Comment: They have learned well. This creep is undoubtedly a manager in the Taliban campaign to sooth the Western sheep before the slaughter. pl
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I am hoping for some insights from people with actual experience/knowledge. Let us assume a Taliban-China alliance. Taliban has the ground forces, China provided the advanced air defense and they can keep as the US citizens that were not evacuated as hostages. I am worried about the speed and scale with which things can get out hand.
– What would/should the US be willing to trade to China or the US to get our people out of there? 10 billion? 100 billion? 1 trillion? Surrender Taiwan or other nation/geographic right of access?
– Play the nuke card to hopefully neutralize an overt China role in hostage taking?
I sure hope I am way off here.
Let’s hope Biden uses a better bargaining standard than Obama did to get deserter Bergdahl back – five rabid Islamist terrorists for one US traitor.
Maybe Biden did a quick read of the The Art of the Deal and will channel his inner Jared Kushner and get a better hostage deal than Obama foisted on us.
Now that Jill Biden loves showing off Melania’s refurbished White House Rose Garden, perhaps we can count on another made for prime time welcoming home celebration when Biden passes out 10,000 Get of of Afghanistan Free cards.
That scenario presupposes that China thinks this is a risk worth taking.
Hard to see how they could come to that conclusion.
I could well imagine the Chinese saying to the Taliban: if you guys behave yourself then maybe, just maybe, we’ll think about putting in air defenses.
I could well imagine the Chinese saying to the Taliban: if you guys take American hostages then we will leave your sorry arse to flap in the breeze.
But I honestly can’t see any possibility of the Chines saying to the Taliban: yeah, you go, girl. Grab some hostages while we set up these missile sites. Win-Win for both of us!
Not gonna happen.
Exactly, the Woke Ruled West has been playing a game of setting themselves up as victims so that they can righteously retaliate. The little stunt in the Black Sea by the UK destroyer being the most recent. The Chinese, Iranian, and Russians seem to have taught them not to take the bait. That leaves another potential opportunity for a “heroic defensive rally that will unite the proletariat behind us”, or some such bullshit, to dissolve into a Keystone cops routine.
Those forces are a tripwire. The flights that brought them in could take out the same amount as they left. So the 10K queue to leave should be 5K now. 500 per flight, 1 an hour, is 12K per day. If the place isn’t empty by now, it’s because it’s not supposed to be… If they’re not gone in another 24 hours, the question is how long are they going to stay, and for what purpose?
(I hope I am way off and that I am told to calm down)
The guy in the suit is apparently Muhammadullah Amin, the head of the Afghan equivalent of the USSS. In the video of this event, behind Ashraf Ghani’s old desk, he warmly shakes the hand of one of his Talib buddies in a symbolic transfer of power. There are broad smiles all round. I expect he is already growing his beard back.
Barbara is correct, he was speaking to the camera when AJA was filming this live.
Barbara Ann –
Are you saying the guy in the suit was previously Ashraf Ghani’s bodyguard? If so, that explains why the regime fell so fast.
Who are the guys with the colorful flat caps and no black turban? Are they apprentice Talibs not yet been thru a madrassah?
He was (is?) head of the Presidential Protection Service. His evident friendliness with “the enemy” also looks to be an indication that Ghani didn’t so much escape, as disappear into irrelevance abroad – Shah style – with the consent of the Taliban. I can only think they judged this a better option than simply killing him.
Taqqiya in western clothes = PR, probably their ISI media handler. At this rate, they will be sponsoring a national women’s beach volleyball team for Paris.
They have upped their game. Using social media and landing hard rights on Joe Biden and big tech. The one on honoring free speech was on the chin. CCP has their work cut out. Not your mother’s Taliban that’s for sure.
We cut off their funding a couple of days ago in spite of there being thousands of us still there, what could go wrong?
I think we’ll be seeing a President Harris sooner than we thought. Or worse.
Harris, as we speak, is reprising Jane Fonda’s former staring role – how can she best trash the US now on Vietnamese soil?
‘Harper’ linked to a piece by Anatol Lieven. To get a fuller idea of his views, it may be useful to look at the much longer analysis he has just published in ‘Survival’, the journal of the ‘International Institute of Strategic Studies.’
(See https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00396338.2021.1930403 .)
It may also be helpful to be aware of the – rather complex – origins of him and his elder brother Dominic, reflected in their different names.
