Why Biden and Blinken’s Humiliating Surrender
is Even Worse Than Americans Understand
by umair haque
Joe Biden and Antony Blinken have made a terrible mistake. How bad?
Imagine the following. There you are, living your pleasant life, in a quiet suburb, in a metropolitan city. Maybe you own a small business. Maybe you’re a teacher, or journalist. The political situation, though? It’s bad. And getting worse. You have two daughters, and you wonder: how will they grow up?
And then the unthinkable happens. The government falls. To the violent, fanatical men. They arrive on your doorstep. You’ve made the mistake of speaking out against the Taliban in the past, so they’re here to make an example of your family. So they seize your 12-year-old daughter, and tell you she’s their property now — she’s going to be “married” off to one of them. (That’s sexual slavery, by the way.) They arrest your 15-year-old— didn’t you know she made the fatal mistake of having a boyfriend?
Your wife, their mother? She’s beaten before your eyes for her “immodest” clothing. She was wearing a burqa, but her ankles were showing. You? You’re in deep trouble, too. Your business is taken from you as a punishment. They say you’ll be tried tomorrow — and so will your wife, in Sharia Law “court.” Everything you ever worked for — gone, just like that. But you can’t even think about that. All you can think about is the people you love. And how bad life is going to be for all of you now. Or if you’ll even have one.
Your family is sentenced by the “court.”
Your 15-year-old daughter’s punishment? She’s their slave now.
Your wife? Her sentence is to be stoned to death.
The men watch and laugh as your wife dies.
You don’t know where your daughters are. You know they’re in danger. But let’s face it — no one is safe anymore, especially not women and girls.
How bad is the mistake Biden and Blinken made? It’s that big. Americans have a hard time imagining scenarios as bad as the one unfolding in Afghanistan right now. They have the incredible luxury of being imperial subjects. Sure, the empire’s dying — but it’s not gone yet. And so Americans still live in relative safety. They can’t quite imagine what it’s like when the fascists arrive on your doorstep.
So let me assure you. That’s what it’s like. Americans see pictures of huge waves of people fleeing the Taliban. But nobody quite spells out for them what all those people are fleeing from. Let me make it absolutely brutally clear.
What is unfolding is all the following. Sexual slavery — on the scale of an entire country.
Women are being seized, yes, really, to be “married” to Taliban members, which means they’re basically taken and put into sexual servitude. It’s the Handmaid’s Tale, the West’s entertainment, only it’s true. Women aren’t allowed to laugh in public. Then there’s the mass violence. Anyone remotely associated with America is sure to be executed in a particularly bloody and public way — beheaded, for all to see. Journalists, professors, teachers, artists, intellectuals, writers, filmmakers, scientists, researchers — they’re going to be executed, too.
The lucky ones will escape with beatings. With torture. With mutilation so severe they’re crippled for life, like being flogged in the public square.
We are talking about an entire nation under the thumb of the world’s most barbaric and regressive and cruel fascist movement. All its women. All its kids. All its men. Anyone who displays the slightest hint of a vaguely modern attitude is going to be persecuted, quite literally, to death. They will be tortured and maimed and enslaved in utterly horrific ways, which are so far beyond the American imagination that literally nobody can even talk about them.
But if you really want to begin understanding the magnitude and depth of Biden and Blinken’s mistake, that’s where you need to go. Right down into the deepest darkness of the human soul. You need to bear witness. And ask yourself: does anybody deserve that? To be enslaved? To be put into sexual servitude? To have their kids taken from them? To be violently tortured?
Let’s just use the Golden Rule, to try to spark the moribund American imagination. If all this was happening to you, your kids, your family, how would you feel?
That’s why all those people are fleeing. They’re not running away for show. They’re not desperately trying to escape because they’re going to be called names and insulted. They are running because their daughters are going to be sexually enslaved, their sons made jihadis, what small amounts of money they have confiscated, and their pasts examined, and if the slightest deviation from the Taliban’s medieval way is found, they’re going to be tortured and likely killed, in horrifically cruel ways.
Those people are running from slavery, torture, execution — of their whole families. That’s why they’re so desperate for a way out.
How would you feel?
That’s the beginning of how bad Biden’s and Blinken’s mistake really is. The human dimension. The nightmarish catastrophe that’s unfolding now for Afghans. But maybe, like most Americans, you still don’t care — maybe you only care about money, sex, celebrity gossip, the ongoing crackhead supply of it all, to numb the pain of your own life. Very good, let me tell you how this mistake is going to impact you.
Why didn’t anyone in America’s elites see this coming? Think of the magnitude of the failure for a moment. Biden assured the nation — and the world — everything would be fine. Why?
Because Blinken told him everything would be fine. What the hell would Blinken know? Nothing — he’s a career bureaucrat, a classic DC insider, who’s never stepped foot outside a first class cabin. Blinken told Biden everything would be OK because the CIA and NSA told him everything would be ok.
So who told them? Well, that’s what they concluded. But how could the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies get all this so incredibly wrong? Because by now, they get everything wrong. Why? Because they’re still fighting the Cold War.
In the minds of America’s intelligence agencies, the real threat is still communism. Yes, really.
Let me prove it to you.
What else didn’t the cowboys and boy geniuses at Langley see coming? The rise of American fascism. The rise of European fascism. The resurgence of fascism around the globe. The depth of the threat Islamic terror — another form of fascism — posed. They didn’t see any of it coming. The story of how the CIA literally ignored 9/11 is famous by now, or at least it should be.
Why does America’s intelligence infrastructure keep thinking of resurgent fascism as not a big deal at all? Because it’s still fighting the Cold War. And it’s barely even doing that well. The boy geniuses and cowboys at Langley didn’t exactly stop Russia from installing Trump as President, either, a fact we now know is true, yet most Americans are still unaware of.
Let me take you through a brief tour of how Afghanistan got here. In the 80s, Afghanistan, as a society, wanted to be a communist state. Fair enough, many poor countries did. America couldn’t let it happen, so it armed “freedom fighters” called the “mujahideen.” Those freedom fighters did in fact fight off the communists — preventing yet another nation from reaching its democratically chosen destiny. But there was a terrible, terrible price. They became the Taliban.
And as the Taliban, they began to hate America just as much as they despised Russia. Why? Not because Americans were “foreign invaders.” But because they were fanatical religious fundamentalists. They hated anyone and everyone who didn’t want to live in the 4th century.
Women, gay people, liberals, scientists, journalists, teachers, academics, writers, artists, intellectuals, simple business owners who just wanted to live in a vaguely functioning society.
The Taliban wanted to recreate an Islamic Caliphate — literally. They wanted to take their country, and as much of the world as they could, back to the 4th century. No art or music allowed. Women hidden behind veils, sexual slaves to men. Only certain forms of commerce and trade allowed. Don’t go to prayers, you get beaten. Every thought and action and speech policed for the slightest deviation from religious piety. A repressive society based on public mass violence, from beheadings to floggings to stonings.
Now, in a sane and just world, they wouldn’t have had a hope. But this isn’t that world. These fanatics had guns. Money. Bombs. Missiles. Tanks. Why? Because America gave them all those things. They had the one thing you need most in a poor society: the power to do violence. So they began to take over at light-speed.
Americans are often told ridiculous stories, like “nobody can conquer Afghanistan!! My God! There are mountains there!” Or even more absurd ones, like: “those guys hide in caves! Nobody can find them!” What is this, third grade? You can’t find people because they hide in caves? The world’s most powerful military can’t climb a mountain?
Don’t be fooled. These ridiculous stories are told to Americans to blind them from the terrible truth that the Taliban is their creation.
And just as America made the Taliban, it could have unmade it, too. The next terrible truth is that it chose not to. Ask a soldier, they’ll tell you. It wasn’t a war. It was a half-hearted, barely fought civil conflict.
America didn’t hunt down the Taliban.
They didn’t break their back as a military force and political movement.
They didn’t eliminate them.
They didn’t confiscate their guns — the very ones they’d given them.
They didn’t eradicate their bases of tanks and missiles and bombs. instead, because this conflict was half-hearted, America used drones to bomb villages. It was a strategy that was never going to lead anywhere. The soldiers on the ground knew it.
That brings us back to now. The final terrible truth is this. Americans too often swallow reductive binaries. This or that, black or white, this extreme or that one. In this case, it’s “leave” or “stay.” But those were not the only choices. There were many, many other, better ones. A phased withdrawal. A phased withdrawal after a final, serious push to really annihilate the Taliban.
Don’t buy the lie about “endless war,” either. America has 28,000 troops in South Korea. It has 38,000 troops in Germany, for Pete’s sake. Why? They’re there to keep the peace, through deterrence.
Sometimes, that’s the best you can do. And this was one of those cases. Yes, America should have “left.” But it should have gone like this — a final effort to really defeat the Taliban, boots on the ground, not just drones, man by man. And then troops stationed there, to keep the peace through deterrence.
Maybe you don’t like that. Do you object to troops in Korea and Germany, then? If you don’t, then you need to examine your own double standards.
There are no good ways to end an empire. America’s empire is winding down now. It doesn’t have the money, will, or power left to really sustain one. Life at home, in America, is difficult now, a struggle.
The coffers are empty and the people are growing unhappy. America’s days as an imperial nation are over.
Afghanistan’s in the crosshairs of that final indignity. All those Afghans who lifted a finger to help America? They’ve been betrayed, and they’re going to be punished in horrific ways. As are all the following people: girls who want to go school, women who want to be educated, writers, artists, professors, teachers, business owners, anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice their sons to becoming militant jihadis.
Biden and Blinken have made a terrible, terrible mistake. Let me put it as bluntly as I can, as bluntly as you need to hear, because Americans still don’t understand it this way.
Biden surrendered to the Taliban. The world’s worst, most barbaric, stupid, cruel, evil, disgusting, and backwards fascists. The world’s most powerful nation couldn’t take on a bunch of unwashed dudes in a cave — the very ones they made into an army of faith. America stands humiliated and disgraced — and Afghanistan? Take a second to thank whatever creator you believe in it’s not your kids who are going to be enslaved.
History won’t forget what just happened. And frankly, it shouldn’t forget. We shouldn’t forget. The world will laugh at the jaw-dropping folly of it — after it stops shuddering. The GOP will make hay of it. Imagine what happens the next time there’s a radicalised Muslim terrorist attack in America — something that becomes thousands of times more likely now that they have a whole country to organise and plan and fund one from. The GOP’s going to say, shout, scream: “Joe Biden surrendered to the Taliban!”
THE SAD THING? THEY’LL BE RIGHT.