Biden’s Afghan Catastrophe: And they said Trump would be bad.

Yesterday, as the Taliban advanced, inexorably, on Kabul, shop-owners rushed to erase any and all evidence of westernisation. Specifically, as we see below, they ran for the whitewash, to cover up advertisements showing women living a normal life:

As you read this, Afghan women and children are settling into a new dark age. They will be subject to the most extreme interpretation possible of Islamic law. Women will not be able to show their faces outdoors. Girls will not be permitted an education of any kind – even to teach them how to read. Minor crimes will be punished with amputations, blindings, and other mutilations. Those who were seen to have co-operated with the west over the past few decades will be executed – shot if they are lucky, decapitated if they are not.

This could have been prevented. It is true to say that it is easy for an Irish writer to say it could have been prevented, given that Ireland has not sacrificed a single cent, or a single soldier, in Afghanistan, and would refuse to do so if asked. But that does not mean it could not have been prevented.

After all, for good or ill, it was the United States who made a commitment to the people of Afghanistan. It was the United States which drove the Taliban into the mountains, and gave the people of Kabul, and elsewhere, a taste of freedom. If President Biden wished to reverse the advances of the Taliban today, he could. He does not.

This is precisely the kind of international catastrophe, and global humiliation, that many people warned would happen – under Donald Trump. When Trump was defeated – having never suffered anything like a disaster on this scale – people across the west rejoiced, and said the “adults are back in charge”. Donald Trump, famously, never listened to his CIA advisors when they were telling him what was happening on the ground in Afghanistan. Joe Biden did and does. And he has been humiliated. Here he is, a month ago, promising that none of this would happen:

Is Biden solely to blame? Of course not. But he must bear a huge portion of the blame nonetheless. This was his decision. On his watch. And his decision to do nothing in the face of disaster is his as well. Every Afghan who suffers under the Taliban will have Uncle Joe to thank for it.

This was what Biden was supposed to prevent. For four years, Fintan O’Toole and people like him in the global media assured us that Donald Trump was trashing America’s global image. We were told that electing Joe Biden would reverse all of that. That kindly old Uncle Joe would restore American prestige, and win it back its friends. That with Democrats in charge, America would have intelligent leadership again – kind, and compassionate, and, to use a word that was abused to death in pursuit of his election, “decent”. There is nothing decent about this disaster. It is indecent.

It is popular to imagine Biden, and those around him, as more enlightened and knowledgeable than a bumpkin like Trump. To imagine that they know what they are doing, while he bumbled from one catastrophe to the next. That was the comforting lie that fuelled Biden’s election, and still, even now, mutes criticism in the Irish media, and elsewhere, of this global humiliation.

Because it is, and let us be very clear about this, a global humiliation for the United States. The new Taliban Government will not need to look far for friends: The Chinese will offer them funding and support in return for access to Afghanistan’s rich supply of rare-earth minerals. Twenty years ago, the Taliban were a weak Government. After this, they will be close to unchallengeable. American prestige has been massively damaged – and that will have consequences.

The raw truth is this: Over the past four years, Donald Trump, for all of his many flaws, ran a relatively good ship. He had real achievements in the middle east – constraining Iran, building a new relationship between Israel and its neighbours, and keeping Afghanistan stable. In just eight months, Biden has undone two of those achievements, with disastrous consequences.

Under Joe Biden, America looks like a country in terminal decline. And the United States should have two consecutive one-term Presidencies as a result.

 

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