The first striking images of the latest migration crisis on the US-Mexico border are those of horse-mounted officers using lassos as whips to drive masses of migrants away from the US side of the Rio Grande. Wasn't Biden the Catholic president who opposed the man 'of the wall'? Serious reflection is needed on the voting criteria. And on the morality of migration policies.
Hoping and wishing that a military coup would bring peace, justice and prosperity may seem unbelievable, but not in Guinea. After more than half a century of disappointment, poverty, corruption and two other past coups, Cardinal Robert Sarah, former Archbishop of Conakry, wrote a letter to the military junta leaders, begging them to show respect for the country.
The Aukus Treaty that was struck between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States for technological cooperation between the three powers in the Pacific is infuriating France. Without being informed, Paris saw its mega-contract cancelled for supplying submarines to Australia. The new treaty reshapes alliances while marginalising NATO.
Twenty years after September 11, we remember the day 'that changed the world', as many commentators write. But, actually, what we should try to understand is why 9/11 did not change the world at all. Al Qaeda is still there, Isis was born, jihadism is still expanding, even the Taliban, defeated then, are back in power. What has happened? The US and its allies have never suffered military defeats. It is politics that has decided to stop fighting. And it has done so driven by three real powers of contemporary thought: materialism, relativism and Third Worldism.
The Taliban might allow women to study, but their husbands of arranged marriages, will forbid it. The Taliban could also not impose the burqa by law, but families will require it to be worn. The Taliban might refrain from reintroducing the stoning of adulterous women, but it will be their families to kill them. These are the ancient, tribal traditions that Islam has reinforced in Afghan society.
Joe Biden publicly boasts, he’s ended the war in Afghanistan, even though the scenes of the disastrous withdrawal are there for all to see. Biden has probably made use of the behavioral scientist Sunstein, theorist of the "nudge" to tailor his rhetoric. But, the Americans are not fooled and the president has lost credibility.
Along the length of Europe’s borders, no one intends to wait for the next wave of migrants. Spain already has its wall with Morocco, Lithuania has built one on the border with Belarus, Greece on the border with Turkey, and Turkey on the border with Iran. Only Italy welcomes everyone from the Mediterranean.
Today the Americans are taking leave of Afghanistan, tomorrow the French from the Sahel: the international missions to fight jihadism are withdrawing, given the impossibility of replacing incompetent local governments. And jihadist groups throughout Africa, galvanised by the victory of the Taliban, launch a series of violent attacks against civilians and the military.
The dramatic events of the Afghan crisis have obscured another piece of important news, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. After the 2003 war and the ensuing guerrilla warfare, and after returning in 2014 to battle against ISIS, the Americans are now heading back home for good. Meanwhile, NATO allied troops will stay and will be under Italian command from 2022.
NATO had been present in Afghanistan for 20 years. It came not to "export democracy," but rather to fight against terrorism following the attacks of 9/11 in America. What will happen now that the two-decade mission is over? The Doha Agreement that preceded the U.S. withdrawal envisaged peace in exchange for the Taliban's renunciation of anti-American terrorism. And yet the Taliban have already broken their promises. Instead of dealing with the government in Kabul, they have overthrown it. The risk of the return of Afghanistan-based terrorism is real. In Afghanistan there are men freed from maximum security prisons with weapons left behind by the Americans. In the wake of all this is the jihadist "myth" of a country that defeated America.
We all have felt moved by the harrowing scenes at Kabul international airport where thousands of people have tried in vain to leave their country now in the hands of the Taliban. In the world of politics, once again, welcoming refugees and calling for impossible airlifts for millions of people is being urged.
What sort of future awaits Afghanistan after the hasty retreat of Western forces and landslide victory of Taliban militias? The Kabul airport will remain open until Western civilians and a minority of Afghans have been evacuated. The Taliban promise tolerance and non-interference in the territories of their neighbours (China and Russia), but this may be just propaganda. Through its secret services, Pakistan has had the biggest victory by aiding and organising the Taliban offensive and by infiltrating government troops. It will now aim to exert its control over the forthcoming Afghan Islamic government.