Caution – This post contains swearing!!!
The answer is realistically we all should…..
The situation in Afghanistan has become a hot button issue recent days and weeks with the main focus being on how many refugees as a country we should take and are going to take.
Immigration in all it’s forms is always a contentious subject, (mainly because people forget that immigrants come from Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa too although they are seen as acceptable immigrants).
I have had to write two essays on the subject in the last 6 months for university and I am in awe of just how misinformed the general public are on the subject. From the old tropes about well of course they want to come here, they get a free 12-bedroom house and free money to we have no room.
Firstly you try leaving the country you were born in and have lived in your whole life, where you understand the cultural and social norms and you speak the language, with no money, and little more than the clothes on your back, (because staying means you will persecuted).
To end up in a country that where for the most part the citizens see you as freeloader who doesn’t even speak the English or worse a terrorist, (because the government loves to have people to blame and refugees and asylum seekers are easy targets.
We do have room, we lost a million people following Brexit and 130,000+ to covid!
The behaviour of the US government and ours in the execution of their exit strategy is utterly disgusting, the promises of how many refugees we are going to take is abhorrent and quite frankly not even close to enough (particularly when considering the last crisis in Afghanistan displaced no less that 4 million refugees). So we are going to take 5,000 in the next 12 months and 20,000 over the next 5 years, that is the equivalent to one person per town or village in the UK.
Now does that sound like enough?
And is mainly those who have helped us as interpreters, and support staff and some of those in grave danger such as journalists, activists and vocal opponents to the Taliban etc... (but only a small number)
In the last days (and the last 18 months that have preceded it, with the Taliban's’ increasing advance through the country) the 20,000,000 that’s twenty million women have lost their rights. The right to leave their homes uncovered and without an appropriate male accompanying them, the right to and education (over the age of 10), the right to work, the right to have a role in government or even voice displeasure towards them. Although Taliban 2.0 said that many of these will still be allowed, this is after they had dragged people from their homes and murdered them in the streets to regain power across Afghanistan, so I am not sure I really believe them. On Monday 16/08/2021 news outlets reported the streets were empty of women, does this sound like a place you want to live? This was the first day of total Taliban rule!
Who f**ked up?
Well truth is they all did. Every US administration, dating back to the 1980’s when they armed and trained the Taliban to fight the Soviet forces. They won the war, and then failed to give any financial aid to a country that had been torn apart by that war.
Extremists found the sweet spot, the Taliban who had been happy to get the support of the US became anti American and anti the west, because their country was in ruins, many may have even have been happier as communists, and they may well have been less of a danger to the rest of the world, considering to subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union? That is a joke, well kind of… (This is unknown and just a personal aside really).
Then came 9/11...
and the day that completely changed foreign policy forever, and immigration policy, let’s not forget that most of the Al Qaeda hijackers gained entry to the States on tourist and business visas and one on a student visa, yet the most scrutinised group of immigrants are still refugees and asylum seekers…. Go figure. So we joined the Americans and others as a coalition to invade Afghanistan to capture and bring the mastermind behind the twin towers Osama bin Laden to justice, since that is where he was hiding.
There was another choice
The Taliban had offered to surrender bin Laden to a third party country, but that wasn’t a glorious enough victory for T**t in chief Bush, and Blair was a frigging lapdog as far as following the Americans in to any old war goes (Iraq more lies and another fools errand)!
Afghanistan is strategically well placed in the middle east so control over the country and it’s minerals was too appealing a prospect to pass up. So we jointly decided to go get him.
10 years later and in another frigging country that happened!
Then came the secondary objective that was really the real one,
to give our ever failing favourite pass time a go again and tried to nation build using our failing democratic blue print, on a State that didn’t/doesn’t share our ideals, social, cultural or religious norms.
Why do we keep doing it? Because we are arrogant and stupid and we never learn,
the US didn’t with Vietnam, we didn’t in Iraq either.
Do we work with as many factions or even the moderates in those factions and ask them what they want? Nope we try to impose our ideologies on them and force them to the extremes.
Invading Afghanistan didn’t stop terrorist attacks,
7/7 happened in 2005 (homegrown terrorists btw) and the Manchester bombings in 2017. After the Taliban had offered a total surrender, disarmament and disbanding in 2001.
Bush ignored this too! Why oh why did we not ask "hey would this not be the best outcome?" Take the deal?
No let’s keep bombing the crap out of them, and when we are done with the terrorists (but not really) let’s get sloppy and kill more innocent Afghanis than the Taliban have with air strikes.
We need to stop playing God,
Particularly when the motivation is for our own gain, notice the UK and US often do nothing when genocides are taking place (Rwanda), because it doesn’t benefit us.
Now Afghanistan is back to being one of the most dangerous places on Earth, why?
Because the war was a bad bet and we can’t even pull out properly! We can’t even get to the pitiful amount of refugees we have offered repatriation to. And where were Mr Johnson and the foreign secretary when the s**t hit the fan? Why on holiday of course, I mean they only had 18 months notice! Notice my surprise, this is the rubbish leader who missed 5 cobra meetings regarding the pandemic in January and February of last year.
And I call him Mr Johnson and the Prime Minister, not out of respect but because that is who he is not good old Boris, my mate I want to have a pint with but a world leader responsible for every life in this country and every country we have troops in!!!
The UK and the US have screwed up royally and should be taking responsibility not just for the mess we made but the bad exit strategy, that has left the Taliban feeling like they have won and the people of Afghanistan particularly the women abandoned and alone.
Women are less likely to be able to leave their country of origin because of their lack of freedoms and socioeconomic constraints, and the often gruelling journeys not being possible for their children.
So twenty or twenty five thousand is not even close to the right number, and the pitiful aid budget (0.5% of national income cut from 0.7%) to support Afghanis here and at home is just not enough.
Shame on you British and American Governments.
If you are hoping for an inquiry, it’s unlikely Prime minister Twunt doesn’t let those happen, for he may have to take responsibility for his failures and perhaps even learn from it … HA! . Although you’d think this one he would be more open to, since he could share the blame or send it all the way of (in true Tory fashion) Blair and the labour party!