“Women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm” from the Taliban, says the president who ordered the invasion of the country in 2001
Former President George W. Bush seldom lavishes on interviews outside of his country and for reasons unrelated to his foundation, except when during the last legislature he launched a series of sharp criticisms against Donald Trump. But yesterday he broke that rule before German television, on the occasion of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Washington today, to lament the withdrawal of allied troops from Afghanistan.
The US president who ordered the invasion of the country in 2001 after the attacks against the Twin Towers denounced that the population is now at the mercy of the Taliban offensive and considered that women, girls and all Afghans who have worked for the multinational force “They will be left to their fate and will be sacrificed by these brutal people.” Bush emphasized above all that “Afghan women and girls are going to suffer indescribable harm” and “that breaks my heart,” he confessed before the cameras of Deutsche Welle.
The 74-year-old former president declared the offensive in October 2001 on the grounds that the Taliban were providing refuge to Osama bin Laden and senior leaders of Al-Qaeda, the organization that launched the planes against the two towers mentioned and the Pentagon the September 11, 2001. His successor, Barack Obama, kept up the pressure, even more so than his predecessor, with 100,000 US troops on the ground during his tenure. And now Joe Biden has been the president in charge of withdrawing the troops. The vast majority have already left the country and the rest of the NATO-allied armies also leave with them. For Bush, who specifically cited the forces of the Alliance, this withdrawal is a mistake “because the consequences are going to be incredibly negative.”
Taking of key positions
His prognosis seems to be coming true. The insurgents announced yesterday the seizure of control of a key border post with Pakistan in the town of Vish after occupying important Afghan districts and two other customs offices – one of them with Iran – without much resistance against it. Government security forces are weak and uncoordinated, to the extent that in some strategic cities their members have preferred to flee. Pakistan, for its part, has warned that it will close the borders to prevent a wave of refugees. It has welcomed more than 1.3 million Afghans since the start of the long war.
The Kabul Executive is silent except to offer the daily number of enemy casualties. Yesterday he reported 15 insurgents killed. Meanwhile, the Taliban leaders have made it known to Russia that their interest is focused on Afghanistan and that they will not push the war beyond their borders.
Almost 1,500 migrants have died in the Mediterranean since January
Around 1,150 people have died in this first half when trying to reach the coasts of Europe from Africa through the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The figure is twice higher than that registered in the same period of 2020 and warns of a worsening of the migratory phenomenon that was partially suspended by the pandemic and the strict border closures last year.
Despite the overwhelming numbers, NGOs raise the statistic by several hundred deaths. It is the calculation that they do based on the ‘ghost shipwrecks’: those that occur in the anonymity of the sea because their victims could not even give the alert. Some of them are known by the appearance of human remains or boats a posteriori or by complaints from relatives of the deceased.
In total, 1,146 people have drowned since January compared to 513 confirmed deaths during the first half of 2020. The organization affirms that this high number of deaths confirms once again the maritime migratory routes in the Mediterranean among the most dangerous in the world. world.
The report highlights that the number of migrants who have tried to jump from Africa to Europe is 58% higher and denounces the “insufficient amount” of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic route from Africa to the Canary Islands.