In recent days, America has been overwhelmed by a shaft of unfortunate events from Afghanistan. The American media, TV, experts, and advisers of all kinds are asking very uncomfortable questions of officials from the Joe Biden administration and trying to understand what happened in this Asian country. Why did the Taliban (banned in the Russian Federation) win so quickly, and why did their advance troops enter the city of Kabul while President Ashraf Ghani cowardly fled the country? Why American diplomats in helicopters hurriedly leave their Embassy, thus reminiscent of the sad events of the Vietnam period. As the saying goes, history repeats itself for those who have not learned or understood anything.
Recent events have made the inability of the American hegemon to rule the world, which it has been striving for lately, quite plain and apparent, has worn itself out. After Afghanistan, the US has become a second-rate country, to which few people listen, and the instructions coming out of Washington nowadays only provoke sneers and smirks. How can we take seriously the statement made by Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who “menacingly” warned the Taliban that any government that came to power by force would not be recognized internationally? Disregarding the actual situation and not understanding what is happening in Afghanistan, he said that there is no point in winning on the battlefield because a military takeover of the capital Kabul guarantees that the insurgents will become outcasts worldwide. Zalmay Khalilzad and other American proxies hope to persuade the Taliban leaders to return to peace talks with the Afghan government. That being, once the US and NATO forces have completed their departure from a country where they have tried unsuccessfully to instill a “democracy” foreign to Afghans for 20 years. In roughly the same vein, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken appeared on TV spaced out and admonished the Taliban that they “will have to change” if they want global acceptance of Afghanistan. This was when the Al Jazeera media network was broadcasting footage of a large group of Taliban fighters in the presidential palace in the Afghan capital. Indeed, hе whom fortune will ruin she robs of his wits.
In all this, the unscrupulousness, shamelessness, and cynicism of illiterate overseas masters is striking. Twenty years ago, for no good reason, it was the United States that brazenly invaded the country and overthrew the Taliban regime there, driving its people into extreme poverty. For twenty years, officials from Washington and the Pentagon have been errecting “American-style democracy” in this Asian country. Before, they had never heard of “democracy” and considered it a dirty word.
Now US and NATO troops are shamefully and quickly leaving Afghanistan, and the overseas smart guys are trying to teach the Afghans how to live and with whom to be friends. “We are further reducing our civilian presence in Kabul in light of the changing security situation,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price. And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken rejected comparisons to the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam when helicopters flew in and out of the American compound in Kabul, even though the similarities are evident to everyone today! Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Taliban commanders ordered their fighters into Kabul to prevent looting after local police abandoned their posts. He said earlier that the Taliban do not intend “to enter Kabul by force or war, but are negotiating with the other side to enter Kabul peacefully.” He did not explain who the “other side” was. Still, he assured Afghans that “people’s lives, honor, and property would be protected” before ordering the Taliban to “stay at the gates of Kabul and avoid retaliation.”
Acting Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakawal said in a video message confirming negotiations to form a transitional government: “Residents of Kabul should not worry. The city is safe. Whoever causes disorder will be dealt with decisively. The city’s safety is guaranteed, the city will not be attacked, and the deal is a peaceful transfer of power to the leadership of the interim administration. Inshallah… Rest assured, Kabul is safe,” he said in a recorded speech. An Afghan official said forces at the Bagram airbase, where a prison holding 5,000 prisoners is located, have surrendered to the Taliban. Bagram district chief Darwaish Raufi confirmed that the former US base surrendered to the rebels. The prison contained both Taliban and militants from the Daesh terrorist organization (banned in the Russian Federation).
Qatar’s peace talks remain stalled, although diplomats are still meeting, as the US, European and Asian countries have warned that any government established by force will be rejected. “We demand an immediate end to the attacks on the cities, call for a political settlement, and warn that a government-imposed by force will become a rogue state,” Zalmay Khalilzad, who unexpectedly had started seeing the light, declared demagogically. But the Taliban, despite Washington’s “threatening” warnings, continue to make more and more progress. This onslaught represents a stunning collapse of Afghan forces after the United States spent nearly two decades and $830 billion trying to create a functioning state. US troops overthrew the Taliban after the September 11 attacks, which al-Qaeda (banned in Russia) planned and carried out under the auspices of the Taliban government. Now advancing across the country, Taliban militants drive American-made Humvees and use M-16s taken from Afghan troops. Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the Afghan army has rotted from within because of corruption and mismanagement, leaving troops on the ground ill-equipped and unmotivated to fight. The Taliban, meanwhile, spent a decade taking control of large swaths of the countryside. This allowed them to quickly seize key infrastructure and urban areas as soon as President Joe Biden announced a timeline for US troop withdrawal, saying he was determined to end America’s longest war.
The UN Humanitarian Affairs Agency warned that civilians in southern Afghanistan face road closures and cell phone disconnections. It said aid groups could not determine how many people had fled because heavy fighting and airstrikes continued there. Nasima Niazi, a lawmaker from Helmand, criticized US airstrikes targeting the area, saying many civilians had been injured and killed. The US Central Command acknowledged that it had conducted several airstrikes recently without giving details or commenting on fears of civilian casualties. Meanwhile, Pakistan opened its Chaman border crossing to people stranded in recent weeks.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said her staff had counted at least 183 civilian deaths and hundreds wounded in several cities in recent weeks but warned that “the real numbers will be much higher.” The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stressed that its staff in one month alone assisted more than 4,000 Afghans in their 15 facilities across the country, including in Helmand and Kandahar, where Afghan and American airstrikes tried unsuccessfully to contain the Taliban onslaught. “We see houses destroyed, medical staff and patients at great risk and hospitals, electricity and water infrastructure damaged,” Eloi Fillion, head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan, said in a statement. The surge in Taliban attacks began in April when the US and NATO announced that they would end their military presence and return their troops home.
When analyzing recent events in Afghanistan, one notes the illiteracy and inability of diplomats in Washington to see the current situation in Afghanistan in a realistic light. Having failed during their 20 years of domination, when the Americans had all the trump cards in their hands, they now, for some reason, believe that they can push the Taliban into negotiations. The State Department’s latest highly controversial statements openly show Washington’s utter confusion not only about Afghanistan but about the entire Middle East.
The current situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan completely exposes the rotten, ill-considered, imperial policy of the United States and its rulers, which has led to the tragic fate of this country and many other states around the world. At the same time, these events clearly and distinctly showed that the US has fallen into the position of a second-rate country, and the fearsome shouts from Washington in the world cause only a chuckle and a desire to conduct their national policies in their states, without looking back at the “Castle of Democracy.”
Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.