From Bush’s generosity to Biden’s counterterrorism, what has changed in the US discourse on Afghanistan – 8/16/21 – Worldwide

A little less than 20 years then separate the speech of President George W. Bush on the American invasion of Afghanistan, October 7, 2001, and that of Joe Biden, current president, Monday (16), after the resumption of power. by the Taliban, with the conquest of the capital Kabul.

During that time, not only did the US president go from Republican to Democrat – with one more from each ruling party among them – but the country’s mission appears to have shifted.

Bush promised that in addition to fighting terrorists, Americans would provide food, medicine and supplies, noting that “the oppressed people of Afghanistan” would experience what he called America’s generosity.

Biden, in turn, stressed that the “only vital national interest” in the country was and is “to prevent a terrorist attack on American soil.” The Democrat stressed that the rapid advance of the Taliban in recent days was unexpected, but stressed that with the decision to withdraw the troops taken, the mission now depends on the Afghan army.

“US troops must not fight and die in a war the Afghans do not want to wage.”

In 2001, Republican Bush ended his speech with a pledge: “We will not falter, we will not grow weary, we will not give up and we will not fail.” Peace and freedom will prevail ”.

The United States, 20 years later, is leaving Afghanistan. What will happen to peace and freedom, future events will tell us.

Read excerpts from each speech.


George W. Bush

October 7, 2001

Initially, terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and other protected hiding places. Our military action aims to pave the way for sustained, comprehensive and relentless operations to drive them out and bring them to justice. At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of the United States and our allies. As we attack military targets, we will also provide food, medicine and supplies to the hungry and suffering men, women and children of Afghanistan.

“This military action is part of our campaign against terrorism, another front in a war that is already being waged by diplomatic means, intelligence, the freezing of financial assets and the arrest of known terrorists by the police. in 38 countries. Given the nature and scope of our enemies, we will win this conflict through a patient accumulation of successes and a series of challenges with determination, will and determination. “

“We are a peaceful country. But, as we have learned so suddenly and tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terrorism. Faced with today’s new threat, the only way to seek peace is to seek those who threaten we ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it “

The battle has already started, on many fronts. We won’t falter, we won’t tire, we won’t give up and we won’t fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.

Joe Biden, President of the United States

August 16, 2021

Our mission in Afghanistan has never been to build a nation. There was never any question of creating a unified and centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: to prevent a terrorist attack on American soil.

“The truth is that this [avanço do Taleban] went faster than expected. And what happened? Afghan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan army gave up, sometimes without trying to fight. It proved that we shouldn’t be there. American troops must not fight and die in a war the Afghans do not want to wage “

“I spoke to Ashraf Ghani [presidente afegão que deixou o país no domingo (15)]. We had frank conversations. I warned that Afghanistan should be prepared to wage a civil war, fight corruption and conduct internal negotiations. They failed to accomplish all of this “

How many more generations should we send there? I will not repeat the mistakes of the past, of waging endless wars that have nothing to do with American interests. I stand by my decision. There wouldn’t be a good time to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

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