As the U.S.-backed regime in Afghanistan folds with astonishing rapidity before the advancing Taliban, Old Joe Biden’s handlers, ever ready to prove how badly they can foul things up, are appealing to the Taliban to go easy, and dangling before these battle-hardened jihadis the chimerical prospect of acceptance by the bodies of world authority and opinion which those jihadis regard with nothing but contempt. According to the Washington Post, “the U.S. argument to the Taliban is that if it avoids a direct confrontation with the more than 3,000 U.S. troops arriving in Kabul and waits for the completion of the evacuation, that increases the likelihood that both the international community and Afghans will accept the Taliban’s entry into the capital.”
Do the foreign policy “experts” in the State Department really think that the Taliban cares in the slightest degree for acceptance by “the international community”? The answer is actually yes, the State wonks do likely think that, and it’s just another illustration of how all their Foreign-Policy-Magazine Rand-Corporation Brookings-Institution doesn’t move them even a millimeter closer to understanding the realities of Afghanistan, which is why we are in the fix now, a fix that has been utterly predictable (and I have predicted it, repeatedly) for the last twenty years.
In reality, the Taliban makes no secret of what it is all about: It is an Islamic group, dedicated to establishing the rule of Islamic law in Afghanistan. The word “Taliban” means “students,” i.e., students of the Qur’an and Sunnah. That’s basically all they’re about. The Taliban regards the “international community” as largely made up of jahili regimes, that is, societies of unbelievers that deserve no respect and certainly warrant no accommodation. Whether the “international community” accepts the Taliban or doesn’t, the Taliban will soldier on for Allah. If they attain victory now, they will rule Afghanistan. If they don’t, they will keep fighting against the next crowd of infidels that comes into the country.
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And as for the Afghan people, their view of all this is one of the things that Harry Truman long ago derisively dubbed “the striped-pants boys” in the State Department have no idea about. The Taliban doesn’t need to treat the Americans gently in order to win the acceptance of the Afghan people. The Afghan people for the most part would be happy to see the Americans get a whipping as the Taliban enters Kabul, for all our billions spent over the last two decades to win over Afghan hearts and minds never took cognizance of the fact that the Qur’an warns against the Jews and Christians: “And the Jews will not be pleased with you, neither will the Christians, until you follow their religion.” (2:120)
In light of that, which the overwhelming majority of Afghans believe to be the perfect and unalterable word of Allah, all those hearts-and-minds initiatives were to be regarded with the utmost suspicion, as simply a ploy to deceive the Muslims into embracing Christianity or Judaism.
The Taliban also doesn’t need to play ball with Biden’s handlers at this late date because of the simple fact that the group is popular. No one wants to admit it of a group of “extremists” who have supposedly hijacked the religion of peace, but it is true: If there were a free and fair election held in Afghanistan today, the Taliban would win. That’s one reason why the Taliban is advancing so rapidly, more rapidly than any of the State Department wonks accepted. As they advance, they’re being welcomed. The German-language publication Exxpress noted Friday that “the fact that the Taliban conquered large areas of the country so quickly is not only due to the lack of belligerence or the intimidation of the Afghan police and military, whose apparatus has been rendered almost incapable of action by corruption and bad decisions by the government. Also, large parts of the rural population do not necessarily see the Taliban as enemies; in some provinces, they are even greeted with jubilation. Video shows how Afghan security forces surrender to the Taliban without a fight and hand over their equipment. They greet each other as friends with ‘Salam Alaikum.’”
Why do they greet each other as friends? Because in the main, they see the world the same way: through the prism of Islam, in which worldly success is a sign of Allah’s favor. If the Taliban is winning in Afghanistan, their victory is the will of Allah, and that means that resistance is not only futile, but could be rebellion against Allah himself.
But nobody knows about any of this in the State Department, or if anyone there does know it, he or she or xe doesn’t realize its importance. The pathetic pleading and limp offering of incentives to the victorious Taliban is just the latest of innumerable signs that the foreign policy establishment is completely out of touch with the real world, and in drastic need of top-to-bottom reform. But the man who might have reformed it was thrown out last November, so the wonks have nothing to worry about. In response to the dumpster fire they have created in Afghanistan, they’ll probably give themselves a few promotions and awards, and set about to deciding which country will be the next recipient of their wisdom.