The U.S. Army has released an image of the last U.S. soldier to leave Afghanistan, the Daily Mail reports. He is Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, and the photograph was taken at in the early hours of Tuesday.
Presumably, by now the Taliban have enlarged the image multiple times and hung it in an appropriate location as a national shrine. The group has claimed “victory,” and to be sure the departure of the last U.S. troops must feel like a surrender for them; it does to many Americans.
After the last plane took off, the Taliban stormed the airport. They were there not to harass the remaining stranded passengers but to ogle the U.S.-built Chinook helicopters housed in a hangar, part of the $80 billion in treasure the American forces left on the field of battle in their scramble to follow the retreat order. The scene, a video of which follows, is reminiscent of excited children rushing downstairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa left them.
— Nabih (@nabihbulos) August 30, 2021
Hemad Sherzad, a Taliban fighter stationed at the airport, told the Associated Press, “The last five aircraft have left, it’s over! I cannot express my happiness in words. … Our 20 years of sacrifice worked.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters hours later on the runway, “Congratulations to Afghanistan. … this victory belongs to us all. [The Taliban’s victory is] a lesson for other invaders.”
Here at home, the president, who has been ducking questions on Afghanistan for days, decided yesterday to avoid facing the music for one more day and announced he would address the American people tonight. His secretary of state did release a statement last night, albeit an hour and a half later than his announced appearance — a hallmark of this administration. His message had the tone of a “mission accomplished” speech. We’ll find out tonight whether Joe Biden can do any better, though if past is prologue, don’t hold your breath.