In 2011 and 2012, l lived and worked in Panjshir and Kandahar Provinces, Afghanistan with a National Guard Unit. One of our interpreters became my good friend. He and a brother were both interpreters for the U.S. Army. This last year, he has been attempting to get his remaining family out, including sisters who did unthinkable things such teach at a girl’s high school and attend medical school. For the last two months,

I have been trying to help him get his remaining family out. During this time, the Taliban burned their home, stole their car and forced them into hiding. We have failed in this effort even though they had all the required paper work. They could not get through the Taliban check points before we the U.S. abandoned the Kabul Airport.

Last night, he called after getting off the phone with his family. They had attempted to escape to Panjshir Province where we worked and he still had friends. There they found the Taliban committing full scale “genocide” against the population. Villages were razed and people were slaughtered, certainly with some U.S. arms that the administration abandoned.

This was occurring at the same time that the president, General Milley and Secretary of State Blinken after their many failures were talking about working with these same Talban. This is the same Taliban that are allowed to “tweet” their propaganda and some of the media were talking about how the Taliban had learned from their past mistakes.

This is the same Taliban that kidnapped and executed three village elders the morning we were to meet with them. Their crime? The elders were working with us in planting orchards, improving their agriculture infrastructure and helping them market their products. This is the same Taliban that our political “leaders” want us to forget about so that they can move on.

We are still attempting to help his family, but it is desperate. While in Afghanistan, the National Guard folks and I dealt with a lot of manure but none nearly as pungent as has come out of Washington D.C. these last months.

W. Carl Linderman

Myrtle Point

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