4 of the most disturbing takeaways from the Afghanistan debacle

Talk about a target-rich environment — there is plenty to be horrified by in relation to this sordid chapter in our history.  But four things might be added to the discussion, since they may affect the future and not just illuminate the past.

  1. Our administration was starting to arrange the emptying of Gitmo last month.  On the occasion of the release of the first prisoner (without obtaining anything in return), NBC reported then "[t]he Biden administration has been very quietly working to do this behind the scenes[.] ... They are slowly, quietly doing it right now."  Thus, any leverage we would have in negotiating the release of our people would have been impaired.  Apparently, the swiftness of the Taliban takeover has overtaken Biden's plan.  But watch for Biden to dump out the remaining 39 or so prisoners as capriciously as he did the first.
  1. We know that we are going to have a hostage scenario, perhaps with Turkey as an intermediary, once U.S. troops leave Kabul.  It appears that at least one or two thousand Americans will be stranded (yes, Ms. Psaki, stranded).  Because the White House has implied that it will negotiate with terrorists, the Taliban may well say, "You seem to have left some people behind.  We can facilitate their exit.  But this is costly to arrange.  We need $200 million for each adult, $350 million for each child."  Can anyone doubt that this U.S. government would print the money — and send it on pallets left over from Obama's gifts to Iran?  Can anyone doubt that some within the U.S. government would see it as a legitimate redistribution of wealth?  Has the State Department dragged its feet in extracting Americans because it expects to be able to "throw some money at the problem" later on?  Outlandish, to be sure, but consistent with current social justice rhetoric.  Congress should rein in this effort.  But a new Congress is needed for that.
  1. Expect military recruitment to go into the toilet.  Among woke training and shibboleths, blanket surveillance of soldiers' social media, high rates of sexual assault within the ranks, vaccine requirements, images from the inverted Dante-esque circles of hell at Kabul's airport, and all the outrageous blunders of the last few weeks, who would sign up now?
  1. There is a noticeable feature of the famous initial images of Afghans dangling from planes and crowded onto cargo aircraft in the initial days of the airlift (apologies to prior well-executed and noble airlifts, which, through no fault of our troops, are given a bad name by the spectacle of this fiasco).  We see that virtually all are young to middle-aged men — virtually all of whom, in that culture, would be married and have a few children.  (Later images and reports indicate more women and children, probably due to Marines getting better admission procedures established at the gates, but still a preponderance of males.)  The women they are leaving behind will be consigned to likely rape and poverty; the youngsters will be married off to Taliban or conscripted into the jihad.  Yet it is the men we see rescuing themselves.  Perhaps they figure that where they are going, there are plenty of clueless Western girls available.  These men may well go looking for new families; chain migration may not be an option for a change.  We wish the best for all good people extracted from the hellscape that the Taliban will create, but men who are willing to leave behind the helpless in a "sauve qui peut" situation really don't deserve to come here.  We have enough of them in our government.

Christina Guest is a pen name for an author and civil rights attorney in the Midwest.

Image via Pixabay.

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