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AFGHANISTAN, A CORRUPT REGIME, AND AN UNRELIABLE ALLY
On August 17, 2021, before the eyes of the world, the Afghan government and its army fell like a house of cards. The Taliban marched into Kabul triumphantly and without the slightest resistance. Thousands of terrified Afghans and foreign nationals rushed desperately to Kabul International Airport to escape the country. The chaotic and shameful retreat of the US Army resulted in the loss of hundreds of innocent lives in a series of suicide attacks near the airport following the Taliban's seizure of power. Among those who lost their lives for this policy were also 13 young American soldiers and more than 15 Americans were injured who became, more or less, disabled for the rest of their lives.
The responsibility for this tragic development that led to Afghanistan falling into the hands of the Taliban lies entirely with the US governments for the past 20 years. US governments, in particular Republican governments, put their own confidants in all key positions in Afghanistan through completely non-democratic processes. The Americans totally ignored the Northern Alliance, which had full responsibility for the ground offensive, with American air support, which captured Kabul and ousted the Taliban and its ally Al-Qaeda 21 years ago. Northern Alliance fighters had enough fighting morale to risk their lives and go into battle with the Taliban. Through completely undemocratic processes and in fact criminal methods, the American government 21 years ago elects a president and builds an army that really has no moral basis to fight for its country. The contradictions between Abdullah Abdullah, Americans, and Afghan first and second president who were actually American puppets were so clear in all these years. Both the Afghan people and above all the newly built Afghan army and not least the Taliban could see on daily basis that there was no cooperation or respect between the president and Abdullah Addullah, as well as between the government, the National Coalition of Afghanistan, and the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan with Ahmad Massoud as the front figure. How can an army have fighting morale when front figures in the Afghan government accuse the presidents of being American lap dogs who have the power through electoral fraud with extensive US support?
There have been several reports over the last 21 years that billions of the US dollars have simply disappeared on the way to Afghanistan. The US officials who led the entire operation in Afghanistan for 21 years are directly responsible for the disappearance of billions of dollars. It is difficult to engage in corruption in the United States, even if it does occurs, given the strong rules and laws it has. But in Afghanistan, it was completely free for Americans with key positions in Afghanistan to do with free hands all the illegalities they could not really do on American soil. Rigged elections, corrupt people in key positions, pretend army with army commanders who plundered millions of dollars of the money sent into the country. The American and Afghan hawks had found an opportunity to embezzle billions of dollars.
The US administration deliberately created a kleptocratic state in Afghanistan. Not only did they ignore the widespread corruption in the Afghan administration, but they were, in fact, a significant part of the corruption itself, turning both sides into dollar millionaires.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported in 2016 in 164 long pages how Washington backed and closed its eyes to the alleged corruption in the Afghan administration since 2001. Several American newspapers, including, The New York Times and The Washington Post came to the conclusion that "the US administration is the largest source of corruption in Afghanistan". A clear case is when it was revealed that the Afghan National Bank had embezzled about a billion dollars through fake companies that did not exist. The US administration, leading by C.I.A, was stepping in to lead the investigation, which run out on the sand and was closed down, according to SIGAR´s report. This is clear evidence that the Afghan administration, together with its US counterparts and in agreement with them, has been involved in billion-dollar corruption in Afghanistan.
As if it were not enough to install pretend governments and create a pretend army, the Republican government also chose to start high-level talks with the barbaric group, the Taliban, in Doha, which in principle completely weakened the already very weak Afghan government and the morale of the Afghan army. The Americans began intense talks, in front of the eyes of the whole world but above all in front of the eyes of the Afghan army with its weak fighting morale.
Several high-ranking generals in the Pentagon, including General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. and General Lloyd J. Austin questioned the talks with the Taliban that was initiated by Trump administration. General McKenzie Jr. considered that the negotiations with the Taliban in Doha and that an agreement was signed with them to set a date for leaving Afghanistan altogether “were the roots of Afghanistan's fall”. In principle, "another nail was put on this coffin" by President Biden setting a definitive end date for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The former U.S. Central Command Commander (CENTCOM), and the current U.S. secretary of defense, General Lloyd J. Austin considered that the so-called Doha Agreement between the United States and the Taliban weakened the Afghan administration and had a negative psychological impact on its army, making the Taliban even "stronger".
President Ashraf Ghani gradually understood that he was just a puppet and nothing more to the American political and military machinery. The Americans had decided to hand over the power to the Taliban. However, they hoped that it would be smoother than it was played out in August 2021. The Taliban played a very skillful role as negotiators in Doha. They promised gold and greens, such as inclusive and democratic rule, together with all Afghan ethnic groups, that they would not occupy Kabul without first agreeing with their negotiating partners, that they would respect women's rights. But we know historically that one can never trust such a backward-looking group with outdated political and religious agenda.
I see similarities between what happened in Afghanistan 2021 and what happened in Iran 1979. Ayatollah Khomeini, in his interviews with foreign journalists in Paris, also very skillfully promised gold and greens to the US and European governments that they would respect human rights and create a paradise-like state on earth. And the whole Western World fell for their charm. What we have seen since the Islamic Revolution is that they immediately began to execute thousands of dissidents, impose backward-looking laws on women, such as mandatory hijab, and create a special military unit, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that until today, after 43 years of the Islamic takeover of Iran, is still terrorizing the world. If the Taliban are advancing with a charm offensive now and are more restrained today, it is because they do not have the military and enormous economic resources Iran had then. Otherwise, they would do even worse than the Islamic regime of Iran did 43 years ago.
All the responsibility for Afghanistan being under the Taliban's reign of terror lies with the US governments, which send corrupt Americans who elect corrupt Afghans to key positions and basically neutralize the real Afghan heroes who liberated Afghanistan 21 years ago.
The Washington Post revealed. " In reality, U.S. officials backed off, looked away and let the thievery become more entrenched than ever. ” One should be naive to think that American officials were turning a blind eye to billion-dollar corruption in Afghanistan without taking a piece of the pie themselves. It was, in fact, a group of thieves made up of Americans and Afghans who had found a "sanctuary", a lawless country, an Afghanistan where they could enrich themselves without fear of legal action.
© Samuel E. Rajeus, Editor, S.E.R.P. & Publishing
Tampa, Florida, 01/12/2022
Samuel E. Rajeus