Recent opinion on the American debacle in Afghanistan. See, 1) Sylvie Kauffmann (éditorialiste), “L’onde de choc géopolitique de la débâcle afghane; L’humiliation infligée à la…
The fundamental question of whether our capacity for empathy is diminishing remains, and the answers are not clear.
Upon those answers the future of the human rights movement, and indeed international law probating war crimes and crimes against humanity, may ultimately depend.
30 years ago, perhaps, the United States still had a foreign policy elite which led public opinion on complicated foreign policy issues, about which the average American was ignorant and didn’t have a clue.
So, in this media environment, where there are few editors and producers capable of finding and using the best expert opinion from the foreign policy elite–people who really know what they are talking about–it is not surprising that so much discussion focuses on interviews or discussions with individuals with no deep foreign policy expertise on Afghanistan.
The battle was never about whether the U.S. would win the war against the Taliban. It was always about whether the Afghan people would win their struggle for a civilized, and democratic, future. 70,000 Afghan soldiers, over the years, gave up their lives in pursuit of that goal.
But the United States lacked what has been called ” strategic patience”.
Joe Biden was right about one thing. The victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan was due to a failure of government leadership and the lack of a will to fight.
But the failure of government leadership and the lack of a will to fight were, most decisively, not those of Afghanistan, but rather those of the United States.
In one of the great ironies of history, Joe Biden and America, in 2021, have dealt a great body blow to Afghan dreams and aspirations for a civilized and even a democratic future.
The decision to surrender to the Taliban and abandon our Afghan allies and supporters is among the most craven and dastardly decisions in U.S. military and foreign policy history. One searches in history for a decision of such dishonorable magnitude.
The comparison that comes to mind is the agreement by Neville Chamberlain of England and Ėdouard Daladier of France with Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgarten in October, 1938. The agreement, known as tge Munich Pact, has become synonymous with betrayal and appeasement
That will be Joe Biden’s legacy, unless he changes course, which seems unlikely.
Yet however emotionally appealing Noonan’s prescriptions may be, to follow them would be to court disaster on an extraordinary scale. Any attempt to force open corridors by the use of military force would produce open armed conflict between the Taliban and the U.S. forces, which were sent to Afghanistan on an evacuation mission. American soldiers would be killed.
The Taliban occupy the entire city of Kabul, and the rest of the country. Who knows how many people would die if the U.S. tried to force the issue with military force.
Anyone entertaining such ideas should immediately watch the classic movie, Black Hawk Down (2001) which realistically depicts what happened in 1993 when American forces attempted to extract a relatively small number of soldiers from a firefight in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Why are F-16’s overflying Kabul?
The U.S. surrender to the Taliban and the botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan have produced days of stressful attention and observation, first, as the Taliban’s…
See, 1) Ryan Crocker Ryan Crocker, “Was Pulling Out of Afghanistan a Mistake?” in “Afghanistan Under the Taliban,” Carnegie Emdpwment for International Peace, August 18,…
In failing to recognize that its surrender to the barbarism of the Taliban in Afghanistan was a major defeat for civilization and its defense of human rights and the rule law, the United States has committed a tragic mistake.
It has abandoned 38 million Afghans to the barbarism of a medieval terrorist regime, and 19 million Afghan women to the dictatorial rule of a misogynistic Islamic ideology which predates the Enlightenment and has not been influenced by it.
The American and allied capitulation to the barbarism of the Taliban must be understood as a terrible setback to civilization and the values of the Enlightenment.
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/full-text-of-joe-biden-e2-80-99s-speech-on-withdrawal-from-afghanistan/ar-AANoeg5 Joe Biden: (00:55) Good afternoon. I want to speak today to the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, the developments that have taken place in the…
President Joe Biden spoke to the nation today in an effort to justify his withdrawal from Aghanistan.
In his speech he demonstrated both his delusional state of mind and the stubborn, emotionally dug-in thinking that led to his decision to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan, and its botched execution.
Heads Must Roll: Accountability for the American Debacle in Afghanistan Who is responsible for the decisions that led to the U.S. surrender to the Taliban…
Dispatches See, 1) Amanda Mars / Agncias, “Los talibanes refuerzan su rápido avance con la toma de Kandahar, la segunda mayor ciudad del país; EE…
See, Conor Finnegan and Luis Martinez, “Taliban fighters executing surrendering troops, which could amount to war crimes, U.S. officials say; The U.S. Embassy in Kabul…
The withdrawal of the U.S. and its allies from Afghanistan, and its inenluctable consequences, represent a signal retreat by the U.S. and its democratic allies from the defense of democratic values and the ideal of democracy.
