We understand “good beginnings” to mean the backgrounds or origins of someone or something. Another meaning of the term “beginning” may be applied to novels, movie scripts or events of different kinds, and may allude to a good beginning of the event in question. The word may also be ironically interpreted as “better a good ending than a good beginning.” This saying could be applied to the allied mission in Afghanistan, since what began 20 years ago as an operation bombastically called “Enduring Freedom” has turned out to be limited in time and has come to a regrettable and inexplicable end after so many years of being in the country. Today, this withdrawal or abandonment officially ends, and Joe Biden wants to commemorate it, as this coincides with the anniversary of the tragic 9/11 that triggered the American’s entry into Afghanistan. But there is little to celebrate when a farewell means receiving the coffins of dead soldiers and leaving others behind to face retaliation, while Kabul’s airport is itself a black ribbon in the history of the United States and its allies who sought to defend freedom.
Today closes a door in history that opened 30 years ago on Dec. 8, 1991, staged a few days after the red Soviet hammer and sickle flag was lowered at the Kremlin in Moscow. The impetuous freedom that swept through the West was a mirage. Today, after 30 years, it comes to an end in Kabul.
The door is now open to an unknown but less free, less dignified, less safe,and less just future for humanity.