In the weeks and days leading up to the fall of Kabul, the Taliban were a very busy bunch of jihadists. They did not bother capturing people – the real mission was to get their hands on the guns; and seize them they did, in great numbers. Individual firearms, U.S. weapons, every gun great and small they could unearth was confiscated. For all those U.S. gun-grabbers out there, this Afghani crisis is more than mere humiliation, more than a humanitarian crisis – no, no, this, dear Americans, is a teachable moment.
First Grab the Guns
August 12, the U.S. Sun reported, “The Taliban has captured a massive stash of US-made weapons and drones as they tear towards Kabul.” Then, on August 14, Yahoo! News reported, “weapons seizures ‘massive boon’ for Taliban as cities fall.” The article chronicled the Taliban plan: “Footage of Afghan soldiers surrendering in the northern city of Kunduz shows army vehicles loaded with heavy weapons and mounted with artillery guns safely in the hands of the insurgent rank and file.” The seizure, reported the newspaper, was nothing less than a motherlode of arms.
Images of vehicles laden with Taliban-confiscated weapons litter the internet. Insurgents freely admit the booty is “a massive blessing” that will make it easier to gain control of the country. Raffaello Pantucci, the senior researcher at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told Journal Beat, “The weapons will not only help the Taliban march on Kabul but will ‘strengthen their authority’ in the cities they have captured.”
Those who arguably have the most to lose – the women of Afghanistan – saw the handwriting on the wall. So, what did they do? Punchstar news said it all with this headline: “Afghan women took up guns to defend their country from the Taliban.”
Photos of red nail polish on trigger fingers tell the story. Even teenage Afghan girls can be seen carrying rifles and rocket launchers as if to say, “You’re going to have to pry this thing from my cold dead hand.”
You Need Guns to Resist
Joe Biden essentially labeled the people of Afghanistan cowards in a televised address earlier this week. While that may be true regarding President Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country, the vice president of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, appears to be mounting a resistance. On August 17, Saleh tweeted:
It is futile to argue with @POTUS on Afg now. Let him digest it. We d Afgs must prove tht Afgh isn’t Vietnam & the Talibs aren’t even remotely like Vietcong. Unlike US/NATO we hvn’t lost spirit & see enormous oprtnities ahead. Useless caveats are finished. JOIN THE RESISTANCE.
— Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) August 17, 2021
To equip an effective resistance, Saleh needs only two things – people and guns. He understands that weapons are required along with a well-armed citizenry if he hopes to salvage even a portion of Afghanistan.
History is replete with tales of oppression from those whose guns were confiscated. This was why the Cuban uprising was put down so quickly and quietly. No matter who said it, pragmatists recognize the truth in the statement: “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.”
The sad tale of Afghanistan unraveling before us carries many messages: Do not send Americans to die in a war you have no intention of winning, lay down the business of nation-building once and for all, and a poorly designed retreat always ends in humiliation.
But perhaps the most vital lesson is comprehending the basic rule that he who holds the most arms rules. As George Washington once warned, “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.