We cannot pretend that Afghanistan is not our responsibility

Here are the words of Joe Biden, the US President seeking to shift blame and responsibility away from himself and away from us in the West.

Now, we may have different opinions on the rights and wrongs of going into Afghanistan. As I’ve said before, I was sceptical, reluctant, cautious but on balance believe the campaign was legitimate and we were right to support our allies in this.

However, the crucial point is this. From the moment the US and UK entered into conflict with the Taliban, it was not a civil war, remains not and never will be. This is not an Afghanistan Civil War, it is a US war supported by her allies.

Biden’s question is therefore based on a false premise. The true question is “how many young Afghani men, how many women, how many girls is he prepared to sacrifice for the sake of America’s war?”

We cannot absolve ourselves of responsibility. The suggestion to the contrary is a squalid little lie and part of our responsibility now is to call it out as such.

Now, we will disagree about what is the right action to take, some will still hope that decisions can be reversed about withdrawal others will conclude it is not practical or even if it is that we should never have gone in to Afghanistan. However, what I hope we can agree on is that we cannot simply wash our hands of the fate of many Afghanis. Primarily this means that we will have a responsibility to respond to the arrival of refugees.

These refugees will arrive carrying the scars of conflict. They will have seen their homes burnt down, their friends and relatives killed, their daughters and sisters taken captive. They may well have experienced torture and abuse. They will arrive with nothing. They won’t be turning up at our churches off their own back or clicking on our websites but they will need our help and most of all need the hope of the Gospel.

Will we take responsibility?