The American Question of The Day
Here's a story about CENTCOM Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie meeting with the heads of the bloody subhumans comprising Taliban, at Doha, in order to beg permission to scuttle out of Kabul without, at best, his people getting their asses chewed off by AAA-fire before the landing gear is in the wells.
That's where that all is, now.
The second video clip on the page is among the most harrowing that I've seen in the whole catastrophe, so far. I can see everything implicit in a scene of illiterate Southwest Asian peasants running alongside and climbing, where they can, onto a C-17 heavy-lift jet airplane, cheering it along a taxiway like some uncanny burden-beast in an appearance in the village festival parade.
We're talking about the pre-scientific mind. Their leaders have for generations suppressed and overthrown every approach to modern life, all of which is born and borne in the West. Everything they have that's modern, came from the minds and work of people the like of which they have never raised.
Now, they have fallen to the ravages of this murderously anti-human scourge, the Taliban, among whose stated intents is to bring the whole world under their blade. It's awful to see anyone driven to such abject mortal terror. Among the recurring attractions of my eye in watching various Kabul videos is the children, almost always holding tightly to an adult hand, illustrating the last shred of trust that someone is going to do something to make everyone stop running and screaming.
This is a very old culture of faith and force, virtually untouched by the attributes of reason which are an essential characteristic of the Western mind, except in various expedient mimicries: they can machine an AK-47 right there in front of their hut, but they're not interested to work-up what it takes to invent something like that and everything that goes into genuine industry of anything on a national scale.
Their sketch of "government" is Victorian, at best, foggily-lensed as a sort-of cargo-cult apprehension of form and baksheesh in practice -- at worst, it's plainly medieval and it's about to get medievaler.
For now, the world is just going to have to suffer this one. This; on top of twenty years of America doing its own suffering at just living with a constant state of war so sublime that it takes something like the past forty-eight hours of Afghanistan for even CENTCOM to finally take it seriously as it really is. The imaginable horrors awaiting that place harrow up the soul.
The horrors for the whole world, now, take even more ruthless dimensions. If reasonable people can plot axes of evil, which I count as a very valid concept, then a new and heavy Bezier point has been laid on a curve that runs roughly: Beijing, Islamabad, Kabul, Tehran. (Other influential points: Pyongyang, Baghdad, Ankara, Moscow.)
It's important to bear in mind the blazing guerrilla technique executed by the Taliban in this episode. In a campaign that must surely go down in the annals with Vo Nguyen Giap, they exploited every device of irregular warfare, to include the entire psychological aspect of the fight. They always knew what they were doing, with conviction so profoundly animated (and well-armed) that thousands of government troops enlisted themselves and their weapons to the subhuman cause.
There is no good reason to believe that such bestial passions will be restricted by any national boundary. This far into the twenty-first century, technology and a wholly prevalent ethics (mostly by default in the West) that holds human life in less value every day present ample opportunity for irregular murder for the most regular cause of all: sheer primitive evil. Its insinuations into civilized life have never been met successfully by negotiation: that's impossible with an enemy that can, and does, walk right up next to you with the intent to die in destroying you.
Taliban will teach countless peasants, uncultured with reason, how to do this. I take them at their stated intent to bring Islam to the whole world. As a new dot on the axes of evil, they can now deal with greater powers in the work of destroying what they say they want to destroy, all of them working at their own interests toward the same end.
Nor do I see reason to believe that the United States is in any shape to seriously manage any of it. The widely-expressed shock (not to say, "awe") at the Taliban victory should go far past mere military intelligence failures, all the way down to honestly grasping basic foreign policy doctrine for three-quarters of a century since Greece in 1947. This examination would course the whole lifetimes of historians, never mind the politicians (including the Pentagon) and academics inclined to litigate that fight to any reasonably useful conclusion on the basic presumptions of "nation building".
The American question of the day is: how many of us understand where we really stand with these savages from halfway around the world, who can be here before dawn?