In Afghanistan, tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions have lost their homes and their livelihood. Others have been subjected to torture and other atrocities, and many have been victims of the grisly chemical and biological weapons, including yellow rain—weapons the Soviets have used in violation of solemn international agreements. The consequences of this calamity extend to Pakistan, which has assumed the burden of sheltering and feeding nearly 3 million refugees.
Yet, while we condemn what has happened in Afghanistan, we are not without hope. To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson—that there are things in this world worth defending.
To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors.
– Ronald Reagan, March 21, 1983