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One day, a likeable, if incompetent, man from the great state of Texas was driving his Cadillac down a dangerous road. He wasn’t a very good driver, although he tried his best to show his highly accomplished dad that he was. And his more experienced but conniving, untrustworthy driving companion from Wyoming was constantly whispering in his ear, telling him exactly what to do and how.

While listening to his supposed “friend,” the Texan didn’t think straight and ended up running the Caddy way off the road, deep into a ditch. Embarrassed, the affable Texan just smiled. After a period of time had gone by, he simply claimed that the situation turned out just as he had planned, “Mission Accomplished.” And then he simply walked away to paint and enjoy life down on his ranch.

A very smart Black man saw the Cadillac in the ditch. He tried his best to get it out, but he failed. He had an older friend who was with him during this attempt. The friend observed the situation but did not get directly involved. He scratched his head and thought to himself, “If I ever get a Cadillac, I will pay more attention when I’m driving.”

Next, a flashy New York flimflam man came upon the car. He blasted each of the others who had come before him. But he just viciously blamed the situation on the other two men without ever getting the car out of the ditch, or even making a sincere effort to do so. His solution was simply to abandon the car by a certain date, since no solution could be found.

The African American’s older buddy then came back to the car. He did not engage in rhetoric about the other three men. He just looked at the car objectively. Then, he decided that the flimflam man was right (for a change); there truly was no realistic solution. Why waste any more resources on it? So, he set a new date to abandon the car, and, as opposed to the others, he actually followed through and left.

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Surprisingly, the supporters of the Texan and the New York con artist screamed loudly at the older man. They blamed him for the problem itself, although he did not drive the vehicle into the ditch. That was the smiling Texan.

They had a fit because things did not go perfectly; the car got scratched trying to get out of the ditch. But the New York con man never got it out of the ditch either. Plus, they presented no alternative, other than to continue to waste manpower trying to get the Caddy out of the deep hole.

Objectively, the withdrawal from Afghanistan could have been handled much better by our military and the State Department. But at least President Joe Biden had the guts to get us out before more American blood was spilled and treasure wasted in a backward, far-off land that has little strategic importance for us. And removing us is far more positive than anything that George W. Bush, Barack Obama or Donald Trump did in Afghanistan.

We should all quit complaining, and give Biden the credit he is due for stopping an endless war that has been killing our soldiers and draining our treasure.

Jack Bernard, a former West Virginia health care consultant, lives in Peachtree City, Georgia.

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