Saigon, here we go. As if our swift departure from the government in Kabul wasn’t shameful enough, now the New York Times reports We beg the Taliban to leave our embassy alone when they come for everyone else. The Biden administration says it has no immediate plans to withdraw the 4,000 people working at the embassy, but that could change quickly depending on the tender mercies and diplomatic goals of the marauding Islamist army targeting the capital:
US negotiators are trying to obtain assurances from the Taliban that they will not attack the US embassy in Kabul if the extremist group invades the capital in a direct challenge to the country’s government, two US officials said.
The effort, led by Zalmay Khalilzad, the top US envoy in talks with the Taliban, seeks to prevent an embassy evacuation as fighters quickly seize cities across Afghanistan. The advance of the Taliban has put embassies in Kabul on high alert for an increase in violence in the coming months, or even weeks, and has forced the closure of consulates and other diplomatic missions in other parts of the country.
US diplomats are now trying to determine how soon they should evacuate the US embassy if the Taliban prove more inclined to destruction than detente.
In a last-ditch effort to save us while our allies are wiped out, Zalmay Khalilzad has started offering money as a ransom of sorts:
Khalilzad hopes to convince Taliban leaders that the embassy must remain open and secure if the group hopes to receive American financial aid and other assistance as part of a future Afghan government. The Taliban leadership has said it wants to be seen as a legitimate administrator of the country and is seeking relationships with other global powers, including Russia and China, in part for financial support.
Two officials confirmed Mr. Khalilzad’s efforts, which have not been previously reported, on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive negotiations. State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to comment on Wednesday, but said the funding would be conditional on whether future Afghan governments “would have any semblance of durability.”
“Legitimacy bestows, and essentially is the ticket, at the levels of international assistance, humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people,” Price said.
In case nobody remembers, legitimate Y humanitarian they are two adjectives that in no way describe the totalitarian theocracy of the Taliban before 9/11. We have spent the last twenty years in military operations against the Taliban, which probably makes their interest in future US interventions somewhat limited. In that case, why U.S Would you be interested in helping the regime that was associated with al-Qaeda as the latter plotted the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans in the September 11 attacks?
Yet that’s the carrot the Biden administration has been playing this week in an attempt to make the Taliban act like politicians rather than bloodthirsty theocratic tyrants. Instead of mobilizing military support for the Kabul government, Biden has tried to form a coalition of diplomatic charlatans:
The Biden administration has made one last effort this week to convince the Taliban, as it continues its relentless march through Afghanistan, that the world will reject it if it takes over the entire country by force.
At the largest gathering of its kind since the US-Taliban talks began nearly two years ago, representatives from Russia, China, Afghanistan’s regional neighbors, European powers, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and The United Nations has gathered in Doha, Qatar, for US-led meetings with the militants.
The hope is that the numbers and a unified stance, both during Taliban meetings and in a tough joint statement to be issued after their last session on Thursday, will disabuse militants of any idea that there are cracks in the international resolution. to cut off any Taliban government. out of all diplomatic contact and assistance.
The Taliban don’t care about “international assistance.” They want nothing more than to reestablish their tyranny and tell the rest of the world to hit the sand. Russia and China could try to win their favor, but that won’t last long. The shared border between Afghanistan and China will create enough friction over the treatment of Uighir Muslims that China will soon treat them as a threat rather than a potential ally. Russia has enough trouble in Chechnya already, and a resurgent Taliban likely poses an even bigger threat there than China thinks it does in Xinjiang.
When this cowardly effort fails, the Biden administration had better do some study of America’s latest forced exit from a capital we pledged to support. And they better start bringing more helicopters to Bagram as well.