The Afghanistan defeat will be more disastrous than we can now imagine.
State Department spokesman Ned Price gave a press conference where he informed the Taliban about U.S. expectations. He announced that "a future Afghan government that upholds the basic rights of its people, that doesn't harbor terrorists, and that protects the basic rights of its people, including the basic fundamental rights of half of its population, its women and girls, that is a government that we would be able to work with."
Price did not have a clue about how inane this sounded. The country is in chaos, the U.S. has suffered a major defeat, and he is listing demands. There are thousands of Americans trapped in Afghanistan right now. Our response is to anger and insult the people who hold their lives in their hands.
The president is portraying the withdrawal as a partial success: "[o]ur mission to degrade the terrorist threat of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and kill Osama bin Laden was a success." He claimed, "I am president of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me," and then proceeded to blame everyone from Donald Trump to the Afghan military for the defeat. This was a large enough mistake that even Jake Tapper took note of it: "[t]he president said that the buck stopped with him but, in fact, this speech was full of fingers pointing and blame." If the president loses the support of the Deep State media, he is finished.
Ned Price claimed, "We are confident, but more importantly, the military and our Intelligence Community leaders have spoken, and even testified to the fact that we will have capabilities ... to detect and to disrupt any terrorist plotting." Ned is probably referring to the inner circle of the State Department when he claims, "We are confident." Our NATO allies do not seem to share Ned's confidence in our Intelligence Community.
Biden stated that we are "moving quickly to execute the plans we had put in place to respond to every contingency, including the rapid collapse we're seeing now." He claims that the reason why people were not evacuated sooner was "some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier, still hopeful for their country." He also wanted to "avoid triggering a crisis of confidence." The president, claims he, "will not repeat the mistakes we've made in the past."
Yet Biden has no clue about what will transpire in this "fluid situation." He has already demonstrated a lack of judgment. He has been criticized for being mentally challenged. He accidentally revealed the identities of CIA agents during a video conference. His gaffes are not new. In 2016, he outed the military aide who carried the nuclear football.
The Taliban is not interested in what the U.S. or the international community thinks. Threats of boycotts and withholding foreign aid will not convince them to join the 21st century. Their policies about women will not change, much less their views of homosexuality. Ned claims, "We are operating on multiple fronts and around the clock to protect our people, those who have worked side by side with the United States over the years." This must sound very reassuring to people who have worked for the U.S. and find themselves far from the Kabul airport.
The Taliban has not given up on its beheading technique. An Afghan translator who worked for U.S. was beheaded. It is unlikely that this is an isolated case. Twenty-two Afghan commandos were executed by the Taliban when they attempted to surrender. A Twitter message reads, "An Afghani interpreter I have come to know well over the years was hung in the streets last night. They melted his DoD ID into his chest. Cut off his arms. And killed his family."
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing). He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. He is featured on the BBC's program "Things We Forgot to Remember:" Morgenthau Plan and Post-War Germany.
Photo credit: YouTube screen grab (cropped).
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