The fact that the one has a Russian name, and the other a rather familiar Catholic one, reflects their mixed origins. Their father, Alexander Lieven, came from a family of Baltic German servants of the Tsars, who ended up here, serving in the British Army and then MI6 after, rather obviously, discovering that the ‘Baltics’ were no longer the ‘safe haven’ they had been, and having been educated in French schools in Belgium and Lille, and then at Trinity College in Dublin. (An Irish Protestant institution, in, by that time, very much an Irish Catholic city.)
Later, Alexander Lieven headed the BBC Russian Service.
His wife came from a family of Catholic Irish servants of the British Raj in India. The fact that Dominic was educated at Downside, a (Roman) Catholic boarding school in Somerset, before going on to Cambridge, as also her having chosen to be buried near Dublin, is another indication of the complexities involved. (Her husband is buried in Gunnersbury Cemetery, in West London, down the road from me. I do not know what religious beliefs he had, if any.)
On the centenary of the October Revolution, Dominic Lieven gave a twenty-minute presentation at the ‘Valdai Club’ entitled ‘Revolution, War and Empire’, in which he concisely summarised much of his life’s work.
(See https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/revolution-war-and-empire/ .)
I have had an occasional fantasy of sitting down ‘TTG’ in front of it, and making him, as it were, listen to it, ‘on a loop.’ It might just help him understand the ways in which the past is, and is not, relevant to the present, To make him, and others, understand the utter absurdity of a Western policy which collaborates with ‘Banderistas’ in attempting to wrest the whole of Ukraine, including Sevastopol, away from Russia, and, when this fails, concludes that General Gerasimov is dreaming of hoisting the Russian ‘tricolour’ over Vilnius would be useful.
That said, it has been amply demonstrated that it is quite beyond my powers.
then at Trinity College in Dublin. (An Irish Protestant institution, in, by that time, very much an Irish Catholic city.)
Trinity? A Protestant institution. Really? Not impossible. Historically. But then? I prefer to check. It was definitively a memorable destination during my first visit to Dublin, once upon time.
Ah, my dear Mr. Habakkuk, it does appear that I have a rent-free summer place in your head. Fear not. I will be a respectful tenant. I do appreciate and enjoy your extended comments for their historical details. They are enlightening. I also enjoyed the Anatol Lieven article from “Survival.” I liked the way he examined the relationship between historical Pashtun culture and Taliban fundamentalism and how it might now play out. Colonel Lang claimed that Lieven ignores the content of men’s souls. I don’t see that at all. Religious beliefs are a fundamental part of a culture along with kinship and lineage relationships, although that’s not near as obvious in modern Western societies as it is in Islamic societies. Whether the current Taliban core will be able to pull the Pashtun and other Afghan tribes into a cohesive whole bent on a worldwide jihad is still an open question.
Lieven’s other work which you desire to subject me to a la “Clockwork Orange” is also quite informative. But it does reinforce my belief that there is far more continuity in Russian history than many accept. The current Russian Federation, the Soviet Union and Czarist Russia are the same country, a dramatically changed country, but still the same country. Most Lithuanians see that and believe it in their souls. That’s what allows them to prepare to defend themselves earnestly from a Russian invasion, no matter how improbable that threat is today. It also drives them to actively collaborate with the despicable “Banderistas” in Kiev. Since winning her independence in 1991, I thought Vilnius would be best served by building bridges to Moscow. However, I think it will take generations for the near religious fear of Russia to subside among Lithuanians. I do believe you are right. Aside from agreeing with you that our role in the rise of the “Banderistas” is a shameful and grave mistake, changing my views on the essential continuity of Russian history is quite beyond your powers.
“Whether the current Taliban core will be able to pull the Pashtun and other Afghan tribes into a cohesive whole bent on a worldwide jihad is still an open question.” It is not an open question for me. The different peoples of Afghanistan are not tribes. They are nations each with its own language much as the
“Whether the current Taliban core will be able to pull the Pashtun and other Afghan tribes into a cohesive whole bent on a worldwide jihad is still an open question.” It is not an “open question” for me. The different peoples of Afghanistan are not tribes except internally. Each has its own language. These are mutually unintelligible, much as Navajo and Apache are mutually unintelligible. The Taliban are Pashtun and will remain overwhelmingly such.
“Religious beliefs are a fundamental part of a culture along with kinship and lineage relationships, although that’s not near as obvious in modern Western societies as it is in Islamic societies.”
True. But our modern Western religion is “wokeness” and it includes nonsensical beliefs like being able to prevent natural disasters 50 years from now if only we stop buring gasoline and coal. Or even beliefs that fundamentally attack the traditional concept of lineage relationships, for example by claiming that it is possible that a child has 3 mothers and no father.
The Taliban must have heard about many of its teachings preached by the Western-funded NGOs in Kabul. Based on the reactions I have seen so far, they must have found it hilarious.
