The Ugly Legacy of the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, One Year Later

Aug. 18 2022

Last Monday marked the first anniversary of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in the wake of the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Kyle Orton takes stock, and examines the false choice presented to Americans by the Biden administration and its defenders:

[T]he choice was not to withdraw or “escalate” in Afghanistan: President Biden could simply have done nothing and sustained the situation as it had been for nearly a decade. The war, in any serious sense, had been over since 2014, with U.S. troop levels at or below 15,000 since then, and U.S. killed-in-action totals never above 30 annually, fewer fatalities than the U.S. Army suffers in training accidents. The reality is that Biden came into office with an ideological fixation on “ending” the “forever war” in Afghanistan.

The problem is that the enemy gets a vote. If you withdraw while the enemy still has the will to fight, this is called “defeat.”

The Afghan army sacrificed 66,000 lives to defend its country, 5,000 of them in the last few weeks, which is remarkable since, by that time, Biden had sapped its morale with his April confirmation that the U.S. was abandoning the country, and then crippled the Afghan military—withdrawing direct U.S. air support and contractor services so Afghanistan’s own jets and helicopters no longer worked, and ceasing intelligence provision and logistics.

The most disgraceful thing Biden did during last year’s fiasco was to blame the Afghans for what he had done to them, lambasting the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani for refusing to stay to be murdered in his capital city after Biden had opened the gates to the jihadists, and denigrating the Afghan army as “not willing to fight for themselves.”

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Read more at Washington Examiner

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

 

How the Death of Mahsa Amini Changed Iran—and Its Western Apologists

Sept. 28 2022

On September 16, a twenty-two-year-old named Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian morality police for improperly wearing a hijab. Her death in custody three days later, evidently after being severely beaten, sparked waves of intense protests throughout the country. Since then, the Iranian authorities have killed dozens more in trying to quell the unrest. Nervana Mahmoud comments on how Amini’s death has been felt inside and outside of the Islamic Republic:

[I]n Western countries, the glamorizing of the hijab has been going on for decades. Even Playboy magazine published an article about the first “hijabi” news anchor in American TV history. Meanwhile, questioning the hijab’s authenticity and enforcement has been framed as “Islamophobia.” . . . But the death of Mahsa Amini has changed everything.

Commentators who downplayed the impact of enforced hijab have changed their tune. [Last week], CNN’s Christiane Amanpour declined an interview with the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, and the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s notorious morality police and senior officials for the violence carried out against protesters and for the death of Mahsa Amini.

The visual impact of the scenes in Iran has extended to the Arab world too. Arabic media outlets have felt the winds of change. The death of Mahsa Amini and the resulting protests in Iran are now top headlines, with Arab audiences watching daily as Iranian women from all age groups remove their hijabs and challenge the regime policy.

Iranian women are making history. They are teaching the world—including the Muslim world—about the glaring difference between opting to wear the hijab and being forced to wear it, whether by law or due to social pressure and mental bullying. Finally, non-hijabi women are not afraid to defy, proudly, their Islamist oppressors.

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Read more at Nervana

More about: Arab World, Iran, Women in Islam