The return of the Talibans to power, twenty years after they had to take refuge in the mountains, is very bad news for those who started that absurd war in that part of the world. Especially for the United States, and for the current tenant of the White House, Joe Biden, who may not have been accurate enough in calibrating the cost of the American withdrawal, the flight to dissolution of the world's leading military power, seen in episodes that we have not experienced comparably since Vietnam and the feeling of defeat that it left in its wake.
All this is already part of the legacy and we can only wait and see what a burden it may end up being on his presidency. The US mainstream media that supported Biden - who remains in reclusion at his Camp David residence - since his presidential election last November, now look on with dismay and irritation at what they already consider a humiliating conclusion to the American experience in Afghanistan, echoing words written this Monday in The New York Times.
But above all, it is an absolute disaster for the Afghan people, in particular, for women and children. We shouldn't fool ourselves: the Taliban regime will sooner or later impose a regime of absolute terror that will end the democratic advances that have been gradually occurring, and women will suffer it in a very cruel way with the application of Sharia law in the Taliban's interpretation. A law which, they assert, is inspired by the Quran and the words and actions of Muhammad, and which is also the basis of the new penal code in Brunei, which punishes adultery and homosexuality with death by stoning and prohibits girls of 13 years and above from attending school.
The new Islamic emirate has seized power rapidly during these recent August days. Nothing remains of two decades of military operations by the forces of Western countries, and the flight of the country's president does nothing but confirm that the game is over. It remains to be seen what will happen with regard to the repatriation of foreigners who have been working in Afghanistan in recent years, what will be the fate of the Afghans who have acted as interpreters, and also, with respect to the mass exodus that will take place among the fearful population. The current chaos at Kabul airport is a bad augury for the way events could unfold.
In the midst of this dramatic situation, it is extraordinary to see the mixture of contempt and helplessness of the international community in the face of the total collapse of the regime. The world's passivity, silence and lack of proposals and solutions - not only to prevent what has already happened but to prevent an ongoing catastrophe of human rights violations. The international machinery of the UN, always slow, has begun to call meetings and make deliberations. But none of this will work unless there is energetic and coordinated action that prevents the repetition of images that we thought were from times past and that now seem capable of becoming everyday reality again.