September 17, 2021

Serge Halimi (Le Monde Diplomatic)

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Remember them: A Memorial to the American Killings in Afghanistan and Iraq, Irwin (California), 2014.

Mandy Shower Digital First Media Orange County Register Getty.

TO The Western army is invincible. Or at least, it can only be defeated by backbone politicians and local aides who suffocate and refuse to fight. For more than a century, the myths of such ‘stabbing’ have fed the voices of the zealots and their desire for revenge. (1.). Responding to insults means preparing for the next confrontation.

Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada two days later, in order to end the Vietnam Syndrome, but on October 23, 1983, in shock at the killing of 241 American soldiers in Beirut. What will happen after the horrific scenes at Kabul airport, humiliating for the United States and horrible for those who work with it?

Angela Merkel’s favorite candidate for German chancellor, Armin Laschet, said it was the biggest defeat in NATO history. The war in Afghanistan was NATO’s first intervention under Article 5 of its founding agreement. Other signatories came to his aid (see. Afghanistan: Predictive results in this case). The experiment serves as a reminder that when Washington and the Pentagon conduct military operations, they treat their allies as if their ruler allowed them to fight and die, but they have no right to be consulted. Lets see how the animosity ends. Even Britain, accustomed to slapping such a face, bowed to such high hands. Let us now hope that the Afghan fiasco will not allow NATO to strengthen its shaky ranks through a new US military adventure. By opening a front, in Taiwan or Crimea, against China or Russia …

The threat is most understandable, as the destruction of nine US guards in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan has barely reduced their ability to inflict damage. However, others pay a human price: in the West, working class soldiers fight wars faster. Most of the Americans fighting in Afghanistan came from the rural counties of the heartland, far away from the circles where the decision to go to war is made and enchanted institutions are set up. Today it would be difficult to find a student, journalist or political leader who knows a fallen soldier personally. At the very least, he was capable of involving the entire nation in the conflicts he was representing. At least, when they were allowed to vote …

Since September 2001, US presidents have been able to launch any military operation without prior congressional approval under the pretext of the “war on terror.” The enemy – ‘terror’ – is unclear as to the geographical scope and duration of the mission. Four years ago, U.S. senators discovered that 800 of their troops were serving in Niger only when news broke that four of them had been killed. A two-way group of lawmakers, with Biden’s approval, has begun work to cancel the blank check. The war should not be fought at the behest of Commander-in-Chief, especially when it is understood in the name of democratic values.

The same is true of a country like France, whose forces are stationed in Africa. There is every reason to have an intelligent debate about geopolitics, alliances and future strategies, especially after Afghanistan. But that will not happen, according to recent comments from several candidates in next year’s presidential election. Emmanuel Macron has resumed a politically fashionable grand stance on security so that Afghans fleeing the Taliban’s dictatorship can be compared to a “significant influx of refugees”. He is hoping that the resurgence of refugees fleeing a dictatorship will get them conservative votes.

The two right-wing candidates, Xavier Bertrand and Valerie Packers, have certainly taken things a step further. Prescresse even argued that “part of the world’s freedom” was at stake in Kabul. And the Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, put forward her views on the route to the West, saying, “Unfortunately, with most of Afghanistan, it was [French public intellectual] Bernard-Henry Lowe who warned me … ‘which probably influenced the conclusion that’ somehow, we will find ourselves on the streets of Kabul ‘ (2.).

So all Hedalgo and Paris need to do is ask the Russians and NATO the secret of their last victorious march on the Afghan capital.

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