Mark Dolan: I agree with Blair for calling Biden an imbecile
'Given their politics, you would expect Biden and Blair to be bosom buddies'
I don't know what's come over me, and I've never said this before, but I agree with Tony Blair. He has been excoriating in his criticism of America's decision to hastily withdraw troops from Afghanistan, after two decades of money spent, lives lost and a delicate peace, broadly achieved.
Given their politics, you would expect Biden and Blair to be bosom buddies, but Tony Blair has described the US Commander in chief, as an imbecile for doing this. And how right he is. The decision to enter Afghanistan with the Americans in 2001, was the right thing to do and a rare foreign policy triumph for Blair. Within months, the terror threat from Al Qaeda, responsible of course for the horrific twin towers attack, was all but neutralised. And over two decades, Afghanistan, though not exactly the land of milk and honey, became a far less dysfunctional society, than it was two decades ago.
The economy grew threefold, women dressed as they wished, and pursued education and careers, and a message was sent out to the world, that the US and its allies would simply not tolerate terrorism. Well since then, Joe Biden has waved the white flag and propelled that country, and the world, back to square one.
Given his age, perhaps he likes the idea of rolling back the years, but as the haunting images of 9/11 play out, on its soon-to-be twenty year anniversary, it's clear to all and sundry, that we don't want to go back to 2001. But that's exactly what’s happened. I can't decide whether Joe Biden is in mental decline, or just guilty of profound misjudgement. Could be both.
Either way, it's patently clear that this man couldn't lead a conga line, let alone the free world. The supposedly new look, touchy-feely Taliban - Taliban 2.0 - who care about women's rights and the safe departure of Western nationals, is about as convincing as Elton John’s hairpiece. It was a lie when Joe Biden said that people had safe passage to Kabul airport, when the opposite is true.
People have been impeded, shot at and tragically many crushed in the stampede at the airport itself. Plus, advertising billboards featuring women in western dress are already being painted over and the Taliban are now reportedly making armed house-to-house visits.
Be clear, they're not bringing round a cup of sugar or delivering the post. Now Donald Trump is no angel and he's the one that signed that that inadequate deal with the Taliban at the tail end of his presidency. But you do have to wonder whether, if he was in post, this might have been better executed. I'm no cheerleader for the orange one, but surely it couldn't be as bad as this. And that's what Americans will be thinking, when they cast their votes in the midterm elections and ultimately in 2024.
We have gifted the Taliban with more than just territory. The Taliban have seized abandoned US weapons worth billions, reportedly including 600,000 assault rifles, 2,000 armoured vehicles, and 40 aircraft, including Black Hawks. Here they are posing with a few of their ill gotten gains.
And this new regime, populated by gangsters and thugs, will be able to fund and put into action their hateful ideology, fuelled what by some speculate is a trillion quids worth of precious minerals beneath Afghani soil. So they’ve got the country, they’ve got the weapons and they've got the money. And the new look, ultra woke Taliban 2.0, are not going to be using these resources to build universities, hospitals, waterparks, libraries and garden centres.
Quite the opposite. They will seek to spread their miserable ideology across Afghanistan and beyond. And Jihadis across the Middle East will be inspired by a clear message from the West, which is that we DO negotiate with terrorists, and we DO surrender.
The scale of what we've done is incalculable. We will be processing this mistake for not just years but decades to come. And let me just give you a tiny example of what has been sacrificed. Take a look at these tweets.
And finally take a look at this video from 2019 of young women on their way to university dressed as they wish, pursuing a better life for themselves and their families. And actually singing with joy at what life is has in store for them.
All of that has been sacrificed. Good has surrendered to evil. And history will never forgive us.