To the editor:

The scenes from the Kabul airport are gut-wrenching. Images of people falling off planes that they had been desperately clinging to in their attempts to escape, are eerily reminiscent of the fall of Saigon.

So sad – but this chaos was inevitable.

Everyone knew from the beginning, 20 years ago, that our presence there was a mistake, especially Joe Biden. Once he was vice president, he made no secret of it, and had the gall to stand up to then-President Obama.

An Oct. 23, 2009 article from the New York Times read: “From the moment they took office, Mr. Biden has been Mr. Obama’s in-house pessimist on Afghanistan, the strongest voice against further escalation of American forces there and the leading doubter of the president’s strategy.”

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Biden's opposition to the continued war, 12 years ago, drew the ire of President Obama, who in essence, told him to “sit down and shut up.”

History shows the right decision is often the hardest and most unpopular. Principled behavior is often only recognized and appreciated within a longer arc and context of history.

Any withdrawal from a country drenched in Taliban collaborators, corrupt officials playing both sides, and waffling, conflicted national security forces held the potential of spiraling quickly out of control.

I’m grateful that he ended this war. I'm happy that someone finally had the guts to pull the plug. I always knew that it would be pretty ugly once someone finally did, and if you are honest about it, you all did, too.

Perhaps you don't like it, or want to criticize a determined leader, who for once, chooses to act in the interests of our country. Perhaps you fail to consider the difficult position that he’s acting from, that he didn't create and had done everything in his power to prevent.

Perhaps it's your turn to sit down and shut up.

Judd Hoff

Alexandria Township, MN