Nihilism Is Not a Good Look for the USA

Historian Paul Johnson wrote in his book Modern Times, "It is of the essence of geopolitics to be able to distinguish between different degrees of evil."

Biden's lack of moral orientation was clearly revealed in his recent speech concerning the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan: "Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan.  The longest war in our history.  We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history — with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety.  No nation has ever done anything like it."

Yes, no nation has ever done anything quite like it.  For in reality, the Biden administration has essentially allied itself not with America, but with the Islamists and the new Axis powers of China and Iran.  When has there been a like betrayal of America and her allies?

Biden has given the West's enemies enormous resources that strengthen their geopolitical positions.  Does any sane military strategist believe the vast military resources left behind would be left to rust or merely used as scrap?  Any knowledgeable strategist would know that the military hardware would be confiscated and utilized by powers greater than the Taliban — global powers with a vested interest in undermining America and her allies.  Any strategist would be watching nations such as China and Iran waiting to take advantage of such a treasure trove.

As reports from Asaad Hanna and others surface indicating that much of the weaponry left behind in Afghanistan is being transferred to Iran, observers of recent history will recall that Iran's leaders still proclaim themselves to be the deadly enemies of the "Great Satan," America, and  the "Little Satan,"  Israel.

Not much has changed since the ascendancy of the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.  Has the Morse code–blinking hostage Admiral Jeremiah Denton been uttery forgotten?  But this time there are far, far more potential and actual hostages in the hands of the fire-breathing Taliban and, by proxy, Iran itself.

Has it been forgotten that Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the Taliban, and Hamas are ideological brothers?  All are united in their desire to annihilate America, Israel, and their allies.

As The Jewish Journal reports "Asaad Hanna, an international fellow at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a former member of the White Helmets NGO, tweeted out photos from when Hamas and Taliban leadership convened in May. 'A quick reminder that Hamas and Taliban have great ties together and both are blessed by Iran.'"

Hanna also has indicated that the Taliban and its allies are moving equipment to Iran.

One of the first actions Biden took was to lift sanctions against Iran and to signal his interest in resurrecting the nuclear weapons deal jettisoned by his predecessor Donald Trump.  Biden's actions show that his sympathies lie with Iran, not with Israel.

If the transfer of United States military hardware to Iran was a calculated outcome, the treachery of the Biden administration would be almost beyond comprehension.

Certainly, his actions already are creating aftershocks around the globe.

Consider an emboldened China.  MSN news reports that China's new U.S. ambassador is already issuing warnings about Taiwan:

Qin Gang on Tuesday reinforced his reputation as a sharp-edged avatar of Chinese diplomacy with a speech that excoriated U.S. "wrong beliefs" and cautioned against violating Beijing's "red line" of core interests in areas including the South China Sea, Taiwan and Xinjiang.

Mark Steyn reports: "Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mudjahed has declared that Chinese assistance will form the foundation of Afghan development. On the One Belt, One Road initiative: 'This project will revive the Ancient Silk Road. China will be our gateway to international markets.'"

It's unknown if Biden deliberately designed the construction of the Afghanistan debacle.  But suspicions are aroused when it is becoming clear that he has deserted and may even be responsible for the weakening or the destruction of the old order of alliances America and the West have relied on.

As the tectonic shift in alliances becomes more and more apparent, America's former allies are having a visceral reaction.  England, once a close partner, has seen its parliament rise to condemn Biden.  Parliament's notoriously rowdy poltical theatre temporarily ceased as political opponents united in anger and horror over what they saw as a calculated betrayal of a longstanding and faithful ally.

NATO now lies in ruins, with NATO countries facing the prospect of old enemies newly risen to life overnight.  Who knows what European nations are already been targeted by freshly armed and emboldened opponents?

Most catastrophically, because of Biden's diastrous decsions in Afghanistan, the global order has been reconfigured almost overnight, with a decided tilt against the West.

Alas, the world has seen such a rapid and potentially lethal reconfiguration before.

Paul Johnson remarked that Anthony Eden and Neville Chamberlain would not or could not recognize the evil threat Germany posed during the 1930s.  Churchill did possess actue discernment, but he was not heard until more desparate times appeared, as they did shortly after the surrender of Czechoslovakia to the Third Reich.

Hitler had long set his gun sights on Czechoslovakia's huge army and vast supply of military equipment.  After the disastrous deal cobbled together at Munich, the Wehrmacht took over the military supplies and was fortified enough to be further emboldened in its conquests:

The Czechs' forty divisions were among the best equipped in Europe: when Hitler finally marched in, he got the means to furnish equivalent units of his own, plus the huge Czech armaments industry. This turnaround of roughly eighty divisions was equivalent to the entire French army. The surrender, as Churchill noted, also meant the end of France's system of alliances in the east and brought about a moral collapse in the Danube basin. Seeing the Czechs abandoned by the democracies, the small states scuttled for cover or joined in, like jackals, in the feast[.] ... Countries began to scramble for Nazi favor[.] ... The German economy boomed.  In the closing weeks of 1938 Hitler, without firing a shot, appeared to have restored all the splendor of Wilhelmine Germany.

It is clear that the Biden administration has little capacity to recognize evil.  That is because the nihilist's amoral universe does not factor in evil.  As Eugene Rose, also known as Father Seraphim, wrote in Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age, "[i]n the Nihilist universe ... there is neither up nor down, right nor wrong, true nor false, because there is no longer any point of orientation."

The deliberate lack of moral orientation is at the root of realpolitik, which is politics based on practical objectives to be achieved without ethical considerations.  As promoted by those who have shared Henry Kissinger's view of diplomacy, it has most often meant relentless pursuit of national interest.

But the Afghanistan debacle indicates that Biden's realpolitik is in relentless pursuit of interests diametrically opposed to America.  Every action he has taken, be it domestic or foreign, benefits other nations and weakens America.

The fact is that Biden's administration, like the Obama administration, is concerned with global power politics that does not recognize American exceptionalism but does recognize the nations supporting the international global imperative that seeks diminishment of the West.

Biden and his cohorts ultimately are repudiating the Western tradition and Western culture — hence the authoritarian sympathies fostering alignments with Islamist extremists, particularly in Iran.  Hence the alignment with the repressive CCP and the total disregard for that country's human rights record.

The nihilism of Biden's realpolitik, which is the politics of war and destruction, will have catastrophic effects if not stopped.  As Nietzsche wrote: "Nihilism is ...  not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one's shoulder to the plough; one destroys."

Father Seraphim wrote, "The Old Order, undefended and seemingly indefensible, has been overthrown, and that a new, more "realistic" — and more brutal — truth has taken the field[.] ... Marxist Realism, for the sake of a revolutionary millennium, issues in a reign of lies and deceptions such as the world has never seen ... a spiritual catastrophe of enormous dimensions."

A spiritual catastrophe is now before us.

Let's hope and pray that some in Congress and the military are bold enough to demand Biden's removal.  Let's hope and pray that a Winston Churchill is ready to step in to guide America out of the moral and military morass in which this administration has stranded America and the West.

Let us hope and pray that the spiritual vacuum created by the rents in the fabric of America and the present Western order will be repaired with the aid of a merciful God.

Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her the prize for excellence in systematic theology.  Her thoughts have appeared in many online magazines.  She is a regular contributor to American Thinker, and may be reached at

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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