WHETHER we like it or not, the media is about to move us on to the next level of information surrounding the deadly farce that is Afghanistan.

The Tory-facing press and TV will no doubt produce heart-wrenching scenes as the last planes depart. We’ll be shown the left-behind detritus, shoes, water bottles, official-looking papers abandoned like their owners, and obviously not sufficiently “official” to be of use. We will see lines of people leaving, and if they’re being harried, beaten by Taliban, all the better. OK, call me a cynic.

Will the PR shift in focus enable all those holidaying grandees to be let off the hook? Will we be reminded that Biden was stuck with a treaty entered into good faith by the two parties, USA and the Taliban, and either Biden carried it out or ripped it up? Now that would surely have suited Boris no doubt, with the USA losing its edge over the UK, Northern Ireland and the Brexit treaty. Will we forget that Biden negotiated a small timeline extension?

Among all the political factors taken into consideration, did no one notice it’s the end of summer there? Why would the Taliban consider another bitter winter holed up whilst the country was there for the taking right now?

Will anyone get an answer to the all-important question: why weren’t the UK’s contingency evacuation plans drawn up last year, all ready to go, implemented the minute the USA began their withdrawal process? Oh wait, what contingency planning? Westminster is now self-evidently incapable of handling more than one issue at a time – and that badly. Brexit, climate change, food shortages, pandemic.

There we have it. Boris having to grandstand at a G7 zooming whilst the real action was taking place in Kabul between CIA director William Burns and Mullah Baradar, head of the Taliban. The dynamics of power and leadership had evaporated from rUK’s shore long before now. This debacle reinforces that.

Sitting on the sidelines, what do we see? G7 nations demanding assurances of free passage, safeguarding human rights, especially minorities, and threatening economic, diplomatic and political sanctions.

Like withholding the Afghan government monies in foreign banks? We saw how that turned out when rUK sanctioned the return of monies to Iran. Or move on to withholding food stuff, humanitarian aid? Not a new tactic, rather well worn.

Such actions would doubtless see Russia and China step forward more openly than their involvement so far indicates. Put that side-by-side with Raab acknowledging in a BBC morning interview on Wednesday that he didn’t know what constituted the end of August and the end of activity at Kabul airport.

With the likes of him, his colleagues and the rUK Ggovernment supportive of the future Afghanistan, Afghans are right to be worried about succour from the West in whatever form it might eventually take.
Selma Rahman

I’ve often thought the so-called “Special Relationship” was a load of tosh.

At best it’s been the UK, hanging on to the shirt tails of the USA. And like lapdogs we follow them everywhere, hoping this would secure us some favour. And when we ask for a favour, zilch!

It should come as no surprise. The Empire has gone. We have lost influence in world affairs.

And of course we are now on our own because of Brexit, floundering under weak, inept Westminster government. Empty shelves in the supermarkets. Things can only get worse until we take control.
Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus