Only four books this month
Lt. Col Scott Mann (Ret.) (2022). Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promised in Afghanistan. Simon and Schuster.
This book should be required reading for anyone planning to vote in the Presidential elections next year. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand why the military recruitment levels are abysmal. And it should be required reading for anyone who loves the U.S. and hates the divisive politicking that headlines the legacy news.
The book is the story of the volunteers who rescued Afghans and Americans after the shameless rapid withdrawal from the country in 2021. Biden deserves the criticism against him for insisting on exiting the country in such a way that the Taliban were back in place before the last flights left Kabul. But there is plenty of blame to go around. Trump’s deals, Obama’s disdain, and GW Bush all played roles in a war that could not be won. Mann wrote, Biden wanted the glory of ending an unpopular war. At what cost?” (164). The last years of the conflict were a failure of bureaucracy and ego, as U.S. leaders abdicated their duties to ensure that all Americans and Afghan nationals who worked for the U.S. were safely extracted.
Now under strict Sharia Law, Afghanistan has reverted to religious politics of the Middle Ages. Women’s rights have been eliminated. Girls may not be educated. Anyone speaking against the Taliban is executed. At the same time, the U.S. lost face with her allies in the region as an untrustworthy player. How many Americans died in those 20 years? Too many. And it seems now, for nothing.
Read the book. Watch the play. Be ashamed of leadership’s ego. Vote accordingly.
Madeleine L’Engle (1997). Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation. [Audible]. Narrated by Pamela Almand.
Madeleine L’Engle (1997). Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation. WaterBrook Press.