The end of the military campaign by the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan signifies the “end of an era,” as President Biden has stated, an era of so-called humanitarian interventionist wars. If one looks at the outcome of these wars of 20 years, it is devastating. More than a million lives were lost, more than 8 trillion dollars were spent, up to 70 million people were turned into refugees. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, were devastated. More than 70 percent of the people in Afghanistan, 90 percent in Syria and even more in Yemen are living now below the extreme poverty line. In all of these countries there is now a gigantic humanitarian crisis, threatening death to many more millions of human beings.
The first priority must be to save the lives of the people in the countries which were the targets of the „endless wars,“ and the international community is called upon to join hands in bringing real economic development to the entire region, starting with the creation of a modern health system in every single country, which in the time of this pandemic and the danger of future pandemics is the precondition to defeat this curse of humanity. That requires clean water, which is scarce in Afghanistan—a nation hit by droughts—and it requires electricity, of which Afghanistan only produces 600 MW in the entire country, the equivalent of one medium- to- large plant in the U.S. 18 million people are food insecure and 4 million are in danger of starvation in the coming winter.
President Biden is being criticized for the withdrawal of troops, but he did the right thing, and his promise of the “end of the era of the endless wars” also must mean the end of the freezing of financial means for Afghanistan; it must mean the end of the Caesar Sanctions for Syria; and the end of any sanctions during the time of the pandemic. It is the time for joining hands, especially, again, between the U.S. and Russia, as there were several periods in the history of both nations, were such a collaboration existed for the good of all humanity.
Let us therefore use the coincidence of the end of 20 years of war and the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 for the solemn commitment to regard terrorism, hunger, and underdevelopment as the enemies of mankind, and not each other. Let us replace the era of geopolitics with an era of achieving the common aims of mankind. It is not an idle hope that the human species, as the only one that has proven through its existence that creativity is that quality which can transcend all seeming limitations, will soon leave conflict, aggression, and war behind it, and that we become truly human. Let us be inspired by the lofty ideal of man as it is expressed in the great art of the composers, poets, painters, architects, and sculptors, such as the creator of this Teardrop Memorial, around which we gather today.
These last 20 years are hopefully the final chapter in the adolescence of humanity, to be followed by adulthood—in which people and nations relate to one another based on the creative potential of the other, thus bringing out in them the best they can be. To learn to think that way requires an elevated state of mind in all of us, to think from above, from that higher One of humanity which shows the way to a future, in which all nations and all people will create peace on earth and colonize the stars together.
— Helga Zepp-LaRouche