News & Politics

U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan Lowers Flag as Taliban Prepares to Declare Its Islamic Government UPDATES: Taliban Take the Presidential Palace

A U.S. helicopter helps evacuate Americans from the embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2021. Image from embedded tweet.

Just a few days ago, before he headed on vacation, Joe Biden declared that the fall of Afghanistan would not resemble the fall of Saigon. Here’s how that’s going.

Fox reports that the U.S. embassy has lowered the American flag over Kabul as its last personnel have been safely evacuated. That’s the best news of a grim day so far: that Americans are not trapped in an embassy in a hostile country teeming with terrorist enemies. Afghanistan is that country, but the Americans are at the airport where they are being joined by personnel from allied (for now, anyway) countries. Thousands of U.S. troops are reportedly helping with the evacuation but many of them have not even arrived in the country yet. The Kabul airport itself has come under fire during a tragic day.

Earlier in the day, Afghanistan’s president fled the country. Afghan forces surrendered to the Taliban at Bagram air base. In addition to the military value of any equipment the Taliban seized there, that base housed as many as 5,000 prisoners, many of whom are Islamic State and Taliban jihadists. They have gone from prisoners to the winning side in a day. Many may resume jihadist terror activities and even assume positions in government, as happened after the fall of Iran in 1979.

Biden himself has issued no comment on the fall of Afghanistan, but his top national security officials did address members of the U.S. House during a briefing Sunday. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin blamed the Afghan military, reports Fox News:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin laid the blame for the collapse of the Afghan forces on a lack of “willpower” and “leadership” during an all House member call, a member of Congress told Fox News.

The call, which occurred around 9 a.m. Sunday morning, lasted half an hour and included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress that the administration had planned for all eventualities in Afghanistan including the current situation.

None of these architects of disaster in Afghanistan and a divided American military being pushed into divisive critical race theory training while the world burns offered their resignations. Biden has not asked for any of them to step down, indicating his satisfaction with the jobs they are all doing.

Biden has as of yet given no word that he will comment on the tragic situation. The Taliban will. It’s expected to raise its flag over the country’s presidential palace in Kabul and officially announce the birth of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Related: Taliban Commander Vows Jihad Against the Whole World

Looking abroad, a refugee crisis in the region will soon unfold. U.S. allies and enemies alike will be forced by events in Afghanistan to reevaluate their relationships with the United States. Taiwan must surely feel more threatened now than ever. China can expect a freer hand worldwide as America retreats in nearly identical fashion as it did from Vietnam in 1975. On the ground after that retreat, ghastly wars led to truly horrific regimes and pogroms as events played out absent American influence. The Taliban may soon stand alongside Cambodia’s communist Khmer Rouge in its ruthless brutality and oppression.

Biden’s attempt to blame his predecessor ought to fall on deaf ears. Biden chose to abrogate the plan Trump handed him, which conditioned troop withdrawals to conditions on the ground. This maintained a credible threat of American response during negotiations between the government and the Taliban. Biden removed that constraint, which pulled the rug out from under the Afghan government. The Biden Pentagon kept to its drawdown schedule despite events on the ground and insisted that the Afghan military should defeat the Taliban due to its numerical superiority, which betrays its extremely poor understanding of the Afghan military, the government, the Taliban, Islamist ideology, and the difference between numbers versus capability and motivation.

Again, Joe Biden has asked for and been offered no resignations from his failed national security team.

Update:

Update: Nick Arama reports at our sister site RedState that the Kabul airport is also coming under attack. That’s where Americans and others were evacuated to, in order to get them out of Afghanistan. Commercial air traffic, which the Biden administration touted as a sign of normalcy just a few days, ago, has been halted at the Kabul airport in order to let military evacuations proceed.