Editor, The Beacon:
The owner of a small diner in DeBary recently posted a sign on the front door of the diner asking that anyone who supports Joe Biden, our president, not patronize her establishment.
Supposedly, this was in response to the withdrawal of American forces in Afghanistan and the deaths of 13 service members in the process.
As the owner of the diner, that is her prerogative. However, I would like to ask her the following: Does she know that then-President Trump negotiated a withdrawal agreement in February 2020; he excluded the Afghan government from the negotiations; reduced our forces from 13,000 to 2,500 soldiers; set a withdrawal date of May 1, 2021; and freed 5,000 Taliban, many of whom took arms back up against U.S. troops?
Does she know that former President Trump pushed for the release of the Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar, who may be the next president of Afghanistan?
Does she know that G.W. Bush, in his address to the nation Sept. 20, 2001, set the goal of rooting out and eliminating terrorists and terrorist camps, but never mentioned staying in Afghanistan to set up a democratic government?
Does she know that on March 19, 2003, G.W. Bush diverted thousands upon thousands of troops and billions of dollars to a war with Iraq based on a lie, and extending the war in Afghanistan?
Does she know that more than 58,000 troops were killed in Vietnam, more than 4,000 in Iraq and almost 2,500 in Afghanistan, not to mention the thousands upon thousands of troops who made it back, but with life-altering physical and emotional injuries?
Does she know that the chaotic withdrawal from Saigon evacuated 7,000 people who, at times, were under fire from the North Vietnamese, while more than 122,000 people were evacuated by Aug. 31, 2021?
Where was her rage at the presidents, congressmen and the people who voted for them who started and continued our recent wars that have cost almost 65,000 soldiers’ lives?
I could also ask where is her rage against the prior administration who has cost 10 times that number of lives with their incompetent response to the COVID pandemic.
Why didn’t she tell anyone who voted for those administrations that they were not welcome in her restaurant? How is she going to identify those who do not agree with her? Will she be checking voter-registration cards at her door? Would these be called “voter passports,” and would they be banned by our governor as he has banned “vaccine passports”?
When would she have us pull out of a war that we cannot win, already our longest war? Would it be after 13 more American soldiers die, 50, 100, 1,000? How many more soldiers would she have die?
Finally, while many in DeBary have supported her, I question the sense of any business owner who would turn away any customer based on their political beliefs. That is not what our forefathers and those after them have fought for over the course of our history. Opposing viewpoints, fine. Rational debate, fine, compromise, fine! Outright hate and exclusion of others and their beliefs? Hell no!