John Ondrasik, also known by his stage name Five for Fighting, has some tough words for the Biden administration and its handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. In his latest single, released Friday, the Grammy-nominated artist sings: There’s blood on these hands/ And still Americans…/ Left to the Taliban…/ Now how’s that happening?
Titled “Blood on My Hands,” the song goes on to specifically address Secretary of State Antony Blinken and embattled chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley for their role in the pullout:
Winkin’ Blinken can’t you look me in the eyes / Willy Milley when did you decide ‘this sacred motto’ now means … never mind.
Ondrasik, who has previously penned massive hits like “Superman” and “100 Years,” says he was inspired to write the song after learning of the suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. service members along with dozens of Afghans. While the words reference “Joe” or “Uncle Joe,” he contends the seriousness of the President’s failure in Afghanistan should transcend normal partisan politics.
“Like all Americans,” he said in a press release, “I was stunned and horrified at the images of falling bodies from planes, mothers handing babies over walls, and terrified Afghans being crushed to death at checkpoints due to our precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
Ondrasik then addressed the oppression and violence the Taliban is bringing back to the region, saying, “I am deeply troubled by the plight of Afghan women forced to live under the return of Taliban rule, and felt great sadness when reading a story about a popular folk singer, Fawad Andarabi, being dragged from his home and shot by the Taliban.”
The songwriter shared that while he believes there were “good arguments on both sides” of the question of whether to withdraw from the country, he cannot comprehend “why our current administration would not extend the August 31 deadline, thus leaving American citizens, SIV holders, and Afghan allies behind to a terrorist Taliban regime.” He said he has always believed that ‘no man left behind’ “applied to all Americans, as well as to those we promise to protect.”
The 56-year-old has a long history of supporting U.S. soldiers. Along with performing for the USO, he has given away five volumes of a compilation album titled “CD for the Troops” to the Armed Forces and more than a million copies have been distributed to U.S. soldiers.
Ondrasik said that while some may view “Blood On My Hands” as a “political attack,” those who know him well know he is “an American with a history of calling out both sides.”
He revealed that one friend, after hearing the song, said he found it “politically neutral, but morally-forward.”
“My hope,” Ondrasik finished, “is that this song helps demand accountability, so the American promise is not forsaken.”
Watch the video of Ondrasik performing “Blood on My Hands”: