by Colin Campbell
NICOLA Sturgeon said of the situation in Afghanistan: “What is happening in Afghanistan is a tragedy. The Afghan people have been shamefully abandoned and the implications, for women and girls especially, are horrifying. There are no easy answers but the world can’t just turn away and leave them to their fate.”
Sturgeon’s helpless and hopeless few words were all she could have said. At least, for once, there was no claim or implication as to how it might have turned out differently if Scotland was independent. But expect consistent attacks from the SNP on the UK Government over their handling of an impossible situation totally outwith their control, and claims that they are hostile to the prospect of taking in Afghan refugees. In fact some within the SNP, never willing to scorn an opportunity, no matter how dreadful the humanitarian backdrop, have already started stoking up these claims.
And it was Sturgeon who set the tone as the nation’s leading Trump hater, making clear at every opportunity her outright contempt for the US president in a manner that demeaned her office.
And, as a leading Trump hater, it was Sturgeon who was desperate to see him replaced by a feeble old man showing obvious signs of senility, on countless occasions jumbling his words and often being unable to complete a coherent sentence.
According to a survey last November, 21 per cent of the UK population wanted to see Donald Trump re-elected, despite his various imperfections. Now we are reminded with appalling clarity why we took that view.
Trump, through pride, arrogance or vanity, would never have allowed the shameful debacle to develop as it has. The Taliban cave dwellers would never have been so bold and ferocious in their takeover of Afghanistan if they had been monitoring early morning tweets from the West Wing as to the hell that would rain down on them if they were.
Now we have the spectacle of panic, chaos and Americans and American troops literally fleeing Kabul and the country as they are chased out by men in robes with guns and beards. And this is unfolding on a minute by minute basis before our eyes. A month ago in a speech Joe Biden said this would never happen.
If Biden had sought to create the worst imaginable humiliation for America and the most terrifying outcome for the Afghan people he couldn’t have made a better job of it. When the Taliban black flag is raised over the US Embassy that’ll make quite a picture, in addition to all the other footage currently on round the clock display.
This utter disaster has come about because Biden is weak, senile and totally unfit for the presidency. “America runs away from murdering terrorists.” Not even the most strident Biden critic could have imagined he would be exposed as being so utterly incapable and incompetent so soon.
This has been compared to the fall of Saigon. I well remember the fall of Saigon. It dominated every BBC and ITN news bulletin.
Now, for better or for worse, we have much more sophisticated round the clock news coverage of the trauma and terror on the faces of Afghan people in dread of what awaits them in the days and weeks to come.
At least we were spared that back in 1975. Now it is all too vividly apparent.
And it makes for genuinely harrowing and heartbreaking viewing.