Eyewitness: The fall…

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…of Kandahar

Well, it wasn’t as bad as the fall of Saigon in 1975, when the US lost that decade-long war in Vietnam and there were apocalyptically frightening scenes of them evacuating their Embassy in Saigon and Vietnamese who’d supported them scrambling to board their departing helicopters. Your Eyewitness always wondered what happened to those Vietnamese, since they would’ve been branded as “traitors” by the victorious communists.
And this is what he’s presently wondering about Afghanistan, where, after 20 years – and by conservative estimates US$2TRILLION spent – the evacuation was only less frantic.

What’s going to be the fate of the thousands and thousands who’ve worked along with the Americans?? We all knew that this day would come…after all, Biden had signed that agreement at Doha back in February, committing the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan by Aug 31. Only a week ago, the Yanks had assured everyone – including their allies – that the troops they’d trained for over two decades and equipped with the most advanced weaponry on the planet would be able to hold the line.

But here it was on August 15, the President of Afghanistan – who embodied the USA’s effort to introduce democracy into that country – ignominiously fled his country, and the Taliban took over the Presidential Palace. Kandahar has fallen!! The edifice built over twenty years, and more than a hundred thousand dead, had collapsed like a house of cards. Afghanistan has now defeated four empires – the Russians, the Brits, the Ottomans and now the Americans!

The question on most foreign policy wonks’ minds is, “What will be the effect of the Taliban returning to power on Asia?” China, which might now be challenging the US for bragging rights as Number 1 in the world militarily – with the economic rung within its grasp – couldn’t wait to gloat. Its state-run Global Times published an analysis on Afghanistan which concluded that Washington had proven to be an “unreliable partner that always abandons its partners or allies to seek self-interest.” This was clearly directed at those countries forming alternative alliances, like India and Japan, in the “Quad” to counter China’s rise.

The biggest strategic benefit will be to Pakistan, which had provided support to the Taliban when they’d been pushed out by the US forces in their post-9/11 “war against terror”. They may now be emboldened to pursue their quest to wrench away India’s portion of Kashmir.
For the Afghan people, we already have a preview of Taliban rule, which is to impose its vision of Islam on the populace by any means necessary. There’s already been a rush to hide or burn books and makeup.

The supply of burqas has already been exhausted.

…of Opposition credibility

Your Eyewitness continues to be entertained by the factions of the PNC vying to rise to the top of the heap. Sadly, from the goings on here and in Region 11 (Brooklyn subregion) there seems to be a lot of “Jumbie Umbrellas” springing up. But then that’s always the danger with heaps!! Take the “Rally” on the Buxton Public Road, which was supposed to ground the one at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.

Both were overwhelmingly dominated by older folks – well past their fifties and into their eighties. These are the old line PNCites who’re fading out! If the PNC is to have a future, one would’ve hoped the organizers would’ve enticed some youths to come out. Especially in Buxton, it appears that the energetic efforts of Minister of Sports Ramson have captured the imagination of the local youths – who we know form more than 65% of our population!
Only one PNC MP at Buxton to show their flag?
So they realised it would’ve been a geriatric bust?

…of “friend’s” word

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries – a very, very PERSONAL friend (wink, wink!!) of the fella who organised the PNC’s Brooklyn Rally – promised to “remove” Ambassador Lynch.
Isn’t this going a bit too low down?!