A great platform
Newspaper opinion pages are a great platform for exercising freedom of speech; however, hypothetical theories are not very convincing if not based on facts. For example, the writer of the Sept. 16 letter “Biden scrutiny” wrote, “If Trump were in Biden’s position, he’d be sending our troops over right now to take on the Taliban.”
Here are the facts concerning U.S. withdrawal from and Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The Trump administration and the Taliban signed an agreement in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29, 2020. In Part One, paragraph C of this document, the U.S. agreed to release 5,000 Taliban combat and political prisoners. If the U.S. wanted to “take on the Taliban,” why would we agree to reinforce Taliban numbers by 5,000?
Part One, paragraph F states, “the United States and its allies will refrain from the threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Afghanistan … .” This provision prevented President Trump or any other president from “sending our troops.”
There are other provisions that outline the future relationship between the U.S. and Taliban, but so far none of those provisions have been violated in a way that would justify renewing the military conflict.
As American citizens we are free to form and express our opinions. But we should understand that we cannot ignore the facts when the truth is inconvenient. Opinions not supported by fact should not carry much weight, but can still result in perilous consequences.
A possible reason
This letter is in response to the Sept. 15 letter “Concern for life,” asking someone to explain why liberals are so dead-set in favor of abortion rights while showing concern for life in every other possible scenario on the planet.
I suggest a possible reason for this is that liberals are concerned with creating a world in which abortion is unthinkable. This means truly being pro-life and not simply pro-birth with the lives of human beings after birth being the ones that are disposable and treated like trash. It is life-affirming and non-judgmental.
I do not presume to speak for all liberals nor do I see this as a liberal-vs.-conservative issue. I also do not presume to know the reasons that lead someone to seek an abortion. Hence I leave that decision in the hands of the person most affected, which is the person seeking the abortion along with her doctor and spiritual adviser if she so chooses.
Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions. It will only make them unsafe and give rise to the possibility of two lives being lost in the process.
I just want to know — from all these screaming heads we’re seeing on TV of people who claim they’re being discriminated against because they won’t get vaccinated, with their Holocaust analogies and persecution complexes — has their experience made them more empathetic toward people who have historically suffered persecution? Is Rep. Madison Cawthorn starting any new efforts to protect LGBTQ rights? Has Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene made any efforts to block the voter restrictions that affect the Black vote?
Are they better people, more empathetic because of their supposed experiences?
Or is it all just about them?
An admirable job
The Sept. 16 letter “Biden scrutiny”” was pure spin. Who agreed to the withdrawal from Afghanistan? Who agreed to the schedule that President Biden inherited? In the process of setting up an unworkable withdrawal plan, who set up a losing situation for his successor? The previous president did.
How successful was the pull-out? We took 122,000 people out in a period of 15 days. Withdrawal is always the hardest military maneuver to execute. I believe that, having been dealt a malicious hand to play, the Biden administration did an admirable job.