The former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura have broken their silence about the chaos in Afghanistan by sending a message to American troops.
“Many of you deal with wounds of war, both visible and invisible,” they said in a statement issued late Monday night, according to Fox News. “And some of your brothers and sisters in arms made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror. Each day, we have been humbled by your commitment and your courage.”
“You took out a brutal enemy and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care,” they added. “You kept America safe from further terror attacks, provided two decades of security and opportunity for millions, and made America proud. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and will always honor your contributions.”
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) August 17, 2021
The war in Afghanistan started when Bush was in office after the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001.
“In times like these, it can be hard to remain optimistic,” Bush added. “Laura and I will steadfastly remain so. Like our country, Afghanistan is also made up of resilient, vibrant people. Nearly 65 percent of the population is under twenty-five years old. The choices they will make for opportunity, education, and liberty will also determine Afghanistan’s future.”
“As Dr. Sakena Yacoobi of the Afghan Institute of Learning, which has opened schools for girls and women around the nation, wrote this week: ‘While we are afraid, we are not defeated.’ She added, ‘Ideas do not disappear so easily. One cannot kill whispers on the wind. The Taliban cannot crush a dream. We will prevail, even if it takes longer than we wanted it to,'” he continued. “Laura and I, along with the team at the Bush Center, stand ready as Americans to lend our support and assistance in this time of need. Let us all resolve to be united in saving lives and praying for the people of Afghanistan.”
Bush had previously said that it was a bad idea for President Joe Biden to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
“This is a mistake,” Bush said. “They’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart.”