Islam has always been at the very centre of the lives of ordinary Afghan people. Whether it is saying one’s prayers five times a day, fasting during the month of Ramadan or giving ‘zakat’ (an Islamic custom), for contribution to the poor – few Muslim people in the world observe the rituals and the piety of Islam, with such regularity and emotions as the Afghans, other than the Arabs of the Cairo, where I lived for a month during Ramadan, Egypt. Islam has been the bedrock for the unity of Afghanistan’s diverse and multi-ethnic people, while Jihad has frequently provided the principle mobilising factor for the Afghan nationalism, during the resistance against the British, and the Russians and now the allied forces of the NATO led by the USA.
General McKenzie announced the completion of the US withdrawal from the Afghanistan. The last C-17 Globemaster left the Hamid Karzai Kabul International Airport at 3:29 p.m. EST. 7,293 days later the war is over! But a new war began when both sides will shout to kill, each other, Allaha Akbar!
This would have been a very different situation, if the Afghanistan government and military had not folded in just 11 days, which itself is a great mystery, which will be unearthed sooner than later as the cupboards will be searched and skeletons will tumble out. Transcripts are out of the telephone conversation between Joe and Ashraf, and there are reports that US failed Afghanistan. It absolutely blows the minds that the general public in US is saying; what a great job done!
The army is super annoyed at the order of operations. The decision to pull out was taken in the White House. It was not the boots, it was the black suits and red ties which spoiled the reputation of the USA to be an unfaithful, unworthy, unreliable ally. Trump is also to be blamed as during the Doha Talks, the Ashraf Ghani and his government was kept out of loop and talks were held with Taliban and others at the talk table and Afghanistan was the menu. Ghani did not want to lose power or share power with the Taliban and Barak created Abdullah Abdullah and gave him a nondescript post!
India’s Ambassador to Qatar held talks with a top Taliban leader on Tuesday, the Indian foreign ministry said, and the first formal diplomatic engagement since the hardline Islamists group took over the governance of Afghanistan. Mind it the meeting was called by the Taliban. The envoy, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, which was coordinating the ‘Doha Talks’ at Qatar, in which the Afghanistan government was deliberately kept out, at the request of the Taliban.
India has voiced its grave concern of its security since its arch rival has close ties with the Taliban Group. The foreign office said that the two sides discussed the safety of Indians still left behind in Afghanistan as many Hindus, Sikhs and Jews still remain there. India invested more than US$ 3 Billion in the development works in Afghanistan and had built close ties with the US backed Kabul Government.
Stankezai, who Indian officials say received training in the Dehradun based Indian Military Academy (IMA) as an Afghan ‘Gentleman’ cadet in the 1980s, had informally reached out to India last month, asking it not to shut down its embassy and complete the development work, which it planned to improve the life of normal Afghan citizens, which was deeply appreciated by the local populace, unlike China, which invested in the copper mines for commercial gains.
Celebratory gunfire resounded across Kabul as Taliban fighters took control of the airport before dawn, following the withdrawal of the last US troops, making the end of 20 year war that left the Islamists militia stronger than it was in the year 2001. US Government spent over US$ 2 Billion to make the Hamid Karzai International Airport world class to facilitate its air force planes to land all night.
The world will take long time to forget the scintillating picture of Major General Chris Donahue, which made me think of Master Sergeant Max Beilke. MSG Beilke was the last American soldier to leave Vietnam. He lost his life while serving at the Pentagon on 9-11. He now rests with other heroes in Arlington, US. Even worse, the previous regime surrendered to the Taliban and Taliban released 5,000 dreaded hardcore terrorists that are now taking over the role of Government in waiting and committing crimes all over the Afghanistan.
From an Islamists perspective, a Twitter handle blabbered out, “The last soldier of the defeated army. Poor General, this picture will be a sign of shame for him, throughout his career and life. This shame can’t be deleted from the pages of history. While an American Twitter handle contested, “shame? Why on earth would this be shameful to him? He made sure every single troop was on the plane or out of the country, before getting on (the plane) himself. There’s nothing nobler than that!”
