News & Politics

Leftists in U.S. and UK Want Reparations Paid to the Taliban

AP Photo/Hussein Sayed

Richard Burgon, a member of the British Parliament for the far-Left Labour party and Secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, demonstrated Tuesday that the Left’s commitment to the redistribution of wealth is indefatigable: He declared that what the West really needs to do now is start forking over money to the Taliban. Burgon tweeted: “The crisis in Afghanistan is the result of 20 years of disastrous military intervention. Just as in Iraq & Libya, backing US-led invasions led to a huge loss of life. There is no military solution in Afghanistan. The focus now should be on reparations and supporting refugees.”

Yes, reparations. Paying reparations to Afghanistan would essentially mean funding the Taliban, which has a billion-dollar budget as it is and has no need of the largesse of British or American taxpayers. And Burgon is not alone. Britain’s far-Left Stop the War Coalition issued a statement Sunday demanding that the British government “take a lead in offering a refugee programme and reparations to rebuild Afghanistan, an act which would go a great deal further in advancing the rights of the Afghan people, women in particular, than continued military or economic intervention in the fate of the Afghanistan.”

The call for reparations to the Taliban has been heard on this side of the Atlantic as well. Shabana Mir, an associate professor at American Islamic College in Chicago, first implied that Afghanistan didn’t need any help from the West: “The Western savior narrative vis-a-vis Afghanistan is a framing of Afghanistan as in need of Western help, as dependent on Western help — rather than as a Western-exploited and Western-ravaged people and land.” Then, however, she added: “The U.S. owes s**tloads of reparations to Afghanistan.” The U.S. should have no say in how this money is used: “I have hopes that Afghans can build, if military contractors and the U.S. would get the hell out of the way.”

Meanwhile, far-Left Canadian “journalist” Paul Jay believes that “there must be significant reparations paid to the Afghan people to be administered by the U.N.” Another Leftist “journalist,” Spencer Ackerman, who was primarily responsible ten years ago for getting all mention of Islam and jihad removed from U.S. counterterror training, asked: “What do we owe the Afghan people? We owe them a life they can live, resettling them in the United States if they so choose, and we owe them reparations. Reparations is a charged word, and I do not use it here to suggest that reparations for the descendants of the enslaved ought to wait until we pay reparations for the War on Terror. I mean here that throughout history, the losers of wars have had to pay reparations, though typically to the regimes and not people. But it is people whom the U.S. owes, not regimes.”

Great. But anyone who realistically appraises the situation for longer than five seconds (yes, that leaves Leftists out) will understand that any attempt to aid the Afghan people at this point will have to go through the Taliban, and the Taliban is likely to have other priorities altogether. If Biden’s handlers are crazy enough, and they may well be, to start sending “reparations” to Afghanistan, the Taliban would likely use the money the way the Islamic Republic of Iran used the billions in cash that Barack Obama sent it: to strengthen its military forces and to finance global jihad terrorism. This is why protesters in Iran recently chanted “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, the money for Iranians”: They’re tired of seeing their nation’s wealth used to aid jihad activity abroad while the Iranian people are suffering. The Taliban, which is just as committed to the global jihad as the Iranian mullahs are, would likely use any Western largesse in the same way, and with the same indifference to the plight of their own people.

Even aside from that, the idea of paying reparations to the Taliban is as insane as the idea of paying reparations is in other contexts. The American people (and the British) have already paid exorbitant amounts in taxes to finance the Afghan military misadventures, which dragged on for twenty years in the absence of a clear mission or goal. Now, are they to be bled dry even more to finance a rebuilding of Afghanistan that the Taliban is unlikely to undertake? Will the Afghan people then pay the U.S. reparations for the Taliban’s aiding of al-Qaeda in preparing for the 9/11 attacks? Once one starts down this road, it never ends. The history of the world is full of wars and conquests; the history of Islam is full of the conquest and subjugation of various populations of infidels. If we’re going to start talking about reparations, it would be only fair to include reparations to the victims of 1,400 years of jihad. That reparations bill would dwarf any payment the West supposedly owes to the Taliban.