Picture this scenario: A boy grows up in a low-income area of New York City. Life expectancy of kids his age is significantly lower than the rest of the state. Very few are able to escape the poverty into which they were born. Many are recruited into gangs at a young age, which turns out to be the best way to survive and even make a decent income in this neighborhood. This boy’s older brother is part of a gang, but continuously warns him to stay away from that life. Unbeknownst to the boy, his older brother is actually a police informant who has been able to infiltrate a gang and is now disseminating information to the authorities about the goings-on of the gang.
Unfortunately, the gang discovers the treachery of their member. In a show of might, the gang murders the police informant, and goes so far as to make it publicly known that they were behind it. The boy finds out the exact reasoning behind the murder of his brother – that he was one of the good guys, that he was working with the police, and it suddenly made sense as to why his brother was warning him to stay away. But this kid also discovers something disturbing, something unethical, something that will change his life forever: The police are denying any contact with his brother. They deny that he is an informant, and what’s worse, the police have completely disregarded this murder case. They are not even looking into it. They have determined that this was an internal gang dustup, and it does not concern them at all. In fact, they aren’t even paying attention to that gang anymore, and have left the neighborhood entirely.
This kid now realizes that everything he had been told throughout his childhood was in fact correct. The police don’t care. The neighborhood does not care. There is no way to be successful in this community by following the law. The only way to be successful is to join a gang. And that is just what he does. Once the police turned their back on the guy who was trying to help them, they alienated anyone else who may have done so.
This is going to be the consequences of the United States’ actions in Afghanistan, but on a much greater (and more terrible) scale. The evacuation of the military left thousands stranded in Kabul and the surrounding areas. While many of these were Americans, far more were Afghanis who aided the Americans while on their mission in Afghanistan.
Those who aided the United States are now being rounded up and systemically, publicly, and barbarically executed. Of course, we are mortified by the ends these good people are meeting, but what happens to their families? Their friends? Others who considered fighting against the bad guys? All of the next generation has now been given the ultimate answer: America will not help you. America will abandon you. America does not care for you. So, what are their options? They can, of course, join the group with which they feel the safest working: at this time, the Taliban.
But these people aren’t going to be too enamored with the Taliban either. They may band together to start their own group, one that is simultaneously anti-Taliban and anti-America, but that seems like a lot of enemies to have when you are starting out. The best people to team up with are those who already hate America and have enough firepower to deal with the Taliban. Luckily for them, help is on the way. China and Russia, who are no friends of the Americans, are extremely willing to come in and liberate the mess America left behind. They will be the new gang the poor kids join. They will be able to solve the Taliban problem and provide work to defeat the ultimate entity to blame – the Americans. After all, the cops abandoned us whole cloth; they aren’t owed anything at this point, and allegiances shift on a dime.
So, great job, America! You have successfully turned some of your strongest allies into your fiercest and most dangerous enemies who are now looking for revenge.
Izzo Zwiren is the host of The Jewish Living Podcast, where he and his guests delve into any and all areas of Orthodox Judaism.