America’s Moral Collapse in Afghanistan

Aug. 24 2021

Considering America’s shambolic retreat from Afghanistan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali—who has spent much of her life warning of the dangers of Islamist radicals like the Taliban, and trying to protect the rights of Muslim women—takes President Biden to task for his claim that America’s “only vital national interest” in that country lies in “preventing a terrorist attack” on U.S. soil:

In reality, this chaotic, humiliating withdrawal significantly increases the risk of a terror attack on the U.S. homeland; . . . in intelligence terms Afghanistan is now a black hole. Even if we are able to extricate some of our Afghan intelligence assets, the U.S. has lost a key source of information on jihadist activity.

A little bit more imagination would also have revealed how China, Iran, and other current adversaries will likely use the Afghan fiasco to their advantage. . . . And what about our allies? Will India trust the U.S. as the leading partner of the “Quad” (along with Australia and Japan) designed to check the growing power of China? How about our European partners and the transatlantic alliance?

The second problem informing Biden’s approach concerns the moral decay of Western civilization. . . . We’ve become so focused on microaggressions in America that we have lost sight of the macroaggressions happening to women around the world. . . . In today’s perverse American culture, . . . more attention is devoted to the use of preferred gender pronouns than to the plight of women whose most basic rights—to education, personal autonomy, the right to be present in a public space—are either removed or under serious threat.

What we’ve witnessed this week in Afghanistan is a watershed moment in Western decline. [A segment of] American culture today tells us not to be proud of our country; not to believe in the superiority of American values; not to promote the rights we are afforded by our Constitution so that they can be enjoyed by people around the world.

Let us hope that enough Americans have not succumbed to this moral decay.

Read more at UnHerd

More about: Afghanistan, Joseph Biden, Taliban, U.S. Foreign policy

The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship