This handout photo taken and provided by the German armed forces Bundeswehr on August 17, 2021 shows evacuees from Kabul, Afghanistan, sitting inside an aircraft upon arrival in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, during a military evacuation operation to fly out German nationals, local workers and other people at risk from Kabul, Afghanistan, where people try to flee the country after the Taliban swept back to power. - On August 18, the German cabinet approved the mandate for the German armed forces' ongoing evacuation mission in Afghanistan. Up to 600 soldiers can be deployed for the mission until September 30 at the latest. (Photo by Marc Tessensohn and Handout / BUNDESWEHR / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / HANDOUT / MARC TESSENSOHN / BUNDESWEHR' - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Oh, many people will probably say: Was it only a year ago? And perhaps just as many will ask: was that a year ago? Most will honestly admit that they haven’t given it much thought since: 12 months ago the Taliban took over the Afghan capital Kabul with almost no fighting – and the international community left the country in a rarely chaotic action. flighty.

The West in particular has left to the radical Islamists the people who longed for more freedom and who had been promised so much for 20 years. Some say he betrayed the Afghans and above all the Afghan women, whose rights the German government has repeatedly urged to this day. But for which she does so little.

It was an escape with an announcement. Anyone who read the agreement that the then US President Donald Trump negotiated with the self-proclaimed holy warriors in February 2020 knew that there would be no international protective umbrella for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, German politicians, such as then Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, continued to claim that the country would only be left if the new rulers respected human rights.

Did she really believe in it herself? Or did she just want that? She, too, seemed shocked at how the withdrawal of NATO troops and virtually all other security forces took place a year ago. But it would be too easy to blame the chaos on the German side of the CDU minister alone.

All politicians, and in their wake also generals and many subordinates, have for too long acted as if what was happening in Kabul and Afghanistan ultimately allowed an orderly withdrawal. They probably had the German voters in mind, who increasingly lost the understanding that their security also had to be defended in the Hindu Kush.

In the ears of Afghans, the justifications for the deduction had to and must sound like mockery. Because nothing is good in Afghanistan. Women and men who are threatened, persecuted and tortured by the Taliban report almost every day. And there are many people in Afghanistan who are still waiting for an opportunity to leave the country safely.

It has hardly gotten any easier in the past year. In Kabul, for example, there has long been no German consular representation because Berlin does not recognize the Taliban regime. cannot acknowledge.

Economically, most Afghans are much worse off today than they were a year ago. Everyday life is catastrophic, many people are starving because they have no income. They need humanitarian help – not just with pledges of aid at conferences. There are contacts who continue to work for civil society in the country. Help must be organized with them so that it can get to where it is needed. The world must take responsibility.

This also means that Germany is finally flying out the former local staff on a large scale. And not only those who have worked for German organizations, but also their mostly large families. For Afghans fleeing – and leaving the country is nothing else – family is more important than one can imagine in Germany.

In addition, those who are brought here by Germany must be given long-term prospects. The caring does not end with entry and accommodation in a refugee shelter, where they are still competing with people from Ukraine.

But too many Afghans are still stuck under the Taliban regime. It’s been a year since the international community fled. That means 365 days of fear for those who couldn’t walk.