this bitter lesson, repent from our sins, and turn to God.

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