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A bitter ending

As the last few evacuation flights get ready to leave the Kabul airport, we can already see the kind of society we will be leaving behind in Afghanistan.

The Taliban will be ruling the country by dint of military force (bolstered by arms and equipment the U.S. left behind for the Afghani forces who quickly abandoned them). The Taliban will have to set up a government that people hope will be inclusive of all factions in the country, and that will respect the rights of women, but the Taliban has already said that Sharia law will be the basis of their rule. So much for a kinder, gentler Taliban.

The Taliban has said it will not welcome back al-Qaida and other terror groups, but Thursday’s suicide bombing at the airport that killed at least 90 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops. It was carried out by an Islamic State group, which is no friend of the Taliban but seems to operate in Afghanistan with little interference.

It is sad that our overly long stay in Afghanistan is ending this way, with so little to show for the lives and billions of dollars we have spent. And it is bitterly ironic that we are ending our efforts in Afghanistan just as the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon approaches.

We went into Afghanistan to rout out those who planned and carried out the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people on American soil. We managed to scatter but not eliminate al-Qaida, and kill their leader Osama bin-Laden, but our efforts to make Afghanistan a better place have failed. Let us pray we will at last learn our lesson from this.

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