As recently as on July 6, 2021, US President Joe Biden dismissed all notions of a hasty American retreat from the advancing Taliban in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban is not the south — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable,” Biden stressed.
But in true Vietnamese War style, American officials have been airlifted from the US embassy in Kabul in what seems to have been an inexplicable US intelligence blunder or a strange new back-room deal.
The WSJ reported that US-sponsored peace talks in Doha allowed the Taliban to present themselves as a moderate alternative to the US-supported Afghan regime. Taliban forces in Kabul already have a negotiating team to secure the transfer of power from the government to the Taliban. Head of High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah is said to be mediating the process, reported Khaama Press.
Meanwhile, all Western embassies are reported to be evacuating their staff, including Afghan nationals who were employees of the embassies, by helicopter to the airport. This is all the more poignant considering the confident statement by former US President George W Bush in Ohio at a campaign rally in 2004: “As a result of the US military, the Taliban no longer is in existence.”
Germany, Italy, the UK, and the Czech Republic are the other countries reported to be evacuating. According to a blogger, the German embassy has stopped answering the emails of their stranded citizens who say they are now “highly stressed”. The embassy called on them to “please stay away from [the] airport” in Kabul.
The allegedly “fierce” Afghan warlords were totally neutered by nearly 20 years of collaboration with the US and NATO. Both Ismail Khan in Herat and Rashid Dostum in Mazar-e-Sharif immediately surrendered to the Taliban. RT published videos of Taliban fighters enjoying a “searing propaganda victory”, pointing out that Dostum had been a “near-mythic” warlord who had once controlled vast swathes of Afghanistan thanks to Western support.
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, fled Kabul escorted with cars filled with cash, a Russian Embassy spokesman told Sputnik on Monday.
“As for the collapse of the regime, it is most eloquently characterised by the way Ghani fled from Afghanistan: four cars were full of money, they tried to put part of the money into a helicopter, but everything did not fit. And some of the money was left on the runway”, according to a Russian diplomatic mission spokesperson. Others were not so fortunate.
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