Contributed by Jim Hayes
So, the Taliban are now in Kabul and have almost secured their complete control over Afghanistan. Unpopular President Ashraf Ghani and other high officials fled the country, as the Presidential Place and airport fell. U.S. Embassy staff were evacuated by helicopter, in scenes reminiscent of the pull out of Vietnam in 1975.
President Ashraf Ghani leaves Afghanistan
Video from Al Jazeera English
Australia sent troops and became implicated in all that followed, despite it being clear that most of the population was against it.
The blame game takes off in Washington. It’s Trump’s or Biden’s fault hey argue.
Not really. The war begun in 2001 was destined to end in failure from the beginning. It was an invasion and not a rescue mission. The Taliban, who were in government, were accused of being al Qaeda, and therefore implicated in the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York. This wasn’t true. The real reason for the invasion geopolitical, and the objective, to secure a gateway to the East and greater access to the Persian Gulf and its oil.
It happens that in their earlier days, the Taliban and al Qaeda had received material support from the United States. They were useful against the then Soviet Union. The Soviets left Afghanistan defeated. They had not learned the lesson of history, which is, Afghans have a proud tradition of fighting off invaders. Just ask the British, who for years, tried to secure the country into their Empire.
The United States, and the so-called Coalition of the Willing should also have taken notice of this lesson of history.
Their invasion put the Taliban into the position of defenders of the nation against an occupation force, and their present march to victory would not be possible without the solid support of majority of the population. Disclosures by WikiLeaks and other sources have revealed that these invaders have committed crimes against humanity.
Whatever one might think of the politics of these people and the reintroduction of their brand of Sharia law, the simple fact that this is what Afghans are choosing must be recognised. It is their right to make their own choice.
After billions of dollars pumped in to build up the army around the imposed President, it has proven to be a useless force against the Taliban. Many of its soldiers welcome their coming.
True, there are those trying to get out. Theirs is a bad situation, for many are seen as traitors to their own people. Much like those who collaborated with the Germans, in the countries they occupied during World War Two. It is also true that the Taliban view of punishment is likely to be harsh.
The Taliban has promised an amnesty. The problem is that the depth of popular sentiment against some of them, may mean a different story on the ground.
Others might fear the Taliban for reasons other than fear of being seen as traitors.
It is also true that the coalition that used them is in no hurry to help.
The best that can be done now, is to stop pushing around this long suffering country and allow it the space to rebuild.
Hopefully, this will make it harder for the politicians and generals to get away with creating war for business and empire building.