After abysmal Democrat President Joe Biden practically single-handedly installed the Taliban in Afghanistan even though the United States fought them for 20 years for their complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, now America’s global rivals Russia and China are cozying up to the radical Islamists in seemingly alliances of convenience.
Moscow and Beijing have demonstrated positive and “constructive” attitudes towards the Taliban even though both Russia and China have tangible Muslim minorities and are technically opposed to radical Islamism.
China, whose foreign minister even welcomed Taliban leader Mollah Baradar back in June, as apparently Beijing had been aware what Biden’s idiotic policy in Afghanistan would result in, has signaled it may recognize officially the rule of the Taliban.
Thinly-veiled old-school scolding of America
Against that backdrop, on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin also welcomed the Taliban, and scolded America with thinly-veiled old-school criticism against outside powers imposing “outside values” of foreign countries – such as Afghanistan – as though freedom and democracy could be “outside values” to anyone other than authoritarian dictatorships.
Apart from his typical critique of America’s “irresponsible policy,” Putin did state that Russia’s interest didn’t really include too much dwelling on the results from the 20-year-long US military endeavor in Afghanistan.
Instead, he called on the global community to provide international aid for the people of Afghanistan so as to prevent the collapse of the country after the Taliban have reconquered it.
His comments, which came during a joint press conference in Moscow with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sought to focus on the “realities” on the ground in Afghanistan, namely, that Taliban now control almost the entire territory of the Central Asian country.
Putin emphasized that the international community “must proceed” precisely on the grounds of those realities in order to prevent “the collapse of the Afghan state.”
The terrorism question keeps looming large for Russia
Both Putin and Merkel confirmed their last meeting – as Merkel’s fourth and last government term is ending in September – focused a lot on the situation in Afghanistan.
While signaling acceptance of the Taliban, whose ideological predecessors, the Mujahedeen, the latter armed and backed by the United States, fought a bloody insurgency war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s, Putin also cautioned on the importance of preventing “terrorists” from going to Afghanistan’s neighbors, including by pretending to be “refugees.”
Even though the Taliban movement is banned in Russia as an “extremist” group, Putin has reached out to them in recent years, including by hosting Taliban representatives in Moscow a number of times, including last month.
As the US-backed Afghan government collapsed on Sunday and the Taliban took Kabul, the movement has embarked on a propaganda charm offensive, claiming to have changed tremendously from the murderous, die-hard radical Islamism of its pre-9/11 regime, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.
Mounting evidence, however, is demonstrating that this is hardly the case, and the despotic Islamists might be the same as they were 20 years when they gave a safe haven to the global terrorist network al-Qaeda.