The international political and journalistic reaction to the Afghan conquest of the terrorist group Taliban is stunningly pusillanimous. What is perhaps worse is that social media companies have extended their protection to the marauders the way they have been bending over backwards to be in the good books of the Communist Party of China that couldn’t care less about them. This week, Twitter said it would not pull down the handles of members of the Taliban as the company management was assured the killers would not break the medium’s ‘rules’, which refer to the euphemistically named “community standards” that are notoriously used in the woke’s clampdown on patriotic people from the Republicans in the United States to Hindus in India. Seeing the lack of spine in the leaderships of big countries and the commentariat that invariably sees a benign social background of every slain terrorist, the Taliban floated a spokesman who made some right noises at a press conference, thereby making those who were already on their knees begin to crawl. In order to ensure there is no mismatch between the presser and actual action on the ground, the menacing men in turbans and beards distributed hijab among schoolgirls instead of murdering them but with an implicit stern message that their next venture outside homes will meet with dire consequences.
With this decumbent response, the world is inviting its end. And when the risk is imminent again, there will be no US forces or NATO to restore the old order, which not only the Joe Biden administration but even its predecessor had made clear, as the so-far strongest country in the world has now reduced to mere traders who see no more than money in its dealings with other nations. Twenty years since their wild goose chase to catch Osama bin Laden began, the US was worried its deployment of troops in Afghanistan was going to be another episode of 30 years in Vietnam. Of course, Uncle Sam has succeeded to build an El Dorado of democracy and free-market nowhere in the globe where it intervened, but its proclivity to act the international cop disturbs it time and again into action. That will but finish in a few decades when China overtakes it as the No. 1 economy. If the US is risk-averse at this point, it will be more unlikely it will be ready to bear the costs of faraway military pursuits when it is poorer.
That foreseeable era in the future will see two strange bedfellows — communists and Muslims — that cannot stand the sight of each other in their respective territories alright but that gang up to harass governments of other countries where neither rules. China has already captured a large part of the world financially. With the world watching the Taliban now with as much amusement as it had watched a moderate Turkey turning radical under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the part of humanity that China spares will offer the mujahideen a game with no contestants. India, meanwhile, is looking vulnerable, unable to speak its mind to warn the comity of nations. The tyranny of the tolerant can be so intolerant towards voices for self-preservation that the Narendra Modi government can only make politically correct statements openly while strategising behind closed doors. Let’s hope the current regime in India is doing that.