The great tragedy is that 20 years of support for the democratic project in Afghanistan had produced impressive progress, in what was necessarily a long-term project. The failure of U.S. military and political leaders to understand and accept the long-term nature of the project—framing the question of Afghanistan as one of “When can we bring the troops home?”–was the fundamental and ultimately fatal flaw in U.S. strategy in the country.
Powerless. That’s how I and many others feel in the face of President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw completely from Afghanistan. Despite the wholly predictable consequences of that decision, Biden remains stubbornly defiant, ignoring or indifferent to the realities unfolding before him.
Powerless, as undoubtedly many millions of Afghans in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and other cities must feel today.
We have forgotten the lessons of the 20th Century. International Peace and Security cannot be taken for granted. They depend on support of and adherence to international law, and the constant reaffirmation of international law, including human rights law and humanitarian law.
We have fogotten the lesson that aggression and crimes against humanity and war crimes must be vigorously resisted, or their perpetrators, like Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, will triumph.
We have forgotten the lessons of Srebrenica, that crimes against humanity must be resisted, stopped, and punished.
Ultimately, there is no rational defense of stupidity. Stupidity may accompany a lack of empathy or sense of moral imperatives to defend sacred moral values.
Regardless of whether it is the product of callous indifference or brute stupidity, or a combination of the two, Biden’s withdrawal decision seems to be set in stone. And even the rational analysts’s observations, like those of the historians, may fall like ashes into the dark canyon of oblivion.
Will the values of the Enlightenment be saved, resuscitated to light the way of a stumbling humanity which has lost its way?
It all depends on us. With deep faith in humanity, surely on a brighter day, those of us who are creatures of the Enlightenment and who still believe in the highest values of humanity, will again somehow find our way.
For we must.
As the democratically elected government of Afghanistan teeters on the brink in the face of a Taliban onslaught which is the result of President Joe Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from the country, Biden and his foreign policy team are disconnected from reality. In his op-ed in the Washington Post, Max Boot highlights the “delusional” thinking in the Biden administration. This thinking could find no more cogent illustration than the fact that Biden is proceeding with plans to hold a Summit of Democracies in December.
The Silence of the Generals
One question permeates a deafening silence: Where are the retired American generals and defense officials who should be screaming from the rooftops about Biden’s surrender to the Taliban, and his passive acceptance of Taliban war crimes on a growing scale?
These generals and officials fought the Taliban, and watched over 2,500 American soldiers die fighting the Taliban.
Where is their patriotism now? Why don’t they speak out and shout out about what is going on?
If they remain silent, they will take the shame of their silence to their graves.
It is absolutely appalling to speak to fellow Americans, even those who are highly educated and intelligent, and to understand the abysmal nature of their ignorance about Afghanistan, what has happened in that country in the last 20 years, and the people who live there today.
American news coverage from Afghanistan had almost disappeared until this summer, when President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces rekindled interest in some readers about the future of the country after America’s retreat.
To counter this ignorance, The Trenchant Observer is introducing a new feature under the heading, “Meet the Afghans America is abandoning.”
It is late in the game to try to counter the ignorance of the American population about Afghanistan in 2021.
We should bear in mind that polls that show 60% or 70% support for Biden’s withdrawal decision are measuring the views of ignorant and ill-informed people.
This is not so much their fault as it is the fault of American society and culture in 2021, when there is little interest in U.S. foreign policy or what is going on in the rest of the world, and news media–except for a few leading newspapers–which reflect that lack of interest.
Please accept our invitation to meet and learn about some of the Afghans who America is abandoning to the mercies of the Taliban.
We have described the horrific choices facing individual Afghan soldiers and officials:
Soldiers and government officials are faced with terrifying personal choices, as it begins to look like the Taliban will take over.
They and their families are extraordinarily exposed to Taliban reprisals, and may have to make excruciating decisions about whether they can better protect themselves and their families by putting aside their weapons and acquiescing in a Taliban takeover, or by sticking with the government forces and fighting for a future under the existing government.
The surrender and withdrawal of the Americans could well have a decisive impact on their calculus.
The “will” that may proive to be the decisive determinant of the future of Afghanistan is not that of the Afghan soldier or government official, but rather that of Joe Biden and the government and people of the United States.
Developing Dispatches Story to follow Afghanistan is falling to the Taliban. As we observed on July 5, 2021, after the announcement of the total U.S….
Developing The Taliban has continued making sweeping gains today, taking the key northern provincial capital of Kunduz, and two other provincial capitals in the North….
Read Robert’s article, which translates the Capitol insurrention of January 6 into immediate personal terms, in a political context we all need to understand.
Fanone’s experience is one we should never forget.