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Afghanistan & The Failure Of The West

The utter and contemptible bankruptcy of the leadership class in the government and the military is inseparable from wider failure
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I am in Italy at a private international conference where a number of the people here are involved directly in the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. During a Catholic mass this afternoon, word came about the suicide bombings in Kabul. This was not, alas, a surprise; my best source on Afghanistan events has been telling me for some while that it’s just a matter of time. But it is nevertheless a horrible shock.

Under the rules of the conference, I am not allowed to repeat anything said here, or even to say who is here. I think it is fine, though, to say that the people here — Christians from all over the world — are shocked and dismayed by what has happened to America. People can’t believe the utter incompetence of the US administration. As far as I know, nobody yet knows about this story, broken by Politico:

U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport, a choice that’s prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.

The move, detailed to POLITICO by three U.S. and congressional officials, was designed to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan as chaos erupted in Afghanistan’s capital city last week after the Taliban seized control of the country. It also came as the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport.

But the decision to provide specific names to the Taliban, which has a history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. and other coalition forces during the conflict, has angered lawmakers and military officials.

“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defense official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”

A spokesperson for U.S. Central Command declined to comment.

At what point does incompetence become evil? We are there.

The United States government gave these savage cutthroats a list of our people to kill!
Who did it? Who? Name names. Fire people. Salt the earth of their reputations forever! I don’t know that I’ve ever been more ashamed of who we are as a nation. The Biden administration trusted the Taliban, and because of that, people who trusted America will die.

People, listen to me: the answer here is not “vote Republican”. It is not to tolerate this appalling level of stupidity, incompetence, and corruption at the highest levels of our military. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was overwhelmingly confirmed to lead the Pentagon. Is he going to fire anyone for this debacle? Will Gen. Mark Milley, the Trajan of the Woke, keep his job as Joint Chiefs head?

The fact that Congress has taken no action despite the revelations of institutionalized serial mendacity on Afghanistan highlighted in the Afghanistan Papers shows you how little they care about genuine accountability
They were lied to for years, their money was misspent, and a lot of American lives were lost — and now, a lot of lives of Afghans foolish enough to trust the competence and moral decency of the US Government — so maybe they could muster up more than a yawn at this conduct.

This is what the utterly incompetent Biden administration and the Pentagon leadership has done:

I know a lot of Republicans are going to want to blame this entirely on the Biden Administration. I will not lift a finger to defend it, but I insist that we not let the Pentagon and State Department brass off the hook. This is a failure across the board of our leadership class.

You know what’s going to happen now, don’t you? There is going to be a mass exodus of Afghans, mostly men, to Europe. Europe will be swamped with these migrants. Germany, led by the retiring Christian Democrat Angela Merkel, opened its doors to a million refugees from the Syrian war. Merkel is retiring, and her Christian Democratic party is now behind the Social Democrats and the Greens in polls. It is likely at this point that Germany will be governed by a Social Democrat-Green coalition. That means open doors, and a likely civilizational catastrophe for Europe.

The West is falling. It’s a suicide. And America’s hands are guiding the dagger into the West’s soft belly.

From The Guardian:

The British Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has said the explosions that have killed at least 60 people in Kabul are “what defeat looks like”.

Tugendhat, who chairs the foreign affairs select committee, said the west now has no say over the future of Afghanistan. Speaking to BBC Radio 4, he said: “This is what defeat looks like. Defeat is when you don’t control any of the process anymore and if you are lucky you just about get out with your lives and a bit of your equipment and that’s what we are doing at the moment. We don’t have any control, we don’t have any say. It’s a defeat.”

The MP, who is a former Territorial Army soldier who served in Afghanistan, described the situation as “the sun setting over some really pretty terrible decisions by the west over a number of years”.

This is George W. Bush. This is Barack Obama. This is Donald Trump. This is Joe Biden. This is the leadership of the Pentagon. This is the State Department. This is all of us American voters, who kept electing these people. This is you, and this is me.

Mene, mene, tekel upharsin.  Numbered, numbered, weighed, divided.

But look, in Britain, they have their priorities straight: arresting an elderly preacher for having spoken in defense of the Bible’s teaching on marriage:

And our American elites — the same ones whose judgment and priorities have wrecked this country — are on top of things at Harvard:

The Puritan colonists who settled in New England in the 1630s had a nagging concern about the churches they were building: How would they ensure that the clergymen would be literate? Their answer was Harvard University, a school that was established to educate the ministry and adopted the motto “Truth for Christ and the Church.” It was named after a pastor, John Harvard, and it would be more than 70 years before the school had a president who was not a clergyman.

Nearly four centuries later, Harvard’s organization of chaplains has elected as its next president an atheist named Greg Epstein, who takes on the job this week.

Mr. Epstein, 44, author of the book “Good Without God,” is a seemingly unusual choice for the role. He will coordinate the activities of more than 40 university chaplains, who lead the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and other religious communities on campus. Yet many Harvard students — some raised in families of faith, others never quite certain how to label their religious identities — attest to the influence that Mr. Epstein has had on their spiritual lives.

“There is a rising group of people who no longer identify with any religious tradition but still experience a real need for conversation and support around what it means to be a good human and live an ethical life,” said Mr. Epstein, who was raised in a Jewish household and has been Harvard’s humanist chaplain since 2005, teaching students about the progressive movement that centers people’s relationships with one another instead of with God.

To Mr. Epstein’s fellow campus chaplains, at least, the notion of being led by an atheist is not as counterintuitive as it might sound; his election was unanimous.

Worthless, the lot of them at Harvard.

I spoke this week with a Catholic priest friend from the UK. He is gutted by what he sees as the institutional church’s failure in the face of Covid. He said the bishops have been silent about the meaning of life, of suffering, and of what the Gospel has to say about any of it. His contempt for the leadership class in the Catholic Church in his country is intense. I have been in touch recently with an Anglican priest friend who feels the same way about his church leaders.

You might think it’s a stretch to compare the disaster in Afghanistan to the spiritual and cultural collapse on the home front. You’re wrong. This is about a total failure of confidence and competence. This is about the revelation of a leadership class that has no reason to expect the trust of the people. We are in a time of apocalypse, a time of unveiling. It is also a time of choosing. Choose well. And prepare for bad times ahead.