This Is Worse Than Saigon

This is an important point:

…above all of that, above even the political and military incoherence of the American empire, there is the corrosive cultural dynamic. This might just be the most important factor in the Afghan humiliation – the fact that the US, and the West more broadly, clearly lacks the cultural resources necessary for a clash of civilisations. This wasn’t just a territorial battle, a fight over the land of Afghanistan. It was also a cultural clash. It was a war between one side that has very strong beliefs and is more than willing to die for them, and another side that doesn’t know what it stands for anymore and would rather avoid risk and self-sacrifice if at all possible. I’ll leave you to decide which of these is the Taliban, and which the US.

This was always the West’s problem in Afghanistan: it lacked faith in the very values it claimed to be delivering to that benighted country. We will liberate women from life under the burqa, Western officials said. But isn’t it ‘Islamophobic’ to criticise the burqa, or any other Islamic practice for that matter? Our elites have insisted for years that it is. We will replace your intolerant Islamist system with a civil society fashioned by clever professors, the West promised. But isn’t it judgemental and possibly a tad racist – certainly an offence against the ideology of multiculturalism – to imply that Western democracy is superior to Islamist theocracy? As one British think-tank says, in its definition of the term ‘Islamophobia’, it is wrong to suggest that Islam is in any way ‘inferior to the West’. The West’s post-9/11 bluster was continually undermined by the West’s broader descent into moral relativism. How can you assert the civilisational authority of Western values when your entire educational and university system is devoted to questioning and demeaning Western civilisation? You cannot partake in a clash of civilisations if you loathe your own civilisation.

Anyone who thinks the Taliban did not pick up on all of this, on the Potemkin nature not only of the Afghan government but also of Western civilisation itself, is kidding themselves. The Taliban will have watched as the mighty American military became bogged down in discussions of critical race theory and the problem of ‘white rage’. They will have clocked the British army’s recruitment drive that was aimed at ‘snowflakes’ and ‘me me me millennials’ – for real – on the basis that such people have the ‘compassion’ necessary for the touchy-feely wars of the 21st century. They will know that the contemporary West is shame-faced about its history and its civilisational values and lacks ideas for how to turn its fragile youths into a fighting force, and they will understand their own life-and-death devotion to Sharia as being the opposite to all of this. They know this was a cultural clash as well as a military fight, and that they were by far the stronger side on this front.

I can only hope that we take the right lessons from this, but I suspect it won’t happen until there are electoral consequences next year.

[Saturday-afternoon update]

Biden’s Afghanistan disaster didn’t have to happen.

It’s hard to fathom this level of incompetence. Lara Logan said the other night that someone, whoever is pulling Biden’s strings, wanted it to happen. It sure looks like that.


26 thoughts on “This Is Worse Than Saigon”

  1. It won’t take until the next elections. Events are now inside the OODA loop of the incompetent factions behind the scenes pulling Biden’s strings.

    There has been a drought across the prairies this year. Food prices, particularly staple foods, are going to skyrocket this winter.

    Inflation is already running away.

    Afghanistan is an own-goal.

    The Maricopa County audit results should be out within a week, and audits have sprung up in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan…

    The whole supply chain is failing, and it looks like Taiwan is becoming a single point of failure in the semiconductor market.

    These are just known disasters on the way. Throw in a regular stream of minor problems becoming disasters due to incompetence along the way.

    Biden is already breaking down, fast. They’re visibly getting ready to throw him under the bus, but even that won’t help.

    1. Iron and copper ore prices have just plummeted, which tells me that projections for steel and copper production have just cratered. I’m guessing vehicle production is nosediving because of the semiconductor problem, and its having a ripple effect.

      As to the quick collapse of the Afghan army, I’ll just say that apparently they weren’t willing to fight for an utterly corrupt, elitist, and incompetent regime. They also weren’t very happy with the government in Kabul.

      1. If what I have been reading is true, the collapse was organized and any soldiers that were willing to fight, ordered to stand down and give up.

      2. Those Afghan soldiers who actually existed, I ready reports of many ‘ghost’ soldiers that were created by those ‘utterly corrupt elitist’ regime to justify more money from USA & NATO.

    2. “Biden is already breaking down, fast. They’re visibly getting ready to throw him under the bus, but even that won’t help.”


      “ABC News is being accused of deceptively editing their disastrous interview with Joe Biden to hide his cognitive decline!”

    3. If the audits prove fraud and show that Trump really won those states and therefore the election (big ifs)…..

      Will the disasters of the Biden Puppeteers cause Trump to be actually installed? Is there a legal basis for such a thing?

      I didn’t think that would be politically possible but these days I begin to wonder.

      Could it be that the Puppeteers engineered the Afghan crisis as an excuse to get rid of Biden (and achieve a few other goals) and install who they want, but found that it got completely out of hand?

      Interesting times.

        1. There are perfectly constitutional laws against fraud. The remedies included in those laws are also constitutional. And if one acquired something by fraud, one remedy is to return it to the rightful owner.

        2. Technically, there’s the Gerald Ford route, but Congressional Democrats AND Republicans would never support that.

  2. I can only hope that we take the right lessons from this, but I suspect it won’t happen until there are electoral consequences next year.

    What reason have our state governments given us that we’ll have *elections* in 2022, 2024?

  3. As I wrote earlier:
    We aren’t prepared as a Nation and a people for multi-generational commitments to other nations and peoples. Bottom line.

    And part of the willingness to do that includes a belief in your people and that they hold the moral high ground.

