Biden-Induced Trauma

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This column was originally published at Townhall.com on September 19, 2021.

Dulles, Virginia – “This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others,” said President George W. Bush at the National Cathedral after the nation was attacked on September 11, 2001. But, he vowed, “it will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.”

On the 20th commemoration of 9-11, President Biden will visit New York, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. At these sites, he needs to explain why he allowed the Taliban to set the terms of the U.S. exit from Afghanistan, and why he chose to leave Americans behind. Those citizens are being held hostage by the Taliban; prevented from leaving the country.

When Mr. Bush gave these remarks, it was inspired rhetoric, confidently delivered to an angry and injured people who had rallied to their President’s side in a time of crisis. We were only three days removed from the horrific attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives. We understood these words to mean the perpetrators would be brought to justice and victory would be achieved. We knew our military would make an unforgiving entry into Afghanistan and we prayed there would be an honorable exit. This was the intent of Mr. Bush’s promise – a promise he made to the nation that was then bequeathed to three successive presidents.

Joe Biden broke that promise. He failed the public and betrayed the memories of those killed on 9-11. His ignominious exit from Afghanistan demoralized our troops, abandoned our citizens, and caused our allies to lose trust. After 20 years of war, and 2,461 service members killed in Afghanistan alone, the nation deserved a victorious conclusion that would be proudly etched in our history.

Instead, the manner in which Biden ended America’s longest war has left the nation with a collective case of Post Traumatic Stress. This is especially true for those troops who deployed to fight an evil enemy. They did their duty and executed their missions with precision. They fearlessly defended our nation and her honor. They made – and continue to make – incredible sacrifices.

In the four weeks since the Taliban took control of Kabul, the suicide hotline at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has received a surge in phone calls from veterans in distress. Since their time in Afghanistan, many veterans have been struggling with frustration, despair, anxiety, and moral injury. Those feelings intensified as they watched the disaster unfold and the President’s cavalier attitude toward it.

In an email to the senior staff at the VA, Tanya Bradsher warned of the toll the botched withdrawal was already having on veterans. “This is devastating to so many,” Brasher, the chief of staff at the VA wrote in a message obtained by Politico. “My veteran network is reeling,” she wrote, and urged her team to “monitor suicides and see if we see an uptick.” She encouraged immediate outreach to veterans through the Department’s various channels to remind them of the resources available.

She wasn’t the only official concerned about how Biden’s disaster would impact veterans. Congressman Seth Moulton, a U.S. Marine who served four tours in Iraq told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I’ve heard from veterans all across the country who are just distraught at what they see going on,” he said. “[Y]ou’re gonna see a rise in veteran suicide as a result of the way that we handled this withdrawal that cost American lives.”

The situation is distressing to veterans because they were trained to leave no man behind. They’ve experienced the carnage of war. Whether it was for violence or immoral pleasures, they saw the abuse of women, children, the vulnerable, and disabled at the hands of the Taliban, ISIS, and others.

When a service member separates from the military, they leave their weapon but keep their memories. For years, they have been struggling with emotional injuries. In recent weeks, its been much worse because they know the torture that awaits Americans who were stranded. To add insult to injury, the president has treated them like fools by assuring them no American would be left behind. He has offered gibberish about how the mission would continue once it was concluded. He defends the desecration of the flag they love. He displayed his inpatience at the solemn ceremony at Dover Air Force Base as fallen heroes were brought home.

Joe Biden has broken the hearts of America’s veterans. He is an unfeeling and uncaring man who embodies every hippie who spit on our troops in the Vietnam era. But, someday he will pay a political price for the damage he has done – (knock on wood.)

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