Angelina Jolie started her career as an actress, but over time she has become what she has described as a human rights activist. In fact, on her Instagram account she describes herself as an envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Precisely for that reason she spoke out this weekend about the situation in Afghanistan.
Through an opinion article, published in Time, entitled “The people of Afghanistan deserve so much better than this,” Jolie criticized the management of Joe Biden’s administration on the withdrawal of American troops from Afghan territory. For the actress, there was not a good strategy and she argued that it embarrasses her.
“After so many years of effort and sacrifice, is a betrayal and a failure impossible to fully understand,” Jolie said.
Similarly, she explained that her thoughts have been with the wounded American servicemen she met at Ramstein Air Base —some who had lost limbs fighting the Taliban— who told her how proud they were to help the Afghan people gain basic rights and freedoms.
“After all the bloodshed and effort and sacrifice and time, America seems to have lacked the will to plan this transition in a managed way. It was never going to be easy or perfect but could have been better, more decent and safe,” she said.
Angelina Jolie and the position of the United States
The actress maintained that she thought the American government was on the side of the Afghan citizens and was willing to help them to achieve freedom and stabilize their country. However, she stressed that as they move away from Afghanistan, it is difficult to maintain that trust.
Jolie also explained that this situation demonstrates a weakness on the part of the United States before the world: “As an American I am ashamed by the manner of our leaving. It diminishes us. We have lost leverage to influence what now happens in Afghanistan. We lack a strategy to monitor and support women and civil society in Afghanistan, who the Taliban have a history of targeting.”
She added: “Our allies are rightly upset, blaming the U.S. for a precipitate, unilateral withdrawal that missed the opportunity for any coordinated plan to preserve some of the gains made in the country.”
Finally, she commented that it is not just about Afghanistan. Jolie said that in twenty years working on refugee issues he has seen this pattern of Western countries coming into a country and then leaving, repeatedly.
“And all the while, the numbers of people displaced globally by conflict and persecution rises each and every year, humanitarian aid shortages grow, and aggressors responsible for rape and slaughter walk free, without any accountability.”