LEO MCKINSTRY believes that our Afghan democracy experiment was doomed from the start.
WESTERN engagement in Afghanistan was founded on a deadly mix of liberal orthodoxy, imperialist arrogance, and wishful thinking. Our founders declared, fueled by delusory hubris, that they would construct a modern, democratic nation in lieu of a failed theocratic state.
Instead, their costly intervention exacerbated violence, extremism, and corruption. The Taliban’s takeover is a heartbreaking testimony to their policy’s total failure. Nonetheless, the interventionists have learned nothing from this blunder.
Tony Blair gave a statement yesterday that showed no remorse for the Afghan disaster and no acceptance of reality.
He trumpeted the significance of “holding the new regime to account” after prattled about false “gains” from British involvement.
When the embarrassed West is battling to get its own citizens out of Kabul, who does he believe would undertake that job?
Our political class is rife with grandiosity like this. Last week, it was on full show in the Commons debate on Afghanistan, with self-important MPs pontificating on Britain’s global role.
Theresa May’s insistence that, in the absence of US forces, our government form an international coalition to maintain a military presence was typical.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tried it, but it didn’t go over well, according to a Whitehall insider.
The fabricated debate over the actions of Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was on vacation in Crete at the time of the Taliban march into Kabul, is an even more absurd illustration of such arrogance.
There are now calls for him to resign, undoubtedly led by Labour, for failing to return from his break quickly or make a phone contact to his Afghan colleague.
But this clamor for him to go is the worst kind of Westminster bubble hysteria. What was he supposed to accomplish when the Afghan government was disintegrating?
The notion that the British Foreign Secretary could influence events in Afghanistan betrays the same patronizing colonialist attitude that brought us into this disastrous enterprise 20 years ago.
Indeed, the abrupt demise of President Ashraf Ghani’s administration demonstrates how Western assertions about nation-building progress were really dreams.
The Afghans viewed our forces primarily as foreign occupiers, not as agents of freedom. “Brinkwire Summary News” is the result of this experiment.