The 46-year-old Eternals star and activist wrote that the US military was ‘appearing to cut and run’ amid the Middle Eastern country’s turmoil as the Taliban regains control.
She worried that the ongoing chaos could strip away any social progress that had been made for women and young girls in Afghanistan.
‘Whatever your views on the war in Afghanistan, we probably agree on one thing: it should not have ended this way,’ Jolie presumed.
Speaking out: Angelina Jolie, 46, criticized the United State’s ongoing withdrawal from Afghanistan and noted the precarious situation for women in the country in a Time op-ed from Friday; seen in 2018 in Brussels, Belgium
She called it a ‘betrayal and a failure impossible to fully understand’ that the US had given up trying to facilitate a peace agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Adding to the chaos among the government was the departure of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who fled to exile in the United Arab Emirates.
The country’s ambassador to Tajikistan has accused Ghani of stealing $169 million on his way out of the country, though Ghani insisted that he ‘left with just a waistcoat and some clothes’ in a video he filmed after his whereabouts became known.
Jolie recounted meeting injured servicemen and women at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and noted ‘how proud they felt to be a part of helping the Afghan people gain basic rights and freedoms.’
No agreement: She called it a ‘betrayal and a failure impossible to fully understand’ that the US had given up facilitating a peace agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government; President Joe Biden seen with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on August 20
Bad days: She also noted how tenuous the situation is for young girls, who are have been targeted for attacks at school, and for women in government, who have seen assassinations triple in 2020; people evacuated from Afghanistan seen arriving in New Delhi, India on Sunday
She also noted how tenuous the situation is for young girls, who are have been targeted for attacks at school, and for women in government, who have seen assassinations triple in 2020, according to the United Nations.
The actress wrote that journalists and activists were ‘in hiding’ in Afghanistan and were ‘deleting their social media profiles and burning documents in a bid to keep themselves and their families safe.’
‘After all the bloodshed and effort and sacrifice and time, America seems to have lacked the will to plan this transition in a managed way,’ she continued.
‘It was never going to be easy or perfect but could have been better, more decent and safer.’
Jolie wrote that she believed ‘that we were doing the right thing’ and ‘that we were fighting in a noble cause,’ but it was difficult to continue to believe that as the US left Afghanistan after two decades.
Shame: ‘As an American I am ashamed by the manner of our leaving,’ Jolie continued. ‘It diminishes us’; seen July 30 in Venice
‘As an American I am ashamed by the manner of our leaving,’ Jolie continued. ‘It diminishes us.’
She warned of the ways the Taliban might punish women, including ‘banning girls from school, confining women to the home, and inflicting brutal physical punishments, including public lashing, on any woman perceived to have stepped out of line,’ and she bemoaned what she said was the US’ failure to monitor the conditions for women.
The star also wrote that there would be a ‘new refugee crisis’ due to the US’ withdrawal.
She added that the current strategy to get Americans and Afghans out of the country wasn’t enough.
‘It is only the beginning of what we need to do if all the years of effort and sacrifice in Afghanistan aren’t going to be wasted.’
Jolie concluded by prioritizing an Afghan government focused on ‘human rights.’
‘Any future Afghan government should be judged not only on their attitude to terrorism, but on their behavior on human rights and — in particular — whether Afghan women and girls maintain the rights they have gained.’
Judgment: ‘Any future Afghan government should be judged not only on their attitude to terrorism, but on their behavior on human rights and — in particular — whether Afghan women and girls maintain the rights they have gained,’ she wrote; a scene from Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday
Also on Friday, Jolie joined Instagram and made her first post a photo of a letter sent to her by an Afghan girl.
‘This is a letter I was sent from a teenage girl in Afghanistan,’ she wrote alongside an image of the letter.
‘Right now, the people of Afghanistan are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely,’ she continued. ‘So I’ve come on Instagram to share their stories and the voices of those across the globe who are fighting for their basic human rights.’
The teenage girl expressed a desire to continue her education in the heartbreaking letter, even as she feared that the Taliban would curtail those opportunities.
A source told People that Jolie joined Instagram to help spread awareness about the potential oppression of women in Afghanistan as their own abilities to communicate are being cut off.
‘Angie felt compelled to join in a moment when women and young people in Afghanistan are losing the ability to communicate on social media and express themselves freely,’ the source said. ‘From her point of view, if she’s able to be a part of the effort to amplify their voices, then she felt it was reason enough to join and use her platform.’
Taking action: Jolie made her Instagram debut on Friday with a moving letter sent to her from a teenage girl in Afghanistan, who wrote about the Taliban taking over the country after US forces withdrew; seen in 2019
‘Right now, the people of Afghanistan are losing their ability to communicate on social media and to express themselves freely,’ Jolie wrote