American Military News reports that U.S. officials are weighing the possibility of reopening the evacuated embassy in Kabul. According to those familiar with the discussions who spoke to The Washington Post, the request comes from the Taliban. You may recall that the U.S. reportedly asked the Taliban to spare the U.S. Embassy earlier this month as its army invaded the Afghan capital and overthrew the sitting government. That was a great look.
At the time, the State Department put out a statement that said, “We are withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan, but we are not withdrawing from Afghanistan. Although U.S. troops will depart, the United States will maintain our robust diplomatic engagement with Afghanistan.” Since then, some members of the administration have blamed the fact that we are dealing with the Taliban at all on the Trump administration.
On Friday, when asked about the nature of the U.S. relationship with the Taliban, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “As I just said in response to Phil’s question, this is not a preferred relationship. Or a situation that we would have designed if we started from scratch.” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby also refused to rule out Taliban involvement in the attack on the Kabul airport that killed 13 American soldiers.
If the Biden administration agrees to maintain a diplomatic presence or the previously stated “robust diplomatic engagement with Afghanistan,” it will start from scratch and select its negotiating partners. That means they will be conducting diplomacy with a Taliban leadership that contains terrorists with bounties on their heads and members released from Bagram prison and Gitmo.
While the Taliban have been saying all the right things, there is a fundamental concept about dealing with Persian and central Asian cultures that the smart set seems to forget. Ketman, or a type of dissimulation, is common when these cultures deal with authority and outsiders. Not considered lying, it is the concealment of one’s thoughts, feelings, or character. The practice originally applied to denial of religious belief to please those in power. Ketman perfected is applied to diplomacy and international relations throughout the region.
The Taliban have been engaging in this behavior for the last several weeks. The leaders on camera have been yammering about climate change, women’s rights, and free speech. They clearly know or have been coached on the conceptual hot buttons cherished by the global ruling class. As Atlantic writer Graeme Wood noted earlier this month, this performative nonsense may be reassuring to those who don’t know the Taliban’s history:
Yet those who wish to avoid being force-fed their own testicles should probably not read too much into the kinder, gentler Taliban initiatives currently being implemented in Kabul. The Taliban are cruel, but they are not fools, and magnanimity early in their rule does not mean that they will be any less vengeful than they were at the height of their power, in the 1990s and 2000s. Outside Kabul—which is to say, away from the eyes of the world—there are reports of summary executions.
Wood notes in his article that Biden’s apparent reliance on Taliban promises when there are still thousands of foreign fighters in the country is incoherent and gullible. The administration has acknowledged ISIS and al Qaeda are in Afghanistan. They blamed the suicide bombing at the airport on ISIS-K, the new variant, and reportedly executed a drone strike on members who planned the attack yesterday. While the administration positions the Taliban as enemies of these other terrorist organizations, they may be ignoring another adage: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
And for whatever minor ideological and tactical differences these groups have, they have some fundamental things in common. They all believe in a monotheistic religious theocracy and deny the validity of representative government or any form of elections. They prefer to live under Sharia law and the establishment of a caliphate. Their ideal world is one catapulted back to the 8th century. All are waiting for the defeat of the army of “Rome” in Dabiq, Syria, initiating the apocalypse countdown. While they may fight amongst themselves to lead without the U.S. or other Western presence, the end goals are similar enough to be indistinguishable for the average Westerner.
Why the Biden administration would consider reopening the embassy doors in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, is a mystery. Most of us are old enough to remember another embassy attack on a similar anniversary. Many of the same geniuses who made the Sunday show rounds to tell us a YouTube video caused the attack on Benghazi hold positions of power in the Biden administration. These people would do anything to cover their incompetence and should not be trusted.
The lights at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul went out on August 15. They should stay off. Under no circumstances should the United States legitimize the terrorist regime now in power. And the disastrous retreat to the Kabul airport and subsequent evacuation of Americans “who want to leave” should be the last time our nation negotiates with or relies in any way on the Taliban.