• August 14, 2021

That 70’s show, getting darker

Say this for Jimmy Carter: It took him more than three years for his presidency to fully implode. At the end of 1979, we had high inflation, an energy crisis, American hostages in Iran, a geopolitical rival who despised us and thought he had the wind of history at his back, sparking dangerous adventurism (even, ironically, in Afghanistan). ).

It only took Joe Biden about six months to reach a comparable destination. Let’s take the Afghan disaster for now. If we escape having American prisoners in Afghanistan, it will only be because we have completely left the place. Which seems to be in progress at the moment. USA Today:

Reports: US embassy in Kabul orders staff to destroy confidential documents as many diplomats prepare for evacuation

The US Embassy in Kabul has ordered its staff to destroy confidential documents, as well as other material that could be used as propaganda, according to CNN and other media outlets.

The letter comes amid a Taliban attack that threatened to topple the government. It also comes a day after the Pentagon announced that it will send 3,000 US soldiers to Afghanistan evacuate some members of the US embassy staff from Kabul, leaving only “a central diplomatic presence” in the country.

A “central diplomatic presence”? Sounds more like “potential hostages” to me. In fact, from this excerpt from an embassy memorandum, it appears our own government expects the embassy to be fired:

By the way, here is a clue to the larger history of American incompetence in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. According to the Wall street journal, “Some 5,000 civilians and military personnel are based at the embassy and at the Hamid Karzai international airport.” 5,000? Five thousand?!? Although many are undoubtedly Afghans and civilians from other countries (I wonder if they will all be offered asylum in the United States), what are 5,000 people accomplishing in the American embassy? Only the US military-diplomatic complex can devise plans to keep 5,000 people busy with little lasting effect.

I don’t entirely blame Biden for Afghanistan’s shocking collapse. I have been saying for a long time, along with John, that it was time to leave. If the country cannot support itself for a few weeks, what would you hope to achieve another five years and 5,000 more embassy employees? Why has the United States never enlisted neighboring nations in the region to help stabilize the place? (Maybe because they are backing the Taliban? They must be obtaining funds and weapons from somewhere, aside from discarded American vehicles and weapons, of course.) Above all, there has been a total failure of our military bureaucracy to devise a serious strategy to defeat the Taliban, and / or our political class, in the administrations of both parties, was not willing to face the real cost of doing so. At least the Pentagon is finally get “diversity and inclusion” right.

It would be helpful if the Biden Administration didn’t go out of their way to look stupid. Asking the Taliban to engage in diplomacy, when their character and intentions are completely clear, is the kind of pathetic bleat expected of John Kerry. But Jen Psaki takes the award with her statement yesterday, “The Taliban also have to make an assessment of what they want their role to be in the international community. “

Air power is still an option, and we are apparently conducting some air strikes, which seem to have as much of an effect as our air strikes in North Vietnam 50 years ago. If Biden and the Pentagon decided to deploy napalm on Taliban fighters (I suspect it is more effective in the Afghan plains than in the jungle of Southeast Asia), they would take them more seriously.


Desperate, US seeks countries willing to host Afghan refugees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration has been holding secret talks with more countries than previously known in a desperate attempt to secure deals to temporarily house at-risk Afghans working for the U.S. government, they said. four US officials told Reuters.


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