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Letter — Plenty of hypocrisy to go around

To the Editor:

Here is my rebuttal to the (Delegate Tommy) Wright Report from August 25.

Afghanistan

I was a contractor in Afghanistan from 2009-2010, and as Wright has pointed out, the withdrawal of people from Afghanistan is a disaster.

But the outcome would have been the same if we did it 10 years ago or 10 years from now. And yes, it does effect many in our commonwealth.

Because, as you know, most of the defense contractors have offices in Alexandria. But let’s get into the reason why things happened the way they did.

We can start with one of the new leaders of Afghanistan, Abduhl Ghani Baradar. He was trained by the CIA as a Mujahideen freedom fighter to resist the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. He was one of the founders of the Taliban in 1994 five years after the Soviet withdrawal. He fought during the 1980s in the Soviet–Afghan War in Kandahar (mainly in the Panjwayi area), serving as Omar’s deputy in a group of Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet-backed Afghan government. Omar gave him the nom de guerre “Baradar,” which means “brother,” because of their close friendship. He later operated a madrassa in Maiwand, Kandahar Province, alongside Omar.

According to western media, Omar and Baradar may be brothers-in-law via marriage to two sisters. In 1994, he was one of four men, including Omar, who founded the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

On 25 October 2018, the Taliban confirmed that Pakistan had released Baradar. He was subsequently appointed to be the chief of the Taliban’s diplomatic office in Doha, Qatar. Washington special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad claimed that Baradar was released at the request of the United States in a deal from the Trump administration brokered by Mike Pompeo.

On August 17, Baradar returned to Afghanistan for the first time since the fall of the original Taliban government in 2001. It is rumoured that Baradar will become the president of Afghanistan following the overthrow of the government of Ashraf Ghani by the Taliban in August 2021.

So it seems that there is plenty of blame to go around and as always the U.S. foreign policy is the main culprit. We have to stop nation building. It hasn’t worked, nor will it work. Which brings me to the immigration issue.

One of the main reasons we have a mess at the southern border is because in the 70s and 80s we attempted nation building in Central America. Doing so disrupted a number of those countries by casting them in civil wars and allowing warlords to reign and commit terrible crimes against the citizenry. We are seeing this unfold on the evening news in Afghanistan just as we did in Iraq and Vietnam.

Can we honestly say any of the countries are better off after the U.S. has left? Virginia has sent her young men and women to fight every war the U.S. has ever fought and we have lost many, and how do we repay them? We send their children to fight more wars to please the politician’s self-righteousness and to line the pockets of defense contractors.

Hypocrisy

There is plenty of it in politics. I find it laughable that the Democrats or Republicans would even call each other out on it.

Both have voted for more taxes. Both have failed to repeal the archaic food tax in the commonwealth. Both have voted for gun control. Both have voted to withhold funding from public schools, and many have profited off the department of education by leasing properties to federally funded education venues.

Both have disenfranchised convicted felons and made it hard on them to return to a productive life after they have paid their debts to society.

They both preach about things like term limits but don’t practice it.

Yes, there is plenty of hypocrisy in politics. Let’s stop looking at partisan politics and look at the individual. Thank you and remember that voting is a peaceful revolution.

Joe Paschal

South Hill

(Editor’s Note – Joe Paschal is running as a candidate for the 61st House District seat currently held by Tommy Wright. Paschal is running as a Libertarian candidate.)