If Beau Biden had died in Afghanistan, what would Joe Biden say to his father?



1) Amanda Mars / Agncias, “Los talibanes refuerzan su rápido avance con la toma de Kandahar, la segunda mayor ciudad del país; EE UU enviará a miles de soldados para evacuar a casi todo el personal de su Embajada en Kabul,” El País, el 13 de agosto 2021 (2:36 EDT).

2) Andrew Jeong and Jennifer Hassan, “‘Why did my friend get blown up? For what?’: Afghanistan war veterans horrified by Taliban gains,” Washington Post, August 13, 2021 (9:38 a.m. EDT).

President Joe Biden lost his son Beau. who served in Iraq, to brain cancer.  He knows the grief of a parent who has lost his son.

Now, he should consider–if only in his imagination–looking directly into the eyes of the parents of the over 2,370 American troops who lost their lives fighting for the democratic project in Afghanistan.

If Beau had served in Afghanistan and died there, what would Joe Biden tell his father in response to the question, “Did my son die in vain.”

What would Joe Biden now say to the parents of the over 2,370 Amercian soldiers who died in Afghanistan,
ooking them in the eye, in response to the question,

“Did my son (or daughter) die in vain?”

The Trenchant Observer

The Trenchant Observer has been following Afghanistan closely since 2005, when he worked in Kabul as the Team Leader of group of six lawyers charged with advising the government on modernizing its criminal justice process to better meet international human rights standards.

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.