Despite the long-history, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is back-burner news, and most-likely won’t become front-and-center until the Taliban gain control of the country and slaughter thousands of Afghans, then only in passing. The situation of our retreating from, and out of Afghanistan is a shameful horror tale of an American fuck-up, carried out with a half-hearted plan that coasted for near-about 20 years.
The next few weeks — maybe even less — will be way-shitty as the Taliban will most-definitely take control of the country and then blood will flow. Pity-horror to those people who acted human the last two decades and will now suffer the consequences from the vile, vengeful Taliban.
Two noteworthy instances — the murder of Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui early last month, and the brutal torture-murder of TikTok comic, Nazar Mohammad, just last week; both reveal what’s in store for a shitload of Afghans.
And it’s just going to get worse:
Civilians are bearing the brunt as fighting enters #Afghanistan’s cities. At least 10 civilians killed, 85 wounded in #Lashkagah & at least 5 killed, 42 wounded in #Kandahar in last 3 days alone. Thousands displaced. Likely many more. Population living in fear. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/wps8KPyLQc
— UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) August 3, 2021
A sample of what’s happening via the BBC just a couple of hours ago:
“The Taliban will have no mercy on us and the government won’t stop the bombing.”
The resident of Lashkar Gah in southern Afghanistan is one of thousands trapped or fleeing for their lives as fighting for control of the city rages between militants and government forces.
The BBC is not naming some interviewees in this article for security reasons.
“There are corpses on the roads. We do not know if they are civilians or the Taliban,” the man told the BBC Afghan service in an interview on Whatsapp.
“Dozens of families have fled their homes and settled near the Helmand river.”
Other terrified locals told the BBC they had seen bodies lying in the streets.
Capturing the besieged Helmand provincial capital would be of huge symbolic value to the insurgents as they continue their rapid advance after the pullout of foreign forces. Helmand was the centrepiece of the US and British military campaign.
The United Nations and other agencies are warning of a worsening humanitarian crisis. At least 40 civilians have been killed in Lashkar Gah in the past day, the UN said on Tuesday.
The Afghan army urged civilians to leave Lashkar Gah ahead of a major offensive against the Taliban, the hardline Islamist group that was driven from power by US-led forces 20 years ago.
Elsewhere in the south, Taliban are trying to capture Kandahar, their former stronghold, and clashes have also intensified in Herat in the west.
Fighting has been continuing in Lashkar Gah for days, with the militants now reportedly in control of most districts.
“We are going through difficult days,” a student in the city told the BBC.
“The Taliban set fire to the ground and government air forces to the skies.”
Another man said on Sunday: “The Taliban can be seen on the city’s roads. The presence of the Taliban has astonished people here.
“Shops are closed, and government military vehicles are lying destroyed in the middle of the road. The war continues within a few metres of the governor’s office and the National Security Directorate.
“The central government said recently they had deployed new commandos to Lashkar Gah, but we didn’t see them.”
The militants generally warn people via loudspeaker to leave but sometimes they enter houses — locals have just minutes to flee or risk being caught in crossfire as their homes become part of the battlefield.
“The Taliban told us if we didn’t leave the house in half an hour, we would be counted among the police and Afghan forces,” said the student the BBC Afghan service spoke to.
And so forth, and so on — how a country folds after the US takes its leave. Vietnam anyone?
When I started this blog, Compatible Creatures, more than 14 years ago, war was the main topic with Iraq the way-front burner event, with Afghanistan not much more than a side issue.
The whole affair has been at that same level — except for the short, initial space prior to the shit at Tora Bora.
One story from thousands — interpreters who aided the US for several years are fucked:
What a terrible bit of American history…