Let’s look at the US – led war in Afghanistan, as the last American boots deployed there departed leaving behind the dogs! Much of the data I present here is from the Linda Bilmes of the Harvard University’s Kennedy School and from the Brown University costs of war project, because the US in the 2003 – 2011 fought the Afghanistan and Iraq wars simultaneously, some figures as mentioned cover both post – 9/11 US wars. UK under the leadership of Tony Blair also participated in the Iraq war as ‘poodle’ of the Bush Junior, where false evidence was concocted that Iraq has WMD.
The longest war:
1 in 4: Proportion of the current US population born since the 2001 attacks plotted by the al-Qaida leaders who were sheltering in Afghanistan.
The human cost:
2461: American service members martyred in the Afghanistan.
3,846: US Contractors.
66,000: Afghanistan national military and police martyred.
1,144: Other allied service members, including from other NATO member states.
47,245: Afghan civilians killed brutally, which include old, women and children.
51,191: Taliban and other fighters killed.
444: Aid workers of different organisations.
72: Journalists, TV Crew and print and TV media.
Paying for the war:
92%: Temporary raise in the top tax rates, by President Harry Truman, to pay for the Korean War of 1953.
77%: Temporary raise in the top tax rates, by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, to pay for the Vietnam War.
8%: President Bush actually cut tax rates for the wealthiest at the outset of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
US$ 2 Trillion: Estimated amount of direct Afghanistan and Iraq war costs that the US has debt financed the war as of 2020.
US$ 6.5 Trillion: Estimated interest cost by the year 2050.
US$ 2 Trillion: Amount the Harvard’s Linda Bilmes estimates the US will pay in the healthcare, disability, burial and other costs for roughly 4 Million Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. These costs are expected to peak after the year 2048.
If Americas could not get out when US had military soldier boots present on the ground, it’s hard to imagine them leaving in the future without any ransom or ‘tribute money’, which the Britishers taught, and we Indians aptly called ‘Baksheesh’.
German Chancellor is so annoyed that many of its citizens are still around and international airport has been closed 24 hours early before the 31st August deadline. Still few foreign nationals are living in anger, hope, despair and frustration and there is a wafer thin delicate balance between life and death and Taliban has started moving from one house to another to find their enemies, even though they are their own Muslim brothers, but who helped the Americans and Indian spy agencies for becoming ‘foot informers’ and translators. Biometric attributes are being used to verify the suspects from the computer hardware left behind by the NATO force, an evil use of technology for killing humanity.
America did not end the war. We were kicked on the butt! We could have fixed a date after all evacuations, but the British read the warning of the imminent disaster approaching and they had evacuated all British members of the project, as they were working to set up digital British Council Library in the embassy campus itself and they were all brought back to live at New Delhi with their coworkers, but in safety,
Afghanistan crisis will force the Biden Administration to recover lost ground needs an answer. Does he have a clear ‘read’ on Pakistan and its forever ‘proxy wars’? Pakistan too will suffer in the long run, but it can rejoice for now in the short term. Taliban may not recognise the Durand line separating the two nations and border has become porous. The Republicans are already hounding Joe Biden for making the US ‘unsafe’ again. Even modern Democrats are distancing themselves, because they can feel their narrow control of the House and Senate slipping away in the next year midterm elections.
While on the subject, the silence from the progressive Dems led by Ms Pramila Jayapal is deafening! Our suave EAM will not have to cancel any appointment! They were so concerned about Kashmir, but they have hardly tweeted and shed crocodile tears about the abandonment of Afghanistan Muslim women. At the airport, hardly any ‘Begums’ were seen or heard or wailing or sobbing! Thankfully she was not alone at the top of the table. She was given wonderful company by the ever twitting PETA for the left behind dogs, Rihanna, Mia Khalifa and niece of Kamala Harris! Neither the British Human rights activists want to visit Afghanistan on ‘peace safari’. I have yet to see any tweet even from Malala.
The new buzz word is – Make Taliban Great again! Even the Twitter handle of VP, Hillary, 2B – Bill and Barak are in the ‘sleep mode’.
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