Here is a snapshot from an earlier time.
It's an op-ed piece about a school in Afghanistan that AFDECT helped to build in late 2001. AFDECT is Afghanistan-Delaware Communities Together. The nonprofit was founded by a former Delaware judge, William C. Gordon, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
It's a great effort, a partnership between civic leaders in two countries who have displayed over the past four years a steadfast determination to help rebuild post-Taliban Afghan society. Among other things, the group built and helps to run a school for girls in Afghanistan.
Reading the op-ed by AFDECT's Robert McBride and Abdul K. Nisar is like traveling back in time to October 2001 — back before the Great Distraction of the invasion of Iraq. Back then America still enjoyed — and deserved — the goodwill and sympathy of the rest of the world. Back then, the "war on terror" was still primarily about fighting terrorists.
Back then, America was promising to liberate the citizens of Afghanistan from the lawless rule of petty thugs. Along with President Bush, Judge Gordon promised the Afghan people that this time they would not be abandoned and forgotten.
Gordon and AFDECT have kept that promise. George W. Bush has not.
The Taliban had scarcely fled Kabul before Bush turned his army and his deficient attention away from Afghanistan. The remnant of American force left in the country is enough to ensure the continued rule of the fashionplate Mayor of Kabul installed by the Americans, but little more than that. By early 2002, it was clear that America's president did not have the will or the desire to carry out any of the grand promises of long-term support and rebuilding.
It's difficult today even to remember the kinds of things that were being said in October 2001 about America's commitment to Afghanistan. The long election-style march to war in Iraq, and then the invasion and disastrous occupation, have thoroughly Changed the Subject.
Here's to AFDECT for keeping faith. A retired judge, a college professor, and a bunch of Rotarians from Delaware are trying to keep a promise that a superpower and the Leader of the Free World have long since abandoned.