Fight them on the beaches

Dominic Raab, the British foreign secretary, gives new and shameful meaning to Winston Churchill’s rousing speech about fighting an enemy on the beaches.

While the Taliban were sweeping to victory in Afghanistan at the weekend, Raab was reportedly lounging on a sun-splashed beach on the Greek island of Crete.

The arrogant Raab – who is prone to lecture Russia and China over alleged misconduct – tried to make out he was being fully briefed by intelligence agencies on the unfolding chaos in Afghanistan, no doubt while he was topping up his piña coladas and sunscreen.

His boss, prime minister Boris Johnson, has also come under fire for being on holiday at a time when the British-backed regime in Afghanistan imploded.

Raab claims he, like many other world leaders, was caught by surprise with the rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban insurgents. Since the United States, Britain and other NATO members announced their military withdrawal from the Central Asian country several months ago, the Taliban have made dramatic gains culminating in the collapse of the Western-backed regime in Kabul on Sunday.

After 20 years of waging war in Afghanistan and hundreds of thousands of lives lost, the Americans and British are fleeing the country like rats of a sinking ship – and with the Taliban back in power.

This is an ignominious debacle of epic proportions. The virtuous and nauseating pretensions of the United States and Britain are laid bare for the criminal lies that they are. President Joe Biden and his British lackeys are trying to spin the fiasco as a failure by the Afghan security forces.

But even the dutiful US and British news media cannot conceal the hideous reality. After trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and public services slashed to pay for that, the reality is the Western military-industrial complexes made a rip-off fortune from weapons that are now in the hands of the supposed sworn enemy of the Taliban.

As CNN candidly editorialised: “The imagery from Afghanistan is deeply damaging to Biden politically and paints a disastrous picture of a nation that has long seen itself as a global leader and guardian of democracy, human rights and humanitarianism”.

Indeed the imagery is devastating for the hypocritical posturing by the US and Britain. Henceforth, those two culprit nations should never be able to lecture other nations about “rules-based order”, international law and human rights.

Desperate scenes of Afghans clinging on to US military cargo planes as they take off from Kabul airport – and subsequently falling to their deaths – speaks of the horrific, callous debacle for American imperialism. After two decades of destroying a country along with Britain and other NATO powers, in the end, it’s a heartless, cowardly, hurried retreat in which Afghans are abandoned to a miserable fate.

Comparisons are being made with the Fall of Saigon when the United States fled in a hurry from South Vietnam in 1975 at the end of a war in which millions of Vietnamese were killed by American carpet bombing and scorched-earth raids. Incredibly, Biden and his aides are in abject denial, saying there is no such comparison with Afghanistan.

Not only Vietnam but comparisons can also be made with many other nations that the US and its allies have destroyed over the decades with their military machinations only to be finally forced to quit in defeat. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and others.

Afghanistan is perhaps the clearest, most damning demonstration of the criminal conduct of US imperialism along with its lapdogs in NATO. The United States is a warmongering tyranny and scourge on the planet.

And complicit in the war crimes is the corporate news media. For 20 years, the Western mainstream media have whitewashed and laundered the ludicrous, cynical lies of the US government and accomplices about what they were doing in Afghanistan. Fighting terrorism? Nation-building? Supporting democracy? Sickening sycophancy is the only fit description for such media.

How absurd and grotesque that Western media spun such narratives in the face of all the evidence of criminal military occupation. The proof of that is the fiasco of American, British and NATO now scurrying away from their 20-year disaster.

And nothing is more fitting than Biden trying to blame Afghans for the mess and British politicians lounging on Greek island beaches.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Read other articles by Finian.