Looking at what just happened at the famous American base of Bagram, abandoned at night by the United States and ransacked by the Afghans, perhaps Bin Laden was right. American forces turned off the lights and slipped away without telling the government they should take control. General Mir Asadullah Kohistani, who now heads the base that was the headquarters of the war against the Taliban for twenty years, said hw only found that the Americans left only two hours after it happened. When he arrived, the base had been ransacked.
Meanwhile, a thousand Afghan soldiers have fled to Tajikistan to save their skin. A massive Taliban offensive is ramping up across the country as Western countries have withdrawn. Dramatic videos show Afghan soldiers surrendering and embracing the Taliban, who have just entered Kandahar, the birthplace of the Islamic group, and taken control of the border with Iran.
One third of the 370 districts in which Afghanistan is divided are now in the hands of the "students of Allah". The Taliban say they control 85 percent of the country. They are already storming prisons, freeing hundreds of inmates. Intelligence agencies believe Kabul could capitulate in six months.
Afghan soldiers deserted and, according to the Wall Street Journal, musicians, artists, journalists and singers are fleeing the country, that is, that part of the population free and terrified by the Taliban's takeover. Christians, like other minorities, are afraid. The British military establishment predicts a civil war in the country.
Women are the most worried and well they should be. Scene of men whipping a woman on her knees. Shot in Herat, the video symbolizes what could happen anywhere in the country under the Taliban. The woman is led to the center of a circle made up of men. Amid the cries of pain, the woman is heard saying: "I regret it ... It is my fault ... I was wrong". What did she do that was so serious? She and she was accused of "immoral relationships" because she spoke to a man on the phone.
The White House has confirmed that the withdrawal will be completed by September 11, but already today they are all in Kabul, where 650 Marines are assigned the defense of the US embassy, where evacuation plans are already in preparation in case of general collapse. Joe Biden said that "you cannot leave troops forever in a foreign country". Theoretically that is a correct statement. So what are 23,000 American soldiers doing in South Korea, 55,000 in Japan since 1949 and 12,000 in Germany or Italy? It is certainly one thing to stay without risk and war commitment in Europe, another thing to continue fighting in what, perhaps rightly, has been called "the tomb of empires".
Con Coughlin in the Telegraph writes that "weak Joe Biden is destroying the moral credibility of the West". Could the United States not have a minimum presence of 2,000-3,000 troops in the country (from 85,000 that were) without nullifying twenty years of Western commitment and destabilizing the region and perhaps Europe, given that an Afghan exodus is already feared?
But this is the point. "Taken as a whole, the West has historically dominated the world for 500 years and today is witnessing the end of that era," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov just wrote. He then adds, with no small irony: "In a number of Western countries, students learn at school that Jesus was bisexual."
Seeing how rapidly the external and internal fronts of the West are collapsing, it is difficult to dispute him.