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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Views on the ground from Afghanistan

Uploaded: Aug 31, 2021
Just how bad is the situation in Afghanistan after the United States pulled out Monday to meet President Biden’s withdrawal deadline?
Simply stated, it’s way worse than anything you see on the television or online.
Last week, I listened in on a call organized by Christian non-profit leaders. Among the speakers was Eric Watt, whose RUN ministries supports a network of about 65 small house churches of about 10 people in Afghanistan. He was asked how bad it was and he said it was more violent, more chaotic and more dangerous than anything we can believe. And that was before our troops left.
He, along with other call participants, said the Taliban rule already has meant girls taken from their families to be sold in sex slavery or to be married off, while young boys were taken into the Jihadist training camps. They believe that life as it has been known in the big cities for the last 15-plus years was over.
Watt’s organization has pursued five initiatives since the fall of the country became clear. They have actively pursued and rescued orphaned children from the traffickers and then placed them into homes. They recovered more than 100 the prior weekend. He said that one family in a house church may have been caring for three children and they were asked for care for three more with no change in their economic situation. His group steps in financially in these cases.
They have been helping Christians get out of the country whether by air or land and have another strategy of moving threatened people out of the big cities to smaller areas that are believed safer. For one leader, that involved helping a family of 13 cross the border into Pakistan. They are being put up in an apartment and just what will be worked out is an open question because they did not have papers when they crossed the border.
Given the Taliban control, one leader said that Christians and non-believers alike were running to churches and staying away from mosques afraid of what could happen there.
What they’ve been able to do is all based on relationships. Andy Weigel of the Strategic Resource Group said that the leader of their women’s initiative has both a private sector and ministry background, but, more significantly, spent six years in Afghanistan and brought those relationships to the new job she started this year.
When asked what Afghans are thinking, Kevin Greeson broadened the question to the Muslim world. “You see how Iran’s leaders have made Islam so ugly and so hideous. “ They’re watching.
Democracy.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

 +   23 people like this
Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Aug 31, 2021 at 9:56 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

To all you Biden supporters you chose wrong. You hated Trump yet you were safer under Trump. Trump handed Biden a functional Afghanistan with a exit strategy that was going to work. Biden chose to do his own exit strategy which resulted in this nightmare. 50 years of total incompetence and suddenly you think Biden is going to have the brains and backbone to do right when he never had Brains and backbone! He is corrupt he abandoned Americans and service dogs in Afghanistan like he and Obama did in Benghazi. You democrat liberals voted for this imbecile and now you are in buyers remorse. our reputation around the world is once again tarnished where as Trump build respect for us through strength. Biden a total disgrace and failure to America and the world!


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Jake+Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 31, 2021 at 11:01 am

Jake+Waters is a registered user.

First, thank you Tim for your address on a subject that is on most of our minds in this country every waking minute. It overshadows the present argument of masks and experimental drugs, and places our attention on the grieving parents who lost their daughters and sons. As a Veteran, I weep at their stories of grief. I hear their pain in their voices and see the pain on their faces. I have not walked in their shoes, but out of respect for them and their son's and daughters, I listen to their stories. I am so ashamed of this empty White House. I am so ashamed of what they did to the Afghans and remaining Americans they left behind. Though I did not believe in this war, and did not want to remain forever, I never imagined a retreat of this nature echoing the lack of care, planning, and precautions that should have been implemented. I hold responsible, just as ‘Lahommed' commented above, the Biden voters, for they knew he was incapable and mentally impaired, all because they hated a man (President Trump), because he hurt (deservingly) the MSM's feelings. My God, do you know what you did to us? This horrific outcome has divided us as a nation even more, and the sad statement is that this is exactly what the Democrat Party and their Marxist following want. Remember what President Lincoln said- who had his life taken for principles he held and demonstrated that apparently go unnoticed today: A house divided against itself cannot stand. We are witnessing the events of that statement today. God bless our Military. And God bless the United States of America. If this last statement offends you, tough. Suck it up.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 31, 2021 at 9:04 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

"Most bad government has grown out of too much government".


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Suzanne M, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 1, 2021 at 8:36 am

Suzanne M is a registered user.

Should we have "honorably" stayed in Afghanistan forever and let countless more Americans die? Also, Trump ran on a campaign to end the war and even signed the agreement with the Taliban. Joe Biden finally had the correct resolve to end a war we should never have been fighting to begin with.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Claudette+McDermott, a resident of Del Prado,
on Sep 1, 2021 at 10:23 am

Claudette+McDermott is a registered user.

Those that think Trump had the right idea, think again. Trump lovers will defend him and of course put down who ever is in his path, and we get on the hamster wheel and hate each other all over again. Stop with the Trump poop. America can't stay forever in places around the world where injustices are taking place. Americans can try to help but it is not a Forever Job of the United States. There has to be an end date and time. Americans abroad and at home are very aware of the travesties happening all over the world. And it is brought to the doorsteps of the US to assist when we can, but forever is never an option. We can train and teach and $$ but that has to be on a limited basis. A forever war is not our war. When we travel we have to make decisions, that can hurt or help our situations when out of the control of the USA. With those decisions we take a chance we may be put in harms way, so take responsibility in your decisions. Stop traveling to countries that are at war...or to places where governments hate the USA.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Robin , a resident of Sycamore Heights,
on Sep 1, 2021 at 10:35 am

Robin is a registered user.

