Biden's retreat from Afghanistan...and reality
"My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over." Thus spoke hapless Joe Biden following the last U.S. military flight out of Kabul. "This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan," he continued. "It's about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries." And then he unleashed this zinger: "This will make us stronger and more effective and safer."
YouTube screen grab (cropped).
Great nations are not made stronger, more effective, and safer by a horrific show of weakness, much less by a thoughtless cut-and-run operation that left our shocked allies aghast and our enemies gleefully rubbing their hands together.
One of the worst presidents in American history led the country into a massive humiliation made even worse by the deaths of 13 needlessly sacrificed men and women. Here's how bad it was. Roger Pardo-Maurer, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere affairs, told a reporter that the Department of Defense had foreknowledge of the Kabul Airport suicide bomber but denied permission to fire a Predator drone missile even when they had a lock on the bomber. The shame also includes dozens of Americans plus Afghans with close ties to the U.S. and Europe left behind. Many Americans also are outraged that even service dogs were left behind.
WOAT Biden may have declared the war over, but some fighting against the Taliban continues. Resistance fighters have reportedly killed dozens of Taliban fighters trying to enter their Panjshir Valley territory just north of Kabul. The self-proclaimed National Resistance Front (NRF), comprising an ethnic Tajik militia and former Afghan security forces, has vowed to defend the enclave as the Islamist group says they have it surrounded.
An unnamed three-star general told the U.K. Daily Mail:
I think it's inevitable that we'll be back in Afghanistan before long. You'll have a narco state run by Islamic terrorists. This is not a good development to peace and stability in the world. How in the world can we stand back, with a nuclear-capable Pakistan and Iran working towards a nuclear weapon and Afghanistan wedged in the middle between the two? (It) is unbelievable to me that the U.S. and NATO are going to have no on-the-ground bases in that region. That region is bordered on the West by Iran, bordered on the East by Pakistan, bordered on the North by China and Russia, and we will have nothing on the ground. No eyes, no ears, no logistics and intelligence bases. The next time we go there, if we need to go there, the 82nd Airborne will probably be the guys that need to take it by force. And then there will be a big expense in dollars and blood to make it happen.
The general is not the only one who sees our retreat from Kabul as anything but the end of "endless wars." Former Israeli defense specialist Mordechai Kedar says:
Kabul is phase one on the way to conquering the world. Kabul is pumping new blood into the arteries of the Jihad and the results are seen all over the world. We must understand that the Islamic mentality is a zero sum game. When Islam wins, Christianity loses and the Crusaders lose. The (Islamists) always see a connection between what happened in the 10th century and what happens in the 21st century. Islam progresses, state by state, continent by continent[.] ... Kabul is only one phase of a global plan. They think it is proof that their path is the right one. They think they have defeated Western culture, embodied by America, which wanted to spread Westernism in the Islamic world.
For the Islamic jihadis, wars never end, regardless of statements by ignorant American presidents. Raymond Ibrahim said, "Although August 15, 2021 will forever live in infamy as the date when the Taliban reconquered Afghanistan, for over 13 centuries that date was famous for another event — Constantinople's defeat of the Caliphate, August 15, 718. While these two events separated by exactly 1,303 years are vastly different in nature — not least that in 718 Islam lost, while in 2021 it won — they both confirm one irresistible point that the confident West should take to heart: the tenacity of Islamic jihad — this relentless snake of war always bides its time, even if remaining coiled for many centuries before striking."
This is another way of saying peace is an illusion, particularly in dealing with the jihadists. In Afghanistan, war is somewhat of a national pastime — call it a national hobby if you will. Enemies are not just invading powers like the Mongols, British, Russians, and Americans; they're also one another. This is because Afghanistan is not a real country and never really has been. It's just a geographical area occupied by numerous tribes and cultures constantly at one another's throats.
There is no reason to believe that this pattern will be changed by the American retreat. In fact, no one in his right mind believes for a minute that this is the end of the matter.
The bottom line is that war and conflict are the true history of humankind. War has always been a major human activity. It's particularly startling when you realize that all civilizations owe their origins to the warrior and are products of violence.
Peace is simply a period of time when power-seekers arm up and wait for others to grow weak or, for those naïve enough, to disarm. Lenin put it this way: "Peace is only a continuation of war by other means." That parallels the mindset of the jihadists. History is a record of civilizations, empires and, in fact, entire cultures being created and inevitably destroyed. If you show weakness, this cannot be avoided. If you try to shy away from war, it will find you. Weakness is indeed provocative.
Here's another thought for feeble Joe. Will our country, which produced the greatest civilization in history, ultimately be strong enough to save itself? Or are we going to be just another civilization that collapsed after a few hundred years as most have? A nation that does not value what it has and will not fight for itself and its national interests will ultimately fall to the ever-hungry predators. History guarantees it.
Frank Hawkins is a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, Associated Press foreign correspondent, international businessman, senior newspaper company executive, founder and owner of several marketing companies, and published novelist.
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