Sen. Marco Rubio, R.-Fla., recently said in a session of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations what so many others have been saying, that the United States still did everything wrong in the withdrawal, as in getting troops and airpower out of the Taliban’s way before would-be evacuees had a chance to evacuate. Everything got out of control and the administration has tried to look good by saying it was Trump administration plans that caused the abrupt takeover. That is false although a Trump team agreement with the Taliban did eventuate in Afghans releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
What’s most frightening and important now is the possible starvation of those million children and millions more adults and finding a way to prevent the worst without abetting evil.
The United Nations is trying to collect billions for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. has promised $64 million. Rubio has said Taliban leaders in the past stole aid meant for charitable uses and he did not want to hand them money for foul deeds while having less for our own people in need. The Times reported on donors being wary of “brutality” and “human rights abuses.” The aim, however, is for the United Nations to be handling the humanitarian assistance, not the Taliban.
There are other aid issues, as in giving the Taliban help if it releases American hostages, something known as ransom, but there are ways both can happen without it being ransom. Shouldn’t we demand to get weapons back we essentially allowed the Taliban to take? They were pretty much made harmless, a military spokesman has said.
Partly because the United States shares responsibility for the starvation crisis, but also because we should be a humane, caring nation that reaches beyond itself in this world, we should continue to work to save these lives, millions of lives, as a meaningful national goal.