While we see elite military advisors and journalists predicting dark things for America as a result of leaving Afghanistan, I thought about Martin Luther King Jr.'s seminal speech, "Beyond Vietnam -- A Time To Break Silence":
Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor -- both black and white -- through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So, I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.
For years, we've asked, "Why can't America feed our hungry, or provide health care for the sick? Why is there always enough money for war?"
Well, war makes defense contractors, mercenaries, and assorted other people rich. And it gives journalists a high profile that increases their career standing and clout.
Maybe this is one of the reasons Richard Engel is so sad. While war is hell, adrenaline is addicting, and soldiers often have a hard time adjusting to relative calm. The same is probably true of journalists: "Without the war, who am I?"
Well, Richard, your feelings should not be the basis of foreign policy.
You said, "This is the worst capitulation of Western values in my lifetime." Really, Richard? More than the entire Trump era?
Your speech crossed a line, I think. You are neither a historian, nor a pundit. Finally, Richard, you are no Walter Cronkite. No doubt your employer will try to equate your speech with his, but you fall far short of the standard.
We know which side today's media is on, and it ain't ours.
Thank you, President Biden, for choosing the rest of us over the Endless Wars.