The Fall of Afghanistan: Another Saigon Moment
Written and Narrated by Ethan Hay
The Graveyard of Empires. That is the name that has been given to the land that is Afghanistan. It was in this land that the infamous 1842 British retreat from Kabul (1) took place, resulting in the survival of only one man out of a force that consisted of 16,000 people. In the mountains of the Hindu Kush, the mountain range that makes up much of the land-locked country, it was here that the Soviet Union began to fall, ultimately leading to the rise of the original Taliban. For nearly a decade, 1979-1989, (2) the Soviet Union maintained a military presence in Afghanistan to try and support a government that was nothing more than a puppet for the Soviets.
At one point in time, there were more than a hundred thousand Soviet soldiers in the country. But the Afghan people do not like foreign invaders, and they despise puppet governments. This led to the rise of the Mujahideen, a group of Islamic guerilla fighters from Afghanistan and around the world, who decimated the Red Army. There were various factions within the Mujahideen, and for nearly five years after the Soviets had withdrawn, there was a struggle for power. Unfortunately, the faction that gained the most power was the Taliban, (3) which began to consolidate power in 1994, before finally assuming power in 1996. Its five-year rule was known for harboring terrorist organizations such as the infamous al-Qaeda, and its brutal application of Sharia (4) law, which is especially ruthless to women.
However, even despite the Taliban’s consolidation of power, Afghanistan was still a region in conflict. The reason why is because Afghanistan isn’t really a country, but rather a large collection of tribes, the largest of these is the Pashtun. (5) They also make up much of the Taliban. The three other largest tribes are the Uzbek’s, Tajik’s, and Hazara’s. (6) These tribes, with a few rare points of time, have always been at each other’s throats. So, when the largely Pashtun Taliban came to power, these other tribes naturally began to resist, resulting in the formation of a resistance group called the Northern Alliance. (7) This group would play a big role in the American led toppling of the Taliban after the events of 9/11.
But after nearly twenty years of war, more than two trillion (8) dollars spent, and the lives of more than two thousand (9) American service men and women, the war is coming to an end. The Biden regime announced in July that there would be a full withdrawal scheduled for September 11th (10) of this year, pushing back former President Trump’s original May (11) withdrawal. This was a mistake because it gave the Taliban time to consolidate power once again. In a matter of seven days, the Taliban have taken control (12) of much of the country, including several of the largest cities, such as Kandahar. They have also captured large quantities of American supplied weapons from the Afghan Army, (13) which gave little to no resistance in many areas of the country, thus increasing the lethality of the Taliban. This led to the American supported government of Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, (14) to flee the country, and as of Sunday, August 16th, the Taliban had taken control of the capitol city, Kabul. (15)
There have been reports of forced child weddings, rapes, (16) executions, and the hunting down of any American’s or any Afghan sympathizers to the Americans. (17) That fear has led to people trying to leave on C-17’s by actually clinging to either the landing gears or the outside of the plane. When these planes took off, many of these people fell (18) to their death. But hey, as Secretary of State Blinken said, ‘this is manifestly not Saigon.’ (19) Now the question is, where was President Biden when all of this was happening? He was vacationing in Camp David, that is until he was coaxed back to give a statement, (20) in which he placed much of the blame on his predecessor. Upon giving said statement, he left without answering questions, and went back to Camp David. (21) Furthermore, instead of withdrawing, five thousand (22) more military personnel are being sent back to help resolve the situation.
The Taliban have declared that the ‘war is over,’ from the previously named Presidential Palace, (23) and China (24) has recognized the Taliban as the official power of Afghanistan. The Chinese owned Global Times (25) then sent out an ominous message to the nation of Taiwan, saying that the ‘US military won’t come to help,’ referencing Afghanistan as they did so. Coincidentally, the Chinese military is performing live assault drills near Taiwan. (26) But, China is simply a competitor so nothing to see here.
This is very much a Saigon moment; in fact, it is much worse than that. Now, while Biden is not solely responsible for the ineffectiveness of a war that was unwinnable, he is responsible for this withdrawal. His incompetence is unacceptable, and he should resign. Not to mention that this level of ineptitude is, as is being shown by China’s recent actions, empowering the enemies of our country to be more aggressive. This is a blunder of titanic proportions, and the American people, especially those who served, have every right to feel angry and betrayed. This will not be forgotten.