You Have a Point, a program hosted by Vanessa Vallejo, co-editor-in-chief of El American, focused this week’s discussion on the events that have originated in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over a good part of the country in the last few days.
This is another episode where Vanessa talks with her friends, this time with Vianca Rodríguez and Mariela Palma, who brought to the table their thoughts on the thousands of Americans, between 5,000 and 10,000, who are still waiting to be evacuated from Kabul.
Vanessa began the program by putting into context what happened on Monday as thousands of people desperate to flee Afghanistan unleashed chaos at Kabul airport, trying to board repatriation flights on the country’s first day under Taliban control, after Afghanistan’s own president, Ashraf Ghani, secretly fled on Sunday.
In her view, everything that is currently happening in Afghanistan could be a cause for unity among Americans.
“I think this issue, regardless of where you stand on whether to be in Afghanistan or not, whether to withdraw troops or not, if there’s one thing that almost all Americans can unite on, it’s the issue of how this decision was made,” she said.
Vanessa also questioned Biden’s decision to dramatically pull out of Afghanistan leaving behind U.S. aides, translators, military personnel and allies adrift, with no certainty of when they will be evacuated.
“How do you leave people who put their lives at risk, because that’s what they did. The military put their lives at risk to protect a country and went to Afghanistan. Now it looks like the government is going to leave them stranded there and turn its back on them […] seeing this, I think it breaks anyone’s heart,” she said.
For her part, Vianca commented on the veterans who participated in Afghanistan, where many unfortunately lost their lives. She assured that “there are many mixed feelings especially in that community […] There are some who feel frustrated by the fact that they were actually there 20 years and after 20 years they ended up with nothing.”
“It has not only affected us (the United States), but it has also affected many other parts of the world, especially Europe. But yes, I also understand the reason why the USA decided to intervene in Afghanistan (Sept. 11),” Vianca added.
Who is to blame for the events in Afghanistan?
In his first year as president, George W. Bush launched the war in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to overthrow the Taliban-led government and attack Al-Qaeda. It became one of the longest and costliest wars in U.S. history.
During the debate, Vianca stated that it is a mistake to blame former Presidents Donald Trump or Barack Obama for the events in Afghanistan, saying that if there is anyone to be blamed, it should be former President Bush.
“If we could blame anyone it would be President Bush. Back then a lot of what you’ve seen done wrong was during that same administration. What Trump wanted to do was to end that because he wanted to get the troops back,” she argued.
“Trump had to do it in an effective way and that’s why he sat down with the Taliban. That caused controversy like when he sat down with Kim Jong-un of North Korea, but it had to be done […] You can’t look bad to the US because there will be consequences and he made that very clear,” Vianca said.
Vianca did blame Biden, claiming that it was his administration that “decided to change plans” and go against the advice of the military. “Biden decided to do everything completely different, in his own way, and that is what we are seeing now, the consequences of a president who did not want to be a true leader,” she said.