“The current Russian Federation, the Soviet Union and Czarist Russia are the same country, a dramatically changed country, but still the same country.”
That’s a bit like claiming that England, UK, and the British Empire are all the same country. Do you believe that too?
What about the United States of America, which started out mostly as British colonial territories – are they the same country as Britain, as well?
This Lievens trace their lineage to the first von Lieven (i.e. “of Livonia”) – a local warchief Kaupo, who, first resisted Drag Nach Osten, but then became a good Catholic baptized in c. 1203 by no other but St. Albert – the one-man driving force of the Baltic crusades and a founder of Riga.
Which means, if one believes these legends and stuff, that Anatol and Domonic Lievens are successors to nearly 1000 years of the martial history of their warrior aristocrat ancestors
P.S. Oh, and btw – von Lievens became British assets as early as 1810s, see e.g. their involvement in spying on Russian court during the preparation for Russia’s involvement in the Greek war for Independence
Thanks, David, interesting.
To cover this enormous subject in a short piece designed as the basis for a twenty-minute talk is a daunting prospect. I will simply advance arguments which may serve to foster an interesting discussion.
One would like to listen to the discussion. Alas?
Colonel – I’ve put this question elsewhere. Would it be OK to ask it here? The attempts by Ben Wallace, UK Secretary of State for Defence, to coordinate staying behind in Afghanistan after the US left, and the ambiguous nature of the US arrangements themselves for leaving, would have left other countries in the area worried about Afghanistan becoming a danger to stability outside the borders of the country. Hence my question –
All those meetings and conferences between the Taliban leaders and non-Western countries. Were they more than just “getting to know you” meetings? Were they to coordinate a joint approach to getting reluctant Western forces out of Afghanistan lock stock and barrel, an approach that culminated in the confused and hasty withdrawal debacle we have just witnessed?
I’m just remembering the Russian counter moves in the Ukraine. And TTG’s account of the Syrian/Russian response to the build up of forces in Al-Tanf. There’s a lot of thinking going on by the Russians when so responding. Did they do some of the thinking for the Taliban?
The Russians? That sounds like a racist thought.
More an envious thought, Colonel. As far as I could see the Commons debate on the subject did not demonstrate that strong a grasp of reality –
A list of embassies operating without interruption in Kabul is instructive; China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan..
If the wildly delusional UK SECDEF wants to parachute in & get all Rambo on the Taliban, I’d be all for it.
Yes. Also happened to see a video of the Taliban entering an Iranian consulate, I think in the north of Afghanistan, and asking politely if there was anything they needed.
In contrast – “The return of all diplomatic staff means that the Indian diplomatic mission in Afghanistan is at least, temporarily, closed. Prior to this India had closed missions in Jalalabad and Herat last year and consulates in Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif in the last month.”
Can anyone zoom in on their wrist watch brands? The test of their real loyalties.
How great of an American PR disaster would it be if US citizen refugees in Afghanistan sought shelter in third party embassies? Or is this a professional courtesy offered among the international diplomatic set.
Who would best enjoy extending this safe harbor to departing Americans left behind by the Biden administration. Russia, China or Switzerland?
More detail on the Taliban press conference substance:
This includes a video link to the full press conference including the press questions and Taliban answers.
I like the the 2 guys with the watches on either side of seated chap.sort of duelling watches setup.The metal straps look identical.
Well, yeah, the Taliban has a PR man who dresses to appeal to his audience. Seems sensible to me.
You don’t have to like the Taliban, but credit where credit is due; their defeat of the Afghanistan Army was well organized and relatively bloodless. In the case of Kabul itself the transfer of power was completely bloodless.
As far as the overthrow of a government is concerned this was as smooth as silk, far slicker than any of the CIA-inspired “color revolutions” of recent years. Indeed, slicker than the transfer of power in Washington after the last election.
So it should be obvious that the Taliban are a slick operation, and they are demonstrably sensitive to the fact that everyone is watching them.
Time will tell, but so far I don’t see any reason for the hysteria that is going on.
After all, it is an undeniable truth that so far the only scenes of death and mayhem are those that are taking place at Kabul Airport, which just happens to be the only place in Kabul that isn’t under Taliban control.
I believe the Russian attitude is the correct one: they aren’t in any hurry to recognize anyone, but are also not going to knee-jerk. What the Russians do depends on how well the Taliban can control themselves.
That’s prudent stuff. Diplomacy. Which is why I suspect it if far beyond the comprehension of those in Washington.
They have succeeded with you.
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15,222 total views
15,223 total views
15,224 total views