Imagine risking everything to help American forces defend your nation from lawless violence before managing to escape to the freest nation in the world, only to be gunned down in the lawless and violent streets of that nation’s capital.
This is the tragic story of Nasratullah Ahmad Yar, the 31-year-old Afghan Lyft driver and former interpreter for the United States military in Afghanistan, who was recently murdered in Washington, D.C.
This is just another anecdote which serves as a disgraceful reflection on the lawless state of America and our divergence from the principles which made this nation one to which people flee for refuge and prosperity.
As a Force Recon Marine and DOD contractor on a JSOC Task Force, I did eight deployments to Afghanistan and fought Taliban violence alongside interpreters like Nasrat. I saw their selfless devotion to freedom and safety, and their unparalleled personal sacrifices.
Because of these experiences, I have a unique perspective on how much Nasrat sacrificed.
I’m reminded of a time when Aziz, my dear friend and an ally interpreter just like Nasrat, risked everything to defend his own nation, and protected me as I did him. Tasked with building an operation to eliminate a high-value target, Aziz and I found ourselves being pursued out of a small town by more than two dozen heavily armed Taliban fighters in hi-lux trucks. As we reached a wide-open field, we realized our only option was to turn and fight as we fled.
Aziz and I took turns laying down cover fire as the other escaped further, bounding away from the enemy fighters and their trucks that were hindered by mud. But then Aziz saw something I didn’t – a man with an RPG ready to launch directly at me as I was laying down suppressive fire. Rather than taking his turn running, Aziz turned back to take out the man before he was able to launch that RPG, risking his life to save my own as we both risked everything for his nation and mine. Just as Nasrat did.
And after all that, Aziz and so many others were abandoned by their American allies, or at least our commander in chief, during the devastating surrender of Afghanistan to the Taliban and our global enemies.
To fill the devastating gaps in the withdrawal, I assembled an elite team to rescue Aziz and so many others from being abandoned to the Taliban. This endeavor ultimately led to the rescue of more than 17,000 Americans, vulnerable civilians, and Afghan allies who were being left behind for Taliban slaughter. Allies just like Aziz and Nasrat, both of whom worked alongside American special forces teams for years before escaping to America in the wake of the Taliban takeover.
In recent years, I have continued to support Special Immigration Visa holders like Aziz and Nasrat through my Mighty Oaks Foundation, which offers a program to help our allies continue the fight off the battlefield as they integrate into American life. Once again, my team is filling the gaps left by America’s government in supporting the allies who sacrificed so much to support American troops.
After sacrificing to protect Afghanistan from lawlessness and violence, Nasrat surely breathed a sigh of relief when he found himself “safe” in America. How tragic that he would then be shot in the streets of our own nation’s capital, which has largely been overtaken by the very lawlessness and violence which Nasrat worked to eradicate in his own country, and from which he thought he had escaped.
Gun violence is considered “all too common in D.C.” with homicides up by 20% and violent crime up 30% this year. After five years of steady increase, carjackings this year are also up almost 50%, which certainly endangered the life of Nasrat, who worked as a Lyft driver to support his wife and four children as they began their new life in the “land of the free.” In fact, a recent study found that certain areas of our nation’s big cities are more deadly that both the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones.
And yet, despite the obvious deterioration of our nation’s capital and other big cities in America, the culture of lawlessness is allowed to continue around the nation. Prosecutors and politicians embrace soft-on-crime policies and refuse to acknowledge the damage they are doing. Even the iconic Union Station has been allowed to deteriorate into little more than a dangerous drug den.
Rather than prioritizing safety and prosperity, politicians focus on power and pet agendas. They fight to restrict our Second Amendment rights to protect ourselves and loved ones from the very threat these politicians are creating by willfully ignoring the underlying causes of the lawless violence controlling our streets.
Americans watch in horror as violent career criminals are held up as martyrs for equity while law-abiding citizens are vilified and labeled part of the problem. Substantive solutions to social problems are eclipsed by quick political “wins” that make for great campaign talking points as politicians seek re-election to continue to fail the American people, especially those in our inner cities.
We are better than this. I dedicated my life to protecting and preserving that which makes America the greatest, freest and most prosperous nation in the world. Men like Aziz and Nasrat dedicated their lives to bring what they believed to be American freedom and greatness to Afghanistan.
As the leader of the free world, America has the responsibility to uphold the values and principles foundational to that greatness. I pray that the American people are willing to speak up and fight as hard as Aziz and Nasrat did to safeguard these values and principles of American greatness for generations to come.