The Afghanistan situation is horrific, and amid criticism comes condemnation from a Hollywood star.
For her very first Instagram post, on Friday, Angelina Jolie decried Washington’s Middle Eastern fiasco.
And she wasn’t out of her depth.
In 2001, the actress was named a Goodwill Ambassador for UN refugee agency UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).
“Her interest in humanitarian affairs was piqued in 2000 when she went to Cambodia to film the adventure film, Tomb Raider,” the agency’s website explains.
Since then, her engagement “and determination to help the displaced, publicize their plight and lobby for international assistance has never flagged.”
She knows Afghanistan:
After [her] trip [there] at the end of 2008, [she] appealed for more international commitment to help returnee reintegration and urged greater humanitarian support for the population.
“The courage, resilience and quiet dignity of returnee families rebuilding their lives against the kind of adversity few of us can imagine show the human spirit at its best,” she said after spending part of her time in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, where almost 850,000, or 20 percent, of all Afghan returnees have repatriated since 2002.
On social media, the actress posted a “letter from an Afghan girl.”
“[T]he people [there] are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely. So I’ve come on Instagram to share their stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights.”
“I was on the border of Afghanistan two weeks before 9/11,” she wrote, “where I met Afghan refugees who had fled the Taliban. This was twenty years ago.”
And now, she’s sickened:
“It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country. To spend so much time and money, to have blood shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand.”
Angelina Jolie was the only person to visit and acknowledge my country when no one in the world would, when everyone was afraid of us and now she made an Instagram account to post this, cause what’s happening in Afghanistan is stuff from nightmares, literal horror. pic.twitter.com/8fDh7H72hy
— Zeineb 🍄 (@slutforflatline) August 20, 2021
Denouncing “betrayal,” Angelina penned an August 20th piece for Time:
Giving up the idea of a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban, appearing to cut and run, and abandoning our allies and supporters in the most chaotic way imaginable, after so many years of effort and sacrifice, is a betrayal and a failure impossible to fully understand.
She’s mindful of those left behind:
I think of injured American servicemen and women I met at Ramstein Air Base—some who’d lost limbs fighting the Taliban— who told me how proud they felt to be a part of helping the Afghan people gain basic rights and freedoms.
I think of every Afghan girl who picked up her bookbag and went to school in the last twenty years even though she risked being killed for it—as so many were. In one district in Kabul, more than a hundred people have been killed in attacks targeting school girls in the last year alone.
I think of the Afghan women who served as lawyers and judges and police officers—even as their female friends and colleagues were murdered in cold blood, with the number of assassinations tripling in 2020.
I think of all the Afghan children and teenagers, now living in fear about the future. And the activists and journalists and artists who are in hiding, deleting their social media profiles and burning documents in a bid to keep themselves and their families safe. Some having to avoid sleeping more than one night in any one place like fugitives.
I believe she genuinely cares.
In addition to being a Special Envoy to UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and meeting with refugees in over 30 countries, Angelina founded and funded the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children to aid young people seeking asylum in the U.S.
Since Friday, as you know, the Afghanistan situation has worsened.
RedState’s Bonchie reported Thursday:
Today was one of the darkest days the United States has suffered in the last two decades. It opened with suicide bombings disrupting the already bungled evacuation attempt in Afghanistan. The latest count is that at least 13 American soldiers have perished, with at least 90 Afghans, including many women and children.
For nearly eight hours, the President of the United States remained silent. Shockingly, even as the death toll rose, we heard nothing. No written statement offering condolences for their deaths ever came. The White House couldn’t even muster a quick show of empathy via Joe Biden’s Twitter account. Once again, it became patently obvious that we simply don’t have a president.
As for Angelina, she’s ashamed:
As an American, I am ashamed by the manner of our leaving. It diminishes us. We have lost leverage to influence what now happens in Afghanistan. We lack a strategy to monitor and support women and civil society in Afghanistan, who the Taliban have a history of targeting — banning girls from school, confining women to the home, and inflicting brutal physical punishments, including public lashing, on any woman perceived to have stepped out of line. We face a new refugee crisis, on top of record global displacement, with nearly a quarter of a million Afghans displaced within the country since May — 80% of them women and girls. Our allies are rightly upset, blaming the U.S. for a precipitate, unilateral withdrawal that missed the opportunity for any coordinated plan to preserve some of the gains made in the country. We have to acknowledge and address these realities, if we are to have any hope of learning from this dark moment.
Often, Hollywood appears as a specious space. It’s a pleasant change to see someone speaking out with what appears to be their heart.
Such a sight is, of course, dwarfed by the terrible reality that — so far as I can tell — she’s exactly right.
From the young Afghan girl’s letter:
“Before the Taliban came…we all went to work, school…we all had rights, we [were] able to defend our rights freely. But [since] they came, we are all afraid of them. And we think all our dreams are gone.”
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