Dear Mr Biden:
The likelihood is that there will be no miracles in Afghanistan and the forces of Afghan nationals we trained will not be able to hold back a surging Taliban.
Miracles do happen and maybe we’ll get lucky.
But just in case they don’t come through, this is a great opportunity for you to begin a series of talks with the American people about what went wrong and why it is time to move on.
As I said in an earlier blog, I agree with your decision to pull out.
Still, it will be painful to see the Taliban claim victory after 20 years of sustained efforts by us and our allies.
Thus, the American people needs to hear from you.
Hear from you as in you talking us through the pain of the loss.
There is much pain in that troubled land and there will be even more after we leave but there is much pain here in our nation, too, which addressing has long been deferred.
We need to leave Afghanistan because our resources are not limitless.
We need to hear that.
Twenty years we invested in that country and while we made our share of mistakes we were also undermined by many, including our ally Pakistan. Maybe that needs to be brought up, too.
But here at home our divisions are crippling us.
We need to hear that.
As you often said during the campaign, you want America to lead by the power of our example and not by the example of our power.
And so you have rightly committed to nation building.
You have already set the wheels in motion but the road ahead is filled with difficulty.
‘So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is… fear itself… which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance,’ FDR famously said in his inaugural address in 1933.
Much of what ails us now springs from a lack of trust in our ability to listen to each other. To listen and strive to understand.
I have no doubt that by your example, we may better be able to do so.
A weekly talk, say 15 minutes, with you addressing us all, Republicans and Democrats, will make a difference.
Please do consider this option.
After all, what is there to fear but fear itself.
Oscar Valdes. Oscarvaldes.net