The Guardian article below is entitled “The abandonment of Afghanistan is shameful”. As usual, women and girls will be most affected by the takeover of the country by the barbaric Islamist Taliban. It makes me shudder just to think about it. These are the savages who, in 2012, shot Malala Yousafzai in the head. She was 15 years old. Her crime? Her vocal opinion on the right of girls to be educated. Her father was a schoolteacher who ran a chain of schools, for both boys and girls, in the Swat Valley, Northwest Pakistan.
Where is Malala today? After completing a high school education in Birmingham, England, she won a place at Oxford University and studied three years for a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She graduated in 2020. Starting now in Afghanistan, all girls are forced to cover themselves with Islamic garb. Their only roles will be … well, you know what their roles will be. The word “regression” is an understatement; more like extinguishment and enslavement. And this in the year 2021.
Like rats, the Taliban came out of their caves (literally) in Pakistan and elsewhere. They are the victors in the end thanks to yet another precipitous and seemingly unplanned American “strategy”. Do we need to be reminded of previous strategic disasters? The abandonment, again and again, of the Iraqi Kurds? Colin Powell holding a fake vial of anthrax while giving a pro-war presentation to the UN Security Council in 2003? (there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq). The Bush Administration’s decision to disband the Iraqi army shortly after the fall of Saddam in 2003 which subsequently led to the making of ISIS? The Libyan intervention in 2011 which resulted in the murder of Gaddafi and hundreds of thousands of migrants coming up from all over Africa to pass through the henceforth unprotected Libya to make their way to Europe in tiny, overcrowded boats? You can thank Sarkozy, Hillary Clinton, Obama and David Cameron for that.
Just like all the other interventions and hasty pull-outs committed by the U.S. in the past, there will be dire consequences from this Afghanistan action. Why? Because the Taliban is a fanatical Islamist ideology. To leave the country and its citizens in the hands of these zealots is sheer folly. It could have been done differently.
The best readers’ comment that I came across in The New York Times on the fall of Kabul is this – “Among the most indelible images from Afghanistan this week was young girls headed to school in the early morning, defiant and determined. It must be terrifying to the Taliban, who thrive on ignorance, to imagine facing a populace that is educated and in which females’ equal worth is recognized.”
Juliet, you are correct that what has happened and will happen in Afghanistan is shameful. I will add that it is a tragedy that will go down in history as a major strategical and tactical error on the part of the Western Democracies. But, the full blame does not lie with the West. It lies with a non functioning, corrupt leadership that had neither the will nor the integrity to use the trilliions of dollars in resources given it to fight back and beat the Taliban threat. If one word can describe the outcome and loss it is this: CORRUPTION. Little more need to be said in explanation. Meantime, our leaders, President Biden at the head of the line on this one, fell into the class of “good intentions, bad results”. His leadership, not to mention that of President Trump and his setting a withdrawl deadline while negotiating with the Taliban helped pull down the final curtain.
Finally, history tells us that what is happening now is not a singular problem for The West or for Afghanistan. The problem goes back more than a century and has baffled all foreign entrants whose intentions may or may not have been noble. In short, lots of blame to go around, but much of it centers on the Afghans and their abjectedly failed leadership.
One final note: Pakistan has supported the Taliban from the beginning. But no one wants to challenge a nuclear armed Pakistan, except perhaps India which does so to preserve its own independence.
Yes, it’s true what you say. But Sherman, in light of all that you’ve said and in view of all the past (and failed) interventions on the part of the US in the Middle East and elsewhere, this Afghan withdrawal appears to be an unquestionably naive move. Yes, naive! I mean, what the hell did Biden think would happen?!? Surely with the experience of Iraq, Libya and going all the way back to Vietnam … have lessons not been learned?
in case there was a misunderstanding, I am in no way trying to excuse or disqualify Biden and the three previous administrations from any culpability or responsibility for a bankrupt foreigh policy in re Afghanistan
I have little to add as this is the main topic at work currently and am over-saturated now. All I have to say is I pray for the innocent people of Afghanistan who didnt ask for this and are mainly hardworking decent people who want to contribute to society. Watching this a few months ago gave me some happy tears
Thanks so much for sharing! I admit that I shed a few tears watching the video. He mentioned mental illness, yet another fallout from war, loss of family, and years and years of violence, distress and insecurity. Through my Iraqi friend, I have known Iraqi men and women suffering from this condition. Mental illness is one of the most neglected health problems in the world.
True. Mental illness takes a long time to overcome and many have seen and experienced trauma beyond what any human should be exposed to 😢