Now then: Well, this certainly is a cluster-fuck. Excerpt:
“Clearly, there’s no plan B. There’s clearly been no contingency, there’s clearly even no intelligence among the most sophisticated intelligence operation in the world that this could have happened so fast,” CNN’s Christiane Amanpour said.
The future of Afghanistan under the Taliban is uncertain as of today.
“We don’t know whether there’s any serious effort in Kabul today to actually construct some kind of transitional process that is a peaceful process and one that actually involves various different constituencies in Afghanistan. That’s what the Taliban says but we haven’t seen any evidence of it. It’s never been the case in the past,” she said.
Amanpour had reported out of Afghanistan when the Taliban first took over in 1996, when she made certain observations.
“They have never governed any space. They are not a government. At least they certainly they weren’t then and we don’t know what they are now,” she explains. “They have imposed their form of fundamentalism and radical Islamic Sharia on a population, not all of whom believe in that. We do not know how they are going to react to now being in charge.”
This puts the fate of many women, children and journalists at risk.
Last time they didn’t give a hoot about what the rest of the world thought. They did exactly what they wanted, backed by enough power from Pakistan and certain other quarters of the world … certainly, women are right to be incredibly scared,” Amanpour said.
“Let us not forget that the designation of the Taliban as a terrorist organization still stands, and it’s a very big ask to think this is going to be some kind of inclusive government with rights for all,” she added.
Some of us are old enough to remember Vietnam, and the fall of Saigon in 1975. That was a humiliating loss, and so is this.
In the last few days we have seen video of desperate Afghans clinging to the landing gear of departing USAF cargo planes, only to drop off as the plane climbs out – apparently from several hundred feet. Granted that’s probably a more peaceful ending than whatever the Taliban had in store for them.
Granted I never agreed with the 20-year presence in this shithole in the first place. There’s a reason that region is known as the graveyard of empires. The proper response, if we were to have a military response, after 9/11 and the knowledge of the Taliban’s support would have been to load up a bunch of B-52s, carpet-bomb the entire country into rubble. Then load the B-52s up with leaflets and drop those all over the wrecked country, each leaflet to have a U.S. flag with the caption “this is what happens when you fuck with us.”
But no. We had to go send a bunch of troops into one of the worst shitholes on the planet, with a fuzzy RoE, no defined conditions for victory, no exit strategy, just “stay there until we tell you different.” And now, when we finally decide to leave, we bail without a plan, leaving the Afghans who helped us twisting in the breeze.
And yesterday, President Biden(‘s handlers) buzzed in from Camp David, where His Confusedness rambled for ten minutes about how the whole thing was everyone’s fault but his. Then, he jetted back off to Camp David, presumably for a Jello cup and nappy time.
It’s not just embarrassing. It’s a debacle of historic proportions. Nobody, anywhere in the world, will ever trust the United States again. And, after this, there’s no reason they should.