    Moral relativism ends at the gun barrel.

  4. “This was always the West’s problem in Afghanistan: it lacked faith in the very values it claimed to be delivering to that benighted country. ”

    We have Progressive Marxists in charge of our foreign relations and large parts of the military. Our generals were incapable of finding a strategy to win but they were competing with the FP establishment that wanted us to lose because of Social Justice. It is true that the FP establishment lacked faith in “our” values but they don’t lack faith in “their” values. This debacle wont shake their belief that Progressive Marxism is the only true way.

    1. They had no qualms about forcing third wave feminism and transgender ideology down the throats of Afghan villagers. It backfired badly, apparently stocking rural rebellions long before now.

  5. Unsurprisingly I see this point made a lot over the past few days. They may just all be inspired by a single primary source, but maybe it signals a sea change. What we have needed for a while is some articulation of what our values actually are. I think we (America, the West) actually do have some, which will come to the fore once we acknowledge that it is not racist or misogynist or whatever to repudiate the far-left fringe (and the far-right fringe, though the slant in the media makes the latter more pro forma). But Biden is not the man to lead that charge, and I’m afraid neither is Trump, and I’m not sure who is.

    1. “Our values” is a slogan of totalitarians. “Our values” is a slogan used by all Democrat fascists these days.

      Freedom is what America stands for. That’s it. Not hard. Not complicated. Freedom of religion, speech, association, assembly, protest.

      All of those freedoms are being attacked by Democrats. Fight back and be free.

      1. “Freedom” needs a definition here. It’s like “racism”. You and I know what we mean, but the other side is fine casting the question of whether a guy in a dress can go into a ladies’ room or whether a pregnant woman can abort an eight-month fetus as matters of freedom. Even in the Good Old Days it was recognized that your freedom to swing your arm ends where my nose begins.

        That’s what I mean when I say it needs to be articulated. To win the support of the populace we must give a clear explanation of how to tell the difference between legitimate freedoms and the BS that some people falsely claim are freedoms.

        The problem we have now with both “freedom” and “racism” is that we have let the definitions become sloppy, with the result that people are unwilling to oppose anything labelled “freedom” and unwilling to support anything labelled “racism”.

  6. The way Biden is visibly deteriorating I see likely ahead the following:
    Impeach (or heavily threaten to) both Biden and Harris. She is just as much at fault (as is the rest of the cabinet/democratic leadership) as he is for enabling hiding his obviously cognitive decline. Force a vote in the house on electing a new Speaker (not Pelosi). Tell the dems to pick someone likely a dem (hopefully competent) to replace her. Force resignation under heavy political pressure for both Biden & Harris. Third in the line of succession the new speaker then becomes the new President.

  7. A little off topic but important:

    “The Texas Supreme Court ruled this week that the 52 state Democrats who left the Capitol to delay the passage of an elections bill can be arrested.

    “The legal question before this Court concerns only whether the Texas Constitution gives the House of Representatives the authority to physically compel the attendance of absent members. We conclude that it does,” he wrote.”

    This is certainly relevant for the upcoming ’22 & ‘24 elections; the state of Texas legislature (along with many other States’) reasserting their constitutional authority to set the rules for upcoming elections. Assuming the “For the People Act” doesn’t pass of course.

  8. Anything can happen now. Enough troops and equipment have been flown in to counter attack and restart the war or we could just collect most of the people who dont want to be there and leave or something else entirely can happen.

    1. Why don’t we pot the 82nd back into Bagram to secure it long enough to get our people and our allied Afghans out?

      We can helo folks out of Kabul to Bagram.

      1. Taliban: “So nice to see the 82nd flying back to Ft. Bragg.”

        Jumpmaster, 15 minutes later: “Stand in the door!”

  9. The US may yet get the last laugh–at everybody.

    I have seen a number of predictions–most notably from Peter Zeihan, who has been talking about this for about a decade now–that the US is about to go hard isolationist. There’s one little catch: if the US goes isolationist, the USN can no longer be relied upon to maintain the right of free passage on the high seas. Once somebody–anybody–figures out that nobody is going to stop their nation from seizing any passing cargo ships whenever they feel like it, piracy and back-channel, unofficial letters of marque are going to be back in style… and global trade as we’ve known it since WWII will collapse.

    In such a scenario, most of Europe and Asia loses, big time. But Afghanistan and the Middle East? They face immediate famine, in an environment where every nation is scrambling just to feed itself, and nobody can spare any aid. The Taliban may well end up fighting each other over scraps of food.

    The one nation that wouldn’t really be affected? The United States of America, which receives less than 10% of its GDP from imports and exports, and most of that is from Canada and Mexico. Add in Japan, Korea, Taiwan (for the chips), Singapore, KiwiOz, and maybe the UK as continuing trading partners, and the US doesn’t really need anybody else. Sure, there won’t be cheap plastic doodads from China anymore, but China’s labor costs have been rising dramatically due to the fallout from their One Child Policy. And the USN, for all of its self-inflicted woes, can still manage to defend those particular SLOCs, most of which are straight shots across the Pacific Ocean with no pirate havens to be found.

    The one catch would be if China invades Taiwan before the new fabs open in Arizona in 2024. Which, sadly, Biden seems to be almost encouraging (how many of Hunter’s “paintings” will be purchased by Chinese interests?) these days.

    1. I saw a couple Xi’an Y-20 over Islamabad. I didn’t get a chance to see where they were landing. Picking up or dropping off?

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