Following the April 14, 2021 announcement by U.S. President Joe Biden that U.S. troops will begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan in May of this year and complete it by September, senior British-Palestinian journalist 'Abd Al-Bari 'Atwan, editor of the online daily Raialyoum.com, wrote that this is an official admission of defeat by the U.S. and a great victory for the Afghans, who adhered to the path of resistance. Comparing this to the American "flight" from Vietnam, 'Atwan predicted that, after the U.S. withdraws, the Taliban will reenter the capital Kabul and announce the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Biden's announcement, he added, marks the beginning of the "era of American defeat," which is also reflected in other developments: Biden's having to beg for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his withdrawal of U.S. warships from the Black Sea, and his extensive concessions to Iran in the Vienna talks despite the fact that Iranian missiles are targeting U.S. allies. 'Atwan called on the Arabs, and especially the Palestinians, to realize that resistance now comes at much lower cost than succumbing to the U.S.
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan (Source: Almayadeen.net, July 28, 2020)
The following are excerpts from his article:
"Recently, after 20 years of war in Afghanistan, U.S. President Joe Biden decided to raise a white flag of surrender, stained with the blood of over 2,400 troops who were killed and 21,000 who were wounded, and to withdraw all his forces – 3,500 troops – [from Afghanistan] by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. This was an official admission of defeat.
"This great achievement, no less important than the U.S. defeat in Vietnam, would never have come about were it not for the steadfastness of the Afghans and their ceaseless resistance against the American occupation, and without the support of their neighbors, especially Pakistan, which provided them with weapons and funds.
"The war in Afghanistan, which has been America's longest war and cost the American taxpayer over $2 trillion, reminds us of [America's] similar withdrawal – [or] flight – from South Vietnam, [after which] the Vietcong marched into the capital Saigon waving flags of victory. This scenario may very well repeat itself after the last NATO troops, including U.S. troops, leave [Afghanistan] in September, [and then] the Taliban will enter the capital Kabul and declare the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan…
"The most sincere sentence uttered by Biden in his [April 14] speech was 'I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.' However, he did not say that he understood what his predecessors failed to understand, [namely] that it is impossible to suppress the will of the peoples and continue occupying them by force using planes, missiles and mercenaries, while perpetrating massacres against innocent Afghans.
"The withdrawal of the NATO and U.S. forces [from Afghanistan], to be completed by September, will create a vacuum that will [likely] be filled by a deadly civil war. The government of President Ashraf Ghani will fight to stay in power, relying on 300,000 Afghan troops trained and armed by NATO in the last 20 years. But the war is not likely to last long, since the forces of the Taliban, which in practice control about 70% of the territory of Afghanistan, will enter Kabul – just as they did the first time, in the fall of 1996, when they marched into the capital and raised their flag over the presidential palace.
"In their negotiations with the Americans in Doha, the Taliban promised to protect human rights [in Afghanistan], especially the rights gained by women in the 20 years of American occupation, during which they became ministers, judges, journalists, [media] hosts and teachers. But when the last of the American soldiers leaves… promises will be one thing and their implementation will sadly be another. We hope the Taliban movement will keep its promises, for Islam [grants] women all these rights. [The Taliban] should take and an example from its neighbors, especially Pakistan.
"The American arrogance, which is applied only to the Islamic world, sustained a deadly blow in Afghanistan, which cast it to the ground. It sustained similar blows in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and is soon to sustain one in occupied Palestine [as well]. The American era is coming to an end in light of the great shift in the balance of power. The emergence of new global powers will knock Washington and its dollar off the throne of the world.
"Afghanistan and Yemen are two countries that invaders find easy to occupy but impossible to remain in, forcing them to withdraw in humiliating defeat. This is due not [only] to the difficult mountainous terrain of these countries, but to the steadfast character of their peoples, their intense determination to resist [occupation] and their strong pride. History books tell of the defeats suffered by the British and Ottoman empires amid the mountains and gorges of these countries. But sadly, some people do not learn the lessons of history…
"The U.S. defeated the Russians in Afghanistan by enlisting extremist Islam and the Muslim jihad fighters. It [thus] exacted revenge for its defeat in Vietnam and drove a large nail into the coffin of the Soviet empire. Now it is trying to repeat this scenario in China, but it will not succeed – not because the world has changed, but because the enemy has changed. [America's] old tools are rusty and have lost their effectiveness, and its oil reserves have dried up or are about to do so.
"We hope that the Arabs will [therefore] realize that the cost of resisting is much smaller than the cost of succumbing to America and its plots. These words [of mine] are directed at many, especially at Ramallah and Gaza.
"The age of American defeats has already begun. Look how Biden [needs to] beg for a meeting with Vladimir Putin. [Look how] he is withdrawing his warships from the Black Sea and offering Iran concessions it never dreamt of in the Vienna talks, while [Iranian] missiles are targeting his allies [i.e., the Gulf states and Israel] and their ships. And worse is yet to come, just wait and see."