Biden chooses mournful words to end a long mission

“We cannot continue the cycle of expanding or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create an ideal situation for withdrawal and achieve a different outcome,” Mr. Biden said. His voice had an exaggerated rhythm, an exaggerated sharp, not soft, mourning – by a president who had lost a wife and a daughter nearly five decades earlier and his son, Beau, in 2015.

“I am now the fourth US president to preside over the presence of an American contingent in Afghanistan,” Mr. Biden said. “Two Republicans.” Two Democrats. The bipartisan gesture was the classic Biden, a suggestion he was part of a dynasty, but in his speech he also explained what made him different from the rest. “I am the first president in 40 years who knows what it means to serve a child in a war zone,” Mr. Biden said. “Throughout this process, my North Star remembers what it was like when my late son was stationed in Bui, Iraq.”

Like any televised announcement by the White House, this one contained part of its generalities – the “humanitarian work” Mr. Biden promised, for example, or exactly how he might “push our alliances. To strengthen “and ensure that the rules of international norms are” on the ground in our democratic values ​​”. But when the subject changed to misery, Mr. Biden became forceful and distinct. Taking a card from his jacket’s pocket, he said he was carrying it to remind the number of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past 12 years, Biden said “the exact number, not the approximation, not the round-goal . Number, because every one of those dead is a holy person who leaves behind entire families. “

By inviting those families, Mr. Biden was showing how much had changed. (He gave a speech last month Saying that he has kept a card in his pocket along with the number of deaths from the epidemic.) Twenty years ago, Mr. Bush ended his address by quoting a letter from a fourth-grade girl, whose father Served in the army. “As much as I don’t want to fight my father,” she wrote, “I am ready to give it to you.”

Mr. Bush said he called it a “precious gift”, but today’s story is not heart-wrenching. The girl was writing at a time when some people serving in Afghanistan had not even been born – a fact that Mr. Biden reached at the end of his 15 minutes, when he revealed that the war had become “multicultural” Enterprise. “

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