Biden's Afghanistan: The ground he wouldn't keep

Afghanistan has been depicted, and rightly so, as the Graveyard of Empires because of the enormous difficulty of waging war there. Efforts to do so have been disastrous for more than 150 years starting with the United Kingdom and its rival Russia, Russia again during the 1980s, and most recently the United States. Al Qaeda gave us no choice on September 11, 2001, but the desirability of waging what President Biden calls a "forever war" (also the title of a science fiction novel by Vietnam veteran Joe Haldeman) is indeed open to question. Any President who has to sign letters to the families of American service members had better have a reason that involves the protection of American lives and liberties, or else we shouldn't be there.

Nation-building in a region that was never a nation but is instead an aggregation of tribes that make and break alliances at a moment's notice, was probably never a realistic goal. The Biden Administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan resembles a precipitous rout as depicted in Rudyard Kipling's That Day.

An’ some one shouted “’Ook it!” an’ it come to sove-ki-poo,         

An’ we chucked our rifles from us—O my Gawd!  

(Hook it = run away

sove-ki-poo = sauve qui peut, save yourself if you can)

There was thirty dead an’ wounded on the ground we wouldn’t keep—     

No, there wasn’t more than twenty when the front begun to go—   

But, Christ! along the line o’ flight they cut us up like sheep,                  

An’ that was all we gained by doin’ so!       

Most people know the difference between an orderly withdrawal and a rout. The Taliban would not dare raise a hand to our Soldiers in open battle, which means we should have evacuated our civilians along with friendly Afghans before, rather than after, Biden's August 31 withdrawal target. As matters stand, the Taliban now appears to be going door to door to round up "collaborators" the same way the Gestapo once went door to door to round up Jews. The Taliban has also told civilians to give up their weapons because they no longer need them, just as the Nazis told the Jews to give up their weapons. This is, needless to say, a good reason for concealing the weapons in question, and acquiring more if possible. This is exactly what the National Resistance Front for Afghanistan has done and it deserves American support in the form of weapons and money.

Captured weapons have given the Taliban a superbly-equipped military force

YouTube screengrab

I ’eard the knives be’ind me, but I dursn’t face my man,     

Nor I don’t know where I went to, ’cause I didn’t ’alt to see,          

Till I ’eard a beggar squealin’ out for quarter as ’e ran,        

An’ I thought I knew the voice an’—it was me!

This is not, by the way, the first time the United States has abandoned allies to be slaughtered by terrorists and repressive governments. Robert L. Wilkie, a former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, explains why the United States failed to give military aid to South Vietnam when the Communists violated the peace treaty they made with us in 1975.

"One of those standing in the way of Ford’s attempt to save our friends was a new senator from Delaware named Joseph Robinette Biden." The result, Wilkie continues, was "…countless refugees were forced into the sea, murder reigned throughout South Vietnam, and 'reeducation' camps became a way of life."

This proves that the phrase "Never Again" is, as shown by the Communists' treatment of South Vietnamese, Pol Pot's mass killings in Cambodia (technically not genocide because the Khmer Rouge murdered political opponents rather than people of any specific race, not that that made a difference to those murdered), the extermination of tens of millions of Chinese by Mao Zedong's government, and Communist China's current treatment of Uighurs, is nothing more than an empty slogan. This is exactly why Communist China is making overt threats to Taiwan and repressing freedom in Hong Kong despite its commitments regarding autonomy.

Should Taiwan, Israel, and Japan Build Nuclear Weapons?

This is, to be quite blunt, a good reason for Israel to build nuclear weapons if it does not already have them and, if it does, to build even more. This is the only way to ensure that "Never Again" means exactly that and, if Iran or other bad actors try to reenact the Holocaust, a genocide will indeed occur—but it won't be of the Jews this time. If that sounds like an outrageous statement, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction was nothing more than a threat of mutual genocide by the Soviet Union and the United States, and it was the only diplomacy the operators of the gulags understood. The most evil dictator on earth will exercise restraint if he believes that, should he even begin to succeed in his goal of annihilating the Jews, the Armenians, the Ukrainians, or anybody else, his own country (or terrorist organization like Hamas, Hezb’allah, Al Qaeda, or ISIS) will cease to exist. That is the only language the world's Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots, Xi Jinpings, and terrorists understand.

This is also more than ample reason for Taiwan and perhaps Japan to repudiate the Nonproliferation Treaty and acquire enough nuclear weapons to make it clear to Beijing that the consequences of military aggression from the latter would be too horrific for any sane person to even contemplate. Communist China's rulers are just as evil as the Russian dictators Joseph Stalin (who committed genocide in the Ukraine) and Nikita Khrushchev, but they are also just as rational, and they are not going to create a situation in which one of their intended victims might give them a face full of plutonium.

"Concern about the credibility of the U.S. defense commitment to Taiwan" was in fact cited (Office of Technology Assessment, "Nuclear Proliferation and Safeguards") as a potential incentive for Taiwan to acquire nuclear weapons as long ago as 1977. The same reference cites Japan as a "major refrainer" which, like West Germany and Sweden, could build nuclear weapons but chooses not to. This article also raises the possibility that Taiwan might acquire nuclear weapons, and quickly. The bottom line is however that history has proven repeatedly that it is a bad idea to rely on alliances to defend your national existence, whether you are Czechs in 1938, Poles in 1939, or Israelis, Taiwanese, or Japanese today. Rudyard Kipling's poem offers a fitting epitaph to the credibility of the United States as currently "led" by Joe Biden.

      An there ain’t no chorus ’ere to give,      

      Nor there ain’t no band to play;  

      But I wish I was dead ’fore I done what I did,           

      Or seen what I seed that day!

Civis Americanus is the pen name of a contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way. He or she is remaining anonymous due to the likely prospect of being subjected to "cancel culture" for exposing the Big Lie behind Black Lives Matter.

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