The fall of Afghanistan and the resurgence of radical Islam

Sunday’s Taliban victory administered a jolt to complacent Americans. But many such jolts have been administered over the years, and after each one we retreat again into complacency