So. Another futile effort. Another failed state. The rapid collapse of another western nation building failure in Afghanistan, has seen off another occupying empire from that nation’s soil. One wonders why it was so easy for the Taliban to take over the country – seemingly without much resistance at all. Were locals simply too frightened to fight, or are there other reasons?
There was certainly no resistance from the western installed puppet President, Ashraf Ghani and his supporters. His arms were overflowing with all the loot he had taken from the Afghan people to fight back.
The Western-backed former Afghan leader departed his country with so much money that it couldn’t all fit on his helicopter, and he was forced to leave some cash at the airport, the Russian Embassy in Kabul has said.
“Four (of his) cars were stuffed with money. They tried to fit all the money on the helicopter, but not all of it would fit. Some of the money was left lying on the tarmac.”
Indeed, Russian diplomats in Kabul feel safe and are continuing to work in the wake of the capital’s takeover by the Taliban, Moscow’s envoy to Afghanistan said.
“The situation is calm,” the Russian ambassador to Kabul, Dmitry Zhirnov, told RT on Monday, as he described the developments in the Afghan capital a day after its takeover by Taliban militants as seen from the Russian mission’s compound. The diplomats feel in no immediate danger, denying reports of an evacuation.
The Taliban confirmed on Sunday evening that there is no danger to embassies, diplomatic missions and foreign nationals in Kabul, pledging that they will maintain security across the country.
China, the other nation playing an increasingly major role in Afghanistan has similarly maintained its diplomatic – and business as usual – presence there.
“China has maintained contact and communication with the Afghan Taliban and played a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Afghan issue,” according to a Chinese Foreign ministry spokeperson. “China’s approach is based on fully respecting the national sovereignty of Afghanistan and the will of various factions in the country.”
China welcomes the Taliban’s promise that they will allow no force to use Afghanistan to engage in acts detrimental to China. In fact, the Taliban have expressed hope that China will be more involved in Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process, which will surely never happen if Uighur terrorists in Xinjiang are supported by the new Taliban government. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged the Afghan Taliban to make a clean break with all terrorist organizations, including the East Turkistan Islamic Movement operating in Xinjiang.
(Washington removed the ETIM from its international terrorist list in the last days of the Trump administration although it still remains a terrorist organization according to the UN Security Council. Is that message clear enough? Washington supports terrorist groups that are blacklisted by the United Nations.)
China urges the Taliban to resolutely fight against the ETIM and other terrorist organizations so that China can play a bigger role in reconstruction and economic development and stability of Afghanistan.
Even the famous propaganda channel CNN are getting in on the action – they actually have a reporter in Kabul outside the former US Embassy there, which credit must be given to them for that. No green screen nonsense this time. However, the CNN reporter Clarissa Ward, who reported that Taliban fighters ‘seem friendly’ (even if ONE was appearing to shout ‘death to America!’) was mocked on social media for simply reporting what she saw.
Ms Ward’s comments don’t seem to fall into the long held western narrative about the Taliban. Have the Taliban changed? Let’s hope so. Of course, it is also possible that they were never quite as awful as they have been painted. Time will tell. Let’s keep an open mind.
Check out the Taliban guy far right – playing with his hand phone. Even such groups as the Taliban are probably checking out how many likes their takeover got on FB.
“The phone is mightier than the sword” as the saying goes….
The Taliban have given assurances of protecting ‘women’s rights’ but it has a big caveat. After it was agreed that “assuring women rights in political, social, economic, educational, cultural affairs as per the Islamic framework of Islamic values.”
The Taliban are notorious for their longstanding subjugation of women that has included stonings, honour killings and a ban on education.
Observers have cautioned the pledge is open to broad interpretation, depending on who is defining the values of Islam. That is true enough – Islam in Indonesia (generally quite liberal) is quite different to Islam in neighbouring Malaysia (mostly liberal, but some hard liners), which is quite different to Islam in Turkey (secular) which is quite different to Islam in Saudi Arabia (who are the Godfathers of the Taliban, Al-Quaida etc)
Of course, it is equally correct to know who it is that is defining terms such as Freedom and Democracy, some (American) versions of which have been tremendously awful in recent decades, in many different parts of the world.
Only time will tell how this all plays out in Afghanistan, but I believe there is hope. This time the Taliban will have the open backing of two major, newly influencial regional powers like China and Russia, who can hopefully convince them to abandon the excesses of their last efforts at governing Afghanistan from 1996 – 2001. Additionally, with the occupying American army gone, at least work can now begin on restoring peace and stability.
The following comparison in behaviours certainly shows us hope. The Chinese embassy in Afghanistan, like the Russian one, is operating normally, whilst the American embassy has been abandoned, its equipment that was too big to carry away has been smashed and any incriminating evidence has been destroyed by its former, fleeing occupants.
If China can bring its Belt and Road Initiative to the country, if foreign and local terrorists can be kept at bay, if western powers stop interfering, if the Taliban can rule without excess – which are all big asks – then there is a chance of real progress in Afghanistan after more than 40 years of fighting.
It has to be worth a chance to succeed – surely anything is better for the Afghan people than another four decades of fighting.
If there are real signs of “on the ground” progress in Afghanistan in the coming years, that should signal the dismal end – once and for all – of the failed and long discredited American led global hegemony and their violent interference in nation after nation. Simultaneously, the rise and rise of China as a global leader of peacetime will look set to continue.
And we should all take comfort from that.