Is Kabul Saigon revisited?

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    Quote

    The Taliban are poised to take full control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, after their fighters took up positions on the outskirts of the city, and the US sent helicopters to evacuate diplomats from its embassy.

    In deeply humiliating scenes for the Biden administration, embassy personnel were ferried by military helicopter from the compound to the nearby airport. Diplomatic armoured SUVs could be seen leaving. The exodus began early on Sunday after the insurgents captured the eastern city of Jalalabad.

    Wisps of smoke could be observed near the embassy roof, as diplomats urgently destroyed sensitive documents, US military officials told the Associated Press. British embassy staff were also scrambling to leave the country, with the ambassador due to fly out.

    One has to ask what exactly has been achieved in Afghanistan in the last 20 years with the Taliban poised to take Kabul. They have already taken Bagram air base and the Afghan army has literally crumbled in the face of the Taliban advance.

    Wit the US and UK sending thousands of troops to aid the evacuation of Kabul, one has to ask what the families of of soldiers who died in the conflict feel like today.

    Why couldn't the might of the US military defeat the Taliban and will Saigon 1975 rear its ugly head as the US leaves the country, defeated by the very force they went there to displace in the first place?

    Afghanistan likened to fall of Saigon as officials confirm Taliban take Kandahar
    As Lashkar Gah is also captured, US senator Mitch McConnell says exit could be ‘sequel’ to Vietnam humiliation
    www.theguardian.com

  • I presume world "authorities" don't give a shit about the Taliban and what happens in Afghanistan. Before the country became one of the military places to be during the 2000s, the U.S., UK, didn't care that Afghanistan was in the toilet, so I doubt they care about it after. I remember watching documentaries in the late 90s about what was happening there an being appalled by the situation, asking myself why nothing was being done by the international community.

  • After 20 years, the US-led coalition is accepting what the Soviet Union accepted in 1979, after 10 years of the same madness. After 2 decades of trying to train Afghanistan to be able to rule and defend their own country, it is clear that the Taliban has been underestimated and the Afghan political leadership and military have been overestimated, especially after they were demoralized by being excluded last year, from the “peace talks” with the Taliban.


    Trump announced a May 1 deadline. Biden extended this to August. I wish it had been a longer deadline. But at some point the illusion of bringing change to that hellhole had to be recognized as just that.

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    Didn't we once regard the Mujahedeen as freedom fighters against the Soviet Union? And wasn't the Taliban born out of the Mujahedeen?

    I didn't realise that Britain also has a dark history in Afghanistan and this opinion piece compares the situation to a Greek tragedy.

    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/analysis/opinion-is-history-once-again-repeating-in-afghanistan/2213506#

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    I wonder if this is simply an opinion piece by a Turkish writer in a Turkish publication, or a reflection of the Turkish Govt’s POV. Impossible to tell.

    Not a huge amount of opinion in that piece really, since we all know the history of the region anyway.

    By the way, I don't believe a word this Taliban spokesman says.

    In full: Taliban spokesman calls BBC News
    A spokesman for the Taliban, Suhail Shaheen, called the BBC's Yalda Hakim, live on air.
    www.bbc.com

  • I really DO care. There are countless women and girls who are about to be pulled from their homes, raped, and killed. But there is nothing I can do! It is horrendous.

    Maybe I'm selfish but if I had to really care what bad things went on in every country I'd end up being the one needing care. Truth be told I haven't a ruddy clue what it's all about....if it's to do with religion then I don't want to know.

    • Official Post

    Maybe I'm selfish but if I had to really care what bad things went on in every country I'd end up being the one needing care. Truth be told I haven't a ruddy clue what it's all about....if it's to do with religion then I don't want to know.

    It's more than just religion. It's a state of mind, a way of life that harkens back to the dark ages, not unlike what ISIS would like to impose upon the rest of humanity.

    The Taliban think nothing of beheadings, cutting off limbs and relegating women to nothing more than chattels of men. Many believe Afghanistan will become a breeding ground for even more fundamentalist terrorists which will then spread far and wide. The US and its allies endeavoured to contain this, but the failure is all too plain to see.

  • By the numbers:

    51,000 - The number of civilians estimated to have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

    3,586 - The number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001, including 457 British soldiers.

    $2.26 trillion - The amount of money spent by the US in Afghanistan from 2001-21. The UK spent $30 billion.

    75,000 - The estimated current number of Taliban fighters, vs. 300,000 Afghan soldiers, police officers and other security forces.

    169 - The ranking of the country on a global poverty index.



    The Telegraph, 16 August 2021

  • Inevitable, but still enraging, especially after his boasting last month that “I set in motion the process of withdrawal from Afghanistan. ‘They’ tried to stop the process, but they couldn’t because I had set it in motion.”


    “Donald Trump, the president whose administration set in motion the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, accused Biden of “surrendering” to the Taliban. “First Joe Biden surrendered to COVID and it has come roaring back,” Trump said in a statement. “Then he surrendered to the Taliban, who has quickly overtaken Afghanistan and destroyed confidence in American power and influence. The outcome in Afghanistan, including the withdrawal, would have been totally different if the Trump Administration had been in charge.”

    John Wagner notes: “Trump’s administration negotiated the terms of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1, a deadline Biden later moved back.”


    (The Washington Post, 16 August 2021)


    The United States has never had an honest discussion on Afghanistan, especially concerning an exit strategy. The shame belongs not just to duplicitous officials, but to all of us who have gone about our normal life for the past 20 years without giving the war much thought.

  • She’s described as an activist. One who doesn’t read the news. And uses weasel words and passive voice in a quasi-apology for “any offence caused.”


    She gets failing marks for both sensitivity and sincerity.

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    Here's a note from a Royal Marine commander, Jez Hermer, who served in Afghanistan. A soldier, who would know more than most what exactly they were risking and for what.

    • Official Post

    Frank Gardner, the BBC defense correspondent says that even though the Taliban won this one, we must encourage them to act correctly...

    Even though the bomb this morning is said to have been a suicide bomber from IS-K, a branch of ISIS, the Taliban will do what they wish since they now have the upper hand. The question remains - why did the allies not start this mass evacuation long before the pull-out began and before Taliban forces had the advantage?

    The deadline ends on Tuesday 31st and who knows what's going to happen then if the evac isn't completed, or even before?