“It is a great lesson for other invaders,” warns the regime after the definitive withdrawal of the United States, with which they want to “maintain a good relationship”
The image of this Tuesday is that of the Taliban leaders walking through the Hamid Karzai airport among the helicopters abandoned by the US troops in their withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s true. They are junk. The military took it upon themselves last night to disable all the impossible-to-carry aircraft in their evacuation before boarding the heavy transport planes whose night takeoff from Kabul already belongs to the living history of the West’s last failed mission in Central Asia. But it does not matter that they are useless junk. For the new Emirate, hanging the white Taliban flag from these ships is the sign of “victory over imperialism.” “This is a great lesson for other invaders and for our future generations” and “it is also a lesson for the world,” says Islamist spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. “It is a historic day, a historic moment and we are very proud,” he sums up as the Afghan cameras follow him through the hangars on the airfield.
Just hours after midnight, when the last US plane left, the insurgents lifted almost all roadblocks on the roads leading to the airport. The surroundings of the terminal now offer a very different picture than this past week, with thousands of people huddled against the gates in a desperate attempt to flee the country. Only the high officials of the regime, accompanied by bodyguards and the military, roamed the facilities.
During their march, according to US media, the US troops have not left a single document. Nothing that could compromise the collaborators who have been trapped in Afghanistan either. As in the historic Bagram military base, last night they left by surprise, without hurrying the hours that they still had throughout today, and in their wake only garbage, abandoned belongings and remains of useless technology remain. The rubble of twenty years of invasion. Some US media underline the formidable air operation that has allowed more than 112,000 people to be removed from the now renamed Afghan hornet’s nest, but they reveal the bitter aftertaste of an absurdly disastrous withdrawal as the culmination of the long military mission in the country.
Congratulations to Afghanistan. This victory belongs to all of us, ”repeats Zabihullah Mujahid from Kabul. Happiness is the tonic on the roads of the capital. The shots into the air and the launching of fireworks that have lasted almost all morning have been joined by the handshakes of the combatants with all the drivers and passengers who cross their path, according to an AFP journalist. The celebrations would have been much more intense in the interior provinces. “It is a great day, Afghanistan has been returned to its people,” explains an insurgent to the cameras of national television. “From now on we must think about building our future, our destiny, without being marked by foreign interference,” says another Taliban.
His words are on the way to becoming a quick reality. Senior officials of the regime anticipate that the complete composition of the new government, as well as the first development plans, will be announced in the next few days. The Emirate awaited the complete withdrawal of the United States to start its cabinet. “We want good relations with the United States and the world,” warns Zabihullah Mujahid, in line with the messages of restraint sent by the Taliban since the fall of Kabul nine days ago.
One of the priorities now is to restart the Hamid Karzai airport. Since this morning it has been under Taliban control and it is very likely that it will use Turkish technicians to restore it to operation. The Emirate monitors its main access from the capital and maintains a strong security device, convinced that it may be a main target of jihadist terrorism.
Islamic State attacks
The Islamic State has beaten him at least four times since last Thursday, when the massacre took place among the crowd waiting to enter the terminal, with almost two hundred dead, including thirteen US servicemen. Since then, there have been unsuccessful rocket attacks and a car bomb whose destruction with a drone caused the death of ten civilians this Sunday, most of them children. Nothing makes the Taliban think that Daesh does not want to maintain that violent pressure even with the United States outside the complex, since the airfield is vital for the new Afghanistan to regain normalcy and relations with the international community. It is also critical to sustaining the flow of humanitarian aid.
“Our fighters and our special forces are capable of controlling the airport and we do not need the help of anyone to maintain security and administrative control,” said a spokesman for the movement, Bilal Karimi. The regime has rejected Turkey’s offer to cooperate militarily in the surveillance of the complex. Another thing is the question of the controllers, technicians and maintenance employees, of whom the Central Asian country is not in abundance, especially after a good part of them left during the allied evacuations. At the moment, the international civil aviation authority does not allow the activity – it considers the facilities inoperative – numerous airlines have avoided its airspace for days and the United States has just banned its commercial planes from flying over Afghan territory.
The airport, in bad shape
State Department spokesman Ned Price has stated that, from the point of view of the White House, the airport has already been handed over to the country. Other US officials acknowledge that it is in poor condition, to the point that it will be necessary to rehabilitate the two runways and build a new air control room in order to re-establish commercial flights. Many of the infrastructures have been destroyed before the US withdrawal and others have been looted in the interval between the take off of the last American plane and the takeover of the Taliban.
In the United States, the president is addressing the nation today to give an account of the definitive withdrawal. It will be a complex speech. The sense of defeat remains in the minds of much of his cabinet, perhaps more than in the rest of society, where there is an underlying lack of interest in foreign policy and what happens beyond the borders of the United States. Analysts believe that For this reason, his presidency is not in danger, even though Joe Biden has fallen in popularity. The president, in any case, has a ‘plan B’: his cabinet expects to be fully employed as of today in the positive news of his billionaire infrastructure plan and the reactivation that it may mean for Americans mired in the economic crisis derived from the coronavirus.
It is possible that what is most despite Biden right now is the criticism of some of his high military commanders for the disaster of the withdrawal, the anger of other nations, who question the current reliability of the ‘world policeman’, the disappointment of the soldiers who were seriously injured in Afghanistan and, above all, the deceased. Many families of the 2,500 soldiers killed during the invasion have publicly turned their backs on the president, who has also seen thirteen other soldiers die as a result of the jihadist attack last Thursday and an Afghan family of ten as a result of the attack by a US drone. against a car bomb on Sunday. The departure from Afghanistan has been the worst that Biden could imagine: hasty, desperate, with huge intelligence failures and fatalities. And all of this is now being used by the Conservative Party, which continues to remind him that the White House has left thousands of collaborators trapped in Afghanistan. Biden will build on the international community’s commitment to trying to remove all of those people through a continuing diplomatic effort to dilute some of the failure.