Photos of American soldiers 'caring' for Afghan children can't erase US sins
Published: Aug 23, 2021 08:31 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

As the chaotic scenes at Kabul airport, where at least 20 people have been killed, left the US facing waves of criticism, the US Department of Defense appeared intent on saving the country's reputation by releasing "heart-warming" photos depicting how its soldiers "care" for Afghan children on social media. However many pointed out the hypocrisy in such photos, as the US invasion and its failure in helping rebuild the country are the root causes of Afghan people's pain.

The US Defense Department posted photos showing US Marine Corps soldiers opening ready-to-eat meals for Afghan children at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. The department on Saturday also published photos showing that its soldiers provide fresh water to children at the airport. In the photos, soldiers were seen getting down on one knee to serve the Afghan children water. 

These images fit into the US' narrative of caring for the Afghans, but still failed to convince the public as some pointed out the soldiers' gestures were "too histrionic."

The fact is that, as the Afghan Taliban have successfully returned to Kabul and are ready to set up a new government, the US' hasty retreat has left at least 20 people dead in the past week around the Kabul airport, Reuters reported on Sunday. The deaths came after US troops opened fire on Afghan civilians to clear the runway for its planes to take off, and a stampede inside the Kabul airport on Monday also left people dead or injured. 

Also, media reports said that US soldiers in the airport were revealed to have distributed food packages containing pork to Afghans desperately waiting for a chance to flee the country. An Afghan woman, who is stuck at the airport with her daughter and husband, shared the experience on Instagram, media reports said. Islam strictly prohibits the consumption of pork by Muslims.

The US-initiated 20-year war in Afghanistan and its chaotic withdrawal from the country has made the so-called human rights the US has always advocated a joke, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, pointed out.

"Political propaganda" cannot cover up the disasters the US troops have brought to the locals during the war and the withdrawal, and the US will find it hard to avoid blame for causing a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Li told the Global Times on Monday.

It's ironic that the US defense authority tries to show its friendly image, but the US troops never respected the lives and dignity of Afghans, Li said.

"Hypocrisy, invading their country, causing more damage and corruption, and u believe this will wipe out the pain," commented a netizen, pointing out that the US' "caring" actions can never wipe out the pain that it has caused in Afghanistan.