Saturday, August 28, 2021

An Alternative Narrative From Afghanistan

We are all grieving the loss of life that resulted from the terrorist attack by ISIS-K in Afghanistan on Thursday. But while Republicans scream about President Biden having "blood on his hands," let's take a step back and ponder the viewpoint of those who are putting their lives at risk. 

Those serving in Afghanistan are in the business of saving lives - fully aware that it might cost them their own. That strikes me as the most noble venture a human being can undertake. But even AFTER the bombing, when warnings continued about credible threats, they didn't let up. On Friday, another 6,800 people were evacuated, bringing the total to 111,900. As Breen said, "that is honor."

Take a look at what one of the civilians involved in transporting refugees from Germany to the U.S., Delta Airlines pilot Alexander Kahn, had to say about his involvement.

When those refugees reach Dulles airport, Chef José Andrés is there to meet them with a hot meal. 

Some of the refugees will have family or friends, who have been terrified about their fate, waiting to greet them.

While so many in the media are obsessed with the narrative about chaos and calamity and right wingers politicize the entire operation, let's not forget what this is all about. Members of the U.S. military are risking their lives to evacuate people from Afghanistan while other Americans are stepping up to support them in that journey. Don't let the haters rob us of the stories about these heroes. 

1 comment:

  1. It's helpful as ever with Nancy to be reminded of (a) just how appalling press coverage is and (b) how, with conservatives, you can't win. For the first, the chaos theme is just so dismaying. And, sure enough, a NY Times oped today is about how "we," a non-governmental organization, is saving Afghan lives because, it continues, the American government is failing. You'd never know how many the U.S. has already evacuated, in a truly amazing effort, while to my knowledge this group has evacuated on its own absolutely no one. If that weren't bad enough, the lead space in the opinion pages is given to the leader of a conservative student union for an anti-union screed. (Hah, now we don't have to kowtow to those lazy teachers who want to get paid. We can hold them accountable!) It's in the spot traditionally devoted to editorials, and I have no doubt that many readers will mistake it for one. At the very least, it's one more liberal voice, an actual editorial, silenced.

    As for (b), it's so telling putting the blame on evacuating civilians. And to a degree it's true. If we kept this to the U.S. army and those it employed and knows, we could keep out the terrorism that's otherwise frankly a cost or risk we must bear. And of course that would be appalling. But we can count on the double bind: every person not airlifted is Biden's fault, and everyone airlifted is hateful.

    Well-meaning people have minimized the cost of these biases and lies by comparing it to the departure from Saigon, which didn't have nearly the political cost. But that forgets how much more powerful and oiled the GOP attack machine and the attack media have become. The good news is that it may not matter, because they'd kick into high gear WHATEVER Biden did. Trump's concessions to the Taliban and demand to withdraw went without criticism, and Biden's postponing the deadline is hateful, incompetent haste. There's no win, and I fear it really does sway voters. It's certainly colored what they think they know.

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