Published at 14:47 on 15 August 2021
Some random observations, in no particular order:
Not a Surprise
Anyone surprised by this simply has not been paying attention. The USA and its allies have been set to lose this one basically ever since Day One, when the war was launched, largely under laughably false pretenses, by a deluded nation in narcissistic awe of its own military might.
Well, One Surprise
That surprise is just how quickly the domestic opposition to the Taliban suddenly evaporated and blew away in the gentlest of breezes. I expected Kabul to fall, but maybe in about a month’s time, not today. I was genuinely surprised when I heard the news this afternoon.
The Afghan People Really Did Not Support the US-Backed Government
I mean, come on, the West in general and the USA in particular showered vast amounts of military aid on the (now former) government of Afghanistan. If, given all of that, virtually zero opposition was mounted to the Taliban, this cannot but show how little support for that government there was.
This is a general statement, of course. Some Afghans really did support the government. There just were not very many of them, and their support did not run very deep, else the Taliban would have run into more fighting on their way to victory.
This Is a Win for Fascism
Make no mistake, the Taliban do qualify for the epithet “Islamo-fascist.” None of my observations above imply that the Taliban are anything other than an arch-reactionary gang of authoritarians. Afghanistan will now become markedly less free. There is nothing to celebrate about a group like the Taliban taking power.
Who Has Learned What?
That is now the question we must ask. Has the USA learned anything about the limitations of empire? Have the Taliban learned anything about the limitations of holding power in a single landlocked, impoverished Third World nation?
If the answer to both of these questions is in the affirmative, some sort of stable coexistence is possible: The USA will refrain from invading again, and the Taliban will refrain from provoking the West into invading by supporting groups that commit acts of major terrorism against Western nations.
If not, then we have not seen the end of Western military actions in that part of the world.