Gomer Pyle said it best: “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” And the United Nations are channeling the television character with a certain amount of retro zest. Gomer may not have seen the writing on the wall, but the U.N. and the Joint Chiefs should have. A month into the new and improved Taliban rule in Afghanistan and promises made about brutalizing women and looking to eradicate any presence that may have been helpful to U.S. forces are not being kept. This has the good people of the U.N. perplexed and peeved. They said they would respect the agreement made for troops’ withdrawal after all.
A month later and it’s back to Taliban business as usual: beating women and informants and revenge killings. It’s what they do best – scaring the bejesus out of people to keep them in line and under control. Americans call that terrorism. Islamic radicals call it a way of life.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet was pointedly irritated with the style of law and order the Taliban is known to practice. Expressing dismay that women were not a part of their government, she asks for help three weeks into the U.S. retreat? What on Earth did she expect? Is the organization that gullible, or worse?
Bachelet went public on Aug. 24, imploring anyone who could intervene to do so, but she ran up against the Biden administration, which was too busy claiming “a great success” to follow up on her credible intel.
This week, she went one step further, saying her original request must have fallen on deaf ears: “I reiterate my appeal to this Council to take bold and vigorous action, commensurate with the gravity of this crisis.”
America had the Taliban on the run in 2003 and more or less out of business until very recently. The Biden administration calls the troop withdrawal an enormous accomplishment. But, if we are to buy into what White House press secretary Jen Psaki is selling, we now are attempting a diplomatic relationship and “looking at ways to stay engaged” because that one plane allowed to leave was “a positive first step.” When did the strongest nation in the world decide it was a good idea to negotiate with terrorists?
The Taliban is, on the other hand, experiencing success. The American government has thrown the billion-dollar baby out with the bathwater, leaving behind munitions, armored war vehicles, an airport hangar, and the costliest of all, military dignity. So what, they took the keys to the Humvees: Does anyone else believe that China and Russia are just waiting on a call from the cave residence for technical assistance?
What the UN Now Wants
“In contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women’s rights, over the past three weeks, women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere,” a frustrated Bachelet expressed at a Human Rights Council meeting. She is repeatedly demanding something be done. Namely, she wants an overseer in Afghanistan to police for problems such as revenge killings, girls kept out of school, American hostages, torture of citizens, and the like.
It must be confusing to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, too: His state Department expressed dismay that the Taliban caretaker cabinet “consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women. We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government.”
It’s an actual Gomer moment for the U.S., the United Nations, and the ones we left behind.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.