Skip to content

EVERYTHING KING: Watching Afghanistan unravel 'is the visual definition of desperation'

In this week's Everything King, Wendy suggests taking a look at the plight of the Afghans to realize how good we really have it
2021-08-30 Military aircraft
Stock image

I don’t think I have ever considered myself to be privileged.

I certainly never thought of it in terms of what it actually means as per the dictionary “having special rights, advantages and immunities.”

The last week or so certainly changed my thinking on all that.

How can a person watch or read about the tragedy of all that is going on in Afghanistan and not consider themselves lucky?

No matter what circumstances we may be in at the moment, personally, can it be anywhere near as horrible as what those people are living through there? Doubtful.

It struck me that I am blessed because I got to be born in Canada. I didn’t plan it or have anything to do with it, but simply because of the location of my birth my life was already infinitely better than so many others. An act of geography. The luck of the draw.

There are certain images that will always stick in my mind. One of those is going to be the video of all those Afghan people clinging to a moving plane as it left the airport in Kabul to who knows where. (To anywhere but there). People latching onto the plane’s wings and undercarriage as it was about to take flight. Some falling off in-flight. 

That is the visual definition of desperation.

Images of parents handing their children off to strangers or to military members to see if they can at least get them to freedom.

Then we saw the horror of the aftermath of the suicide bomber and the injured and dead laying in a sewage canal.

Dozens of Afghan people plus 13 American service personnel killed in that same attack and the thought of those 13 families, in the United States, getting that knock at the door — the formal notification that your loved one is dead. 

This column isn’t about the 20-year war nor whether it was necessary. It isn’t about past decisions. It isn’t about whether the U.S. should have pulled out before or how it all went down. 

As an armchair analyst, I am just glad the Americans, Canadians, British and other allies are still trying to get more people evacuated. Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Marc Garneau, has said the mission remains to evacuate as many Canadians and vulnerable Afghans as possible for as long as the security situation will allow. 

It doesn’t concern me how they do it — just get it done. I feel grateful there are brave people willing to try.

The Taliban and ISIS-K: no humanity, no empathy, no souls.

Just imagine for a second you live there. You are in hiding in case someone shows up at your door to shoot you or worse. With each hour, the chances of getting out safely becomes less likely. There is no winning here.

So, here I sit, sipping a hot coffee in my own home in a beautiful city, province and country.

I am free to think as I please and do as I please.

I am a woman and a journalist allowed to speak my mind in a free press with no fear of retribution.

Privileged indeed.





About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
Read more