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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Opinion

Americans need to acknowledge the role the US played in Afghanistan


Americans need to acknowledge the role the U.S. played in Afghanistan

Aya Ghoneim/The Cougar

Right there are heartbreaking videos of Afghans clinging for their lives on U.S. airplanes going viral. Americans watching see the desperation, and fear in the videos, yet somehow dodge the role their country played in this tragedy. 

Throughout many times in history, the U.S. has not acknowledged how its meddling in foreign affairs hurts those who live overseas. However, it is time to break the pattern and recognize how much trouble the U.S. put Afghanistan through. 

The U.S. has a track record of meddling in foreign affairs. So much that the failure in Afghanistan has been labeled a second Saigon . In fact, the U.S. is stereotyped by many journalists as being a type of global police, aiming to act as a moral example for other countries, only to leave them a mess once their occupation ends. 

For example, the 2003 invasion of Iraq was caused under the suspicion that the country housed weapons of mass destruction after 9/11. Americans believed they would save their own country while bringing democracy to another one. 

However, America ended up with the opposite: no weapons of mass destruction and another country destabilized by U.S. This is an uncanny resemblance to the recent withdrawal of Afghanistan. America aimed to bring democracy to a struggling nation, only to leave it in pieces. 

This pattern of suspicion, intervention and failure is only doing more harm than good in foreign affairs. 

Americans are also mostly only exposed to their side on foreign affairs. Rarely are they able to see different points of views. In fact, American education and the one sided media, often show a pro-American perspective. 

For example, the U.S. intervention in Honduras spawned more violence and poverty throughout the country, leading to masses of Hondurans trying to escape to the U.S. However, instead of acknowledging their countries’ mistakes and helping out other human beings, Americans victimize themselves and antagonize foreigners and immigrants without trying to understand why they came . 

Similarly, the U.S. is focusing more on the shortcomings of its military, rather than understanding the issues faced by Afghanistan. This will only create a deeper misunderstanding between the two nations, without any common ground or hope. 

Finally,  the Taliban was created with the help of the U.S. and other countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Russia. The U.S. not only gifted the weapons the Taliban once used, but also left behind the weapons and military supply the Taliban now uses, only making the situation worse. 

Human compassion is more important than reputation. It’s clear that America played a large role in destabilizing Afghanistan as it has for many countries in the past. Americans need to acknowledge this and end the mentality that the U.S. should bring democracy to developing nations.

Sumera Siddiqi is a liberal studies freshman who can be reached at [email protected]

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