We all need to remember 911 and what the Taleban did to our country and innocent lives ... how many people were killed. They are ready to strike again, it is not about leaving Afghanistan it is about protecting our country from evil that will strike at the most unexpected time right here in our country ... at least Trump stood strong and made our country proud that we will not tolerate the evil of the Taleban. And now Biden has handed over millions of dollars of our equipment to them ... what a joke. If I were the parent of any of the soldiers that were killed because of Biden greed to exit Afghanistan the way he did and leaving our own people there ... I would ask Biden to be a paul bearer of my child coffin and have him feel the weight of my dead son or daughter who died to save this country but should not be dead ... blood is on his shoulders... he is inept ... we cannot let other countries bully us. History reflects you must protect your freedom but Biden just gave ours away. I am so sorry to the people of Afghanistan ... so sorry. Biden has brought much blood and death to your country ... tears.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Robin , a resident of Sycamore Heights,
on Sep 1, 2021 at 10:35 am

Robin is a registered user.

We all need to remember 911 and what the Taleban did to our country and innocent lives ... how many people were killed. They are ready to strike again, it is not about leaving Afghanistan it is about protecting our country from evil that will strike at the most unexpected time right here in our country ... at least Trump stood strong and made our country proud that we will not tolerate the evil of the Taleban. And now Biden has handed over millions of dollars of our equipment to them ... what a joke. If I were the parent of any of the soldiers that were killed because of Biden greed to exit Afghanistan the way he did and leaving our own people there ... I would ask Biden to be a paul bearer of my child coffin and have him feel the weight of my dead son or daughter who died to save this country but should not be dead ... blood is on his shoulders... he is inept ... we cannot let other countries bully us. History reflects you must protect your freedom but Biden just gave ours away. I am so sorry to the people of Afghanistan ... so sorry. Biden has brought much blood and death to your country ... tears.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 1, 2021 at 8:27 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason".


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 2, 2021 at 4:26 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

@ Suzanne M President Trump met with the enemy, just as we met with our enemies to end World War II. However, Trump had a planned exit strategy which included evacuating Americans first. In fact, former President Jimmy Carter had a plan and attempted to get our hostages out of Iran. The plan failed, but at least he had a plan. President Mumbles and Fumbles had no plan... ZERO. Your Disaster in Chief failed because he had no exit strategy. Oh, and by the way, when the planned invasion of Cuba failed (Bay of Pigs), President Kennedy apologized to the nation for his failure - unlike the current clown in the White House. @ Claudette+McDermott You might want to re-read what you posted. Contradict yourself much? You said, “America can't stay forever in places around the world where injustices are taking place." You are correct, and that's why President Trump, as part of the Doha Agreement, agreed to an initial reduction of US forces from 13,000 to 8,600 troops by July 2020, followed by a complete withdrawal by 1 May 2021, if the Taliban kept its commitments. By the way, how's our southern border looking these days? Your President is going down as the worst President in American history. President Obama was right about one thing when he said: “Don't underestimate Joe's ability to (expletive) things up." X


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 2, 2021 at 10:19 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Biden's call to then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani: "I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban," Biden said. "And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture." Oh, so lie to the people now, Joe?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bob12, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 2, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Bob12 is a registered user.

After 20 years of serious help and training, it all went to heck faster than most believed. Many believe you cannot fight in The Middle East where religion is the government. Here in the USA it was insisted by the founders that religion and government be kept separate. Very frustrated like most American's, you cannot give freedom to anyone on a plate, they have to want it and to fight for it. It's freedom for religion and freedom from religion. Afghanistan's only lasting gift from US was women got the chance to see a better life if only for 20 years.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Diane, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Sep 2, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Diane is a registered user.

A month ago I bought the argument to end a forever war - no more American lives to defend a country that won't defend itself. I have changed my mind - and I blame the fourth estate - ie. the press in general. This never was "A WAR". Empirically it was as bad as humans can make it - Tim's report is evidence.. BUT A damn war is something you set out to win at all costs. We never did that. The U.S. military relies on about one million people - what is out budget .. half to 3/4 trillion per year?? We could maintain a presence in a tricky part of the world at an acceptable cost in money -maybe 5% of the defense budget, and lives - yeah 2448 before last week is too many but we keep saying "Freedom is not Free" Do we mean it? We needed to maintain close air support, a diplomatic presence and general economic support. We needed leaders (not followers) to explain the strategic value. Instead the "Great Negotiator" read the tea leaves and knew it would be popular to "Bring the boys - and girls home". And, right at the beginning of the fighting season no less; left the Afgan government twisting in the wind during those "negotiations". I think the fourth estate nearly runs this country and their first priority has to be to sell their product so I guess I should excuse them for hypping it as a Forever War taking young American lives. And yes, Pres. Biden drew on it to remind us he is the fourth president to face this thing everybody calls a war. Bob BB Yeah I did vote for Sleepy Joe - just to get rid of the mockery.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 2, 2021 at 1:57 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Lets look at this issue in its simplest terms: President Bush gave the order to go into Afghanistan to get Al-Quaeda. President Obama got Bin Laden President Trump got Abu Bakr Baghdadi President Time Checker got nothing but trouble because he did not have a plan.


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