Tragedy has befallen Afghanistan. As Pastor John Hagee, the founder and Chairman of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) recently noted, “While there may be no easy answers to Afghanistan’s history of troubles, there could have been an organised and professional effort to ensure that every American and every person who aided our efforts there these past twenty years, was able to exit the country. To our utter shame, that is not the case.”
Today we will discuss the implications of the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan just weeks shy of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
How did we get here?
There is no simple conclusion to the question posed above. Both sides of the political isles in America are blaming the other with some blaming President Trump’s agreement with the Taliban last year or blaming President Bush for starting this war on terror some twenty years ago. However, President Biden is the man who has said this week that the decision rests squarely on his shoulders and it is under his presidency that this disaster has happened.
The Biden Administration seemingly made an appalling misjudgement about the effectiveness of the Afghan armed forces and the disorderly and unprofessional evacuation of American and allied personnel caused images in Kabul reminiscent of scenes from America’s retreat from Saigon in Vietnam, something Biden has previously promised would not happen.
It was a catastrophic failure. And that failure has galvanised terror groups and bad actors throughout the region.
Not long after the Taliban swept into Kabul, the Iranian government issued a statement welcoming the American “defeat”. Despite the fact that the Taliban and the Iranian regime make somewhat strange bedfellows, it does not come as a surprise that the Tyrants of Tehran would welcome the disgraceful series of events that has taken place in Afghanistan in recent weeks.
Iran has also harboured al-Qaeda operatives over the years, another odd yet real relationship. As al-Qaeda reconstitutes itself in Taliban controlled Afghanistan, Tehran will no doubt continue to look for ways to work with this group as far as their common enemies: the United States and Israel.
Perhaps more instructive than Iran’s foolish commentary, is the reminder that anyone who strikes a deal with someone as evil as the Taliban, such as the regime in Iran, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Perhaps the Biden administration will learn that one cannot sign an agreement with terrorists and call it a day. And one can never trust an adversary who remains unapologetically bent on your own destruction.
The people of Afghanistan are not the only ones who will suffer as a result of their country’s fall back into Taliban hands – though they will, severely. Al-Qaeda remains a key Taliban ally, and terrorists will begin to setup camp, just as they did before 9/11, in the country.
Hamas, which has a religious-ideological connection to the Taliban welcomed the American “downfall” in Afghanistan and will no doubt be emboldened by the Taliban’s swift rise. Taliban and Hamas leaders met for a press conference just weeks ago. In sum, the threat of terrorism will become more apparent as a result of the massive safe haven Afghanistan has become to jihadis of all stripes.
In the coming weeks, months, and years, we will hear and read about great suffering in Afghanistan. As such, we conclude this as we began, with the words of CUFI’s Chairman Pastor John Hagee, “Today, I ask that you join me in praying for all those still in Afghanistan. I ask that you pray for the brave men and women of the US armed forces risking their lives to ensure that as many of our countrymen and allies as possible are able to flee. I ask that you pray for the women of Afghanistan who will now, at best, know only second-class citizenship. I ask that you pray for the free thinkers who will now be forced to hide their thoughts. And I ask that you join me in praying for all those who will now be forced to live under the brutality of the Taliban’s totalitarian regime.”
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