GOING INTO THE ABYSS
AS THE tragedy of extremist Taliban victory in Afghanistan flashes across our TV screens, the horror of it frozen on the faces of desperate Afghan souls, fearful for their lives in a country about to be plunged back into a medieval, religiously backward hell hole, I still hear the odd expatriate siren voices spouting the “we should never have got involved” mantra. How wrong such folk are, how forgetful of why Nato went to Afghanistan in the first place. The Taliban harboured Al Qaeda (and still do), architects of the horrific terrorist attack on New York’s twin towers and active encouragers of the radicalisation of Muslim youth across the UK and Europe.
Military withdrawal is no escape from a war “we should never have been involved with”, it is a massive (and unnecessary) DEFEAT for western culture, democracy and Nato in particular. We should all be frightened at what might follow. Increased Islamic fundamentalist terror on UK streets is a clear consequence. That alone threatens all people of good will in the UK, Muslim and Christian alike.
The message it sends to the enemies of democracy and tolerance, like Putin’s Russia and Communist China, is clear. For once I agree with Tony Blair – America has signalled to the ruthless dictatorships that there is no principle or national interest, that America (and consequently Nato) is willing to fight for. The West’s policeman has done a bunk. He’s cleared off.
So who is really to blame for the horrors being inflicted at Kabul airport and across Afghanistan? Who is most guilty of causing the widespread fear and chaos there?
Who caused the Taliban takeover? Was it Taliban military success? No it wasn’t. All the Taliban have done is fill a military and political vacuum the Americans left behind them. It wasn’t American, British and allied Nato troops that fought and died there. Their bravery was rewarded with betrayal. It wasn’t the number of body bags returning from Afghanistan. The tragic flow had stopped. Allied troop numbers were down to groups of advisers, successfully fighting alongside the Afghan army. As soon as the advisers were withdrawn, the Afghan army collapsed. I’m not surprised, they were treacherously abandoned. Now the deaths are mounting in the consequent chaos.
So, will the chief culprit please step forward?
There he is, in all his confused, defeatist glory – so-called “President” Joe Biden. A man who has systematically destroyed the standing of his office with one abysmal stroke. Worse still, he has driven a coach and horses through two vital Western defence organisations. The first is Nato. The second is the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Churchill’s much loved “Anglo-sphere” incarnate. The five countries that in two world wars were the driving force that saved democracy from extinction. As of today, these two vital alliances are in tatters.
Why do I say Biden has delivered a savage blow to both organisations? Because when he announced the withdrawal of American forces, he failed to consult these vital allies.
They were left stranded in Afghanistan and had no choice but to leave as well. Allied forces, including the UK’s, can only function there with American logistical support. Biden left our troops exposed as effectively as the Afghan army was. Nato cannot function without assured American support. America needs us and we need them, it’s just that we need them MORE. The Kremlin and the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee must be laughing their socks off and rubbing their hands with glee. The West has done an unnecessary runner and fled the scene with its tail between its legs. If the US can (to put it bluntly) “piss off” when it feels like it, the Nato treaty isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
Now, here lies the real danger. As I hinted in my last column, Putin hates former Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe being members of Nato. Poland and the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia being especially coveted by him.
Nato guarantees their security. Will it still? CAN IT still? Expect tensions rising on the borders of the Baltic states in particular. Putin will build up Russian forces there, testing Nato resolve. Tensions will rise, military risks will be taken. If Nato is paralysed, why not? Does Biden even know where Lithuania is?
It gets worse. China is spreading its naval grip on the South China Sea, openly threatening Australia, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan in particular. China has already stated it will “crush” American forces in Taiwan if they resist Chinese aggression there. Biden’s “imbecilic” decision (to quote Tony Blair again) to withdraw from Afghanistan has sent a clear message, which makes a threatened Chinese invasion of Taiwan a near certainty. God knows where such madness might lead then.
Of one thing I am absolutely sure: the tragedy of Afghanistan, especially for its people, is not limited to that sad, desolate country. The effects of Western self-inflicted defeat, is of potentially disastrous, historically earth-shattering proportions.
Wars are not caused solely by aggression. That can only come about when those who are threatened, and those that claim to be their allies, signal their unwillingness to fight for what they believe in. Then war happens. History is littered with examples of such defeatism guaranteeing war. I hate to say it, but that is where this idiot in the White House has put us.
After reading this, you may still feel we are better off “out” of it. I disagree. If aggression is encouraged by turning a blind eye, it eventually catches up with you. Ask the desperate crowds outside Kabul airport. Thanks to Biden, UK security is now far from secure. Without Nato, the UK is in no position to resist anyone. I can guarantee you one thing, as you read this: the world is a far more dangerous place today than it was a few days ago. You’d better believe it. That is Biden’s legacy. God help us.
Ed BattyUmm...wasn't it Trump's long term decision to withdraw from Afghanistan? I'm sure Biden didn't wake up one morning and say "Let's get out of Afghaniswhatsit". These things are planned years in advance. Yes, there were warnings at the start of this year from all sorts of think-"yanks" that this would happen, but that was the same advice and hollerings that accompanied Big Don's announcement shortly after his inauguration. So, if you're going to blame Biden, blame Trump in the same breath.... or is just the non-right wingers that ruin the world?