There’s no mistaking who’s in charge of Afghanistan now.
To be clear, the Taliban are taunting us with this “we won, you lost” gesture, and it’s humiliating to see how far they’ve gotten in less than a month.
The Taliban paints its flag on the wall outside the US Embassy in Kabul.
“Look at me: I am the captain now” pic.twitter.com/A3rHiPGgVE
— Aaron Y. Zelin (@azelin) September 6, 2021
It’s another way of rubbing salt in the gaping wound left by the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
And, needless to say, it’s a dismal image to see after two decades of U.S. military effort there (and with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks just days away).
According to Fox News, the flag was painted recently and sits to the left of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s coat of arms.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) September 6, 2021
All traces of democracy, progress and civility are now defunct in the region, and even aside from the embassy’s rebranding, we witness the glaring differences following such a distressing regime change with each day.
The U.S. embassy closed on Aug. 15 as Kabul fell to the Taliban amid reports that U.S. officials were destroying sensitive documents and equipment, according to Fox News.
Now, after the American military finished its withdrawal before President Joe Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline, our only remaining traces in a region where we once pushed back against radical Islam and advocated for positive change are an embassy tarnished with the Taliban’s imagery, the equipment we’ve abandoned for the Taliban to commandeer and the Americans and allies we’ve left behind.
Where can we find a sliver of hope for us, for them?
Right now, it seems the consequences of the Biden administration’s incompetent withdrawal mount with each day.
We’ve already witnessed the resurgence of inhumanity, the disregard for human life and the flagrant, taunting reminder that our hands are tied.
To make matters worse, the Taliban released a statement on Monday claiming they now control Afghanistan’s Panjshir province just north of Kabul — the only province left to claim. Fox News said it had served as “the staging ground of the country’s top resistance force.”
The outlet reported that Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front leader Ahmed Masoud has opted to end the longstanding fight in favor of negotiating with the Islamic militant group.
Now the stage is set for the Taliban to exert full control over Afghanistan. How will that change impact the Middle East and the world going forward?
As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, let’s call to mind the consequences of Islamic extremism, the extremism that shaped the dawn of the 21st century in America — led us into wars and now prompts us to remember what we lost on that fateful day.
The Taliban’s resurgence already has been consequential. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end in further disaster.
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