Wednesday 11 August 2021

The Taliban are winning without an air force or American equipment because they have support among Afghans

Harold Macmillan, first Earl of Stockton, said in the 1980s 

"The first rule of politics is do not invade Afghanistan."

I quoted Marxist journalist Alexander Cockburn in my penultimate post. Writing about the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in January 1980 in Village Voice he described Afghanistan as 
"an unspeakable country filled with unspeakable people, sheepshaggers and smugglers ... I yield to none in my sympathy to those prostrate beneath the Russian jackboot, but if ever a country deserved rape it's Afghanistan." 
In 1987 Mr. Cockburn  apologised and said that "it was a part of a satirical piece which was tasteless" but went on to say,

"I would ask you to look at some of the Mujahideen and how they treat women. They have virtual slavery of women. They are in favour of the bride price. And I think a lot of people don't have the slightest idea about social conditions in Afghanistan."
This didn't stop him opposing the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan. Marxists always oppose US invasions and support Marxist ones, but he had a point.

Many British journalists opposed the invasion when it was first bruited before coming to see it a necessary reaction to September 11. The Taliban knew it would be the consequence of an attack on New York.

Was an invasion necessary? 

If so it should have been a short punitive expedition. 

Instead, twenty years later, the USA is leaving and the Taliban with no foreign help and no air force are easily winning back the country. 

How can people not see that they are doing so because they have enough support among Afghans to do so?

I was appalled, but not shocked, to see that the British Secretary of State for Defence has said he tried to find support among America's allies to remain in the country without American leadership but failed.

How would that have served British interests?

This is modern British conservatism. Not conservative, but liberal. Not Disraeli but Gladstone. 

I was right in saying that Boris is Hillary in drag. 

Boris is certainly no Trump, but in the case of Afghanistan Trump failed to be Trump and get out of a pointless war for values. 

Biden instead has copied the Trump playbook in what is almost the one good thing he did since taking power.

1 comment:

  1. Trump actually negotiated a US withdrawal by May of this year. Biden extended the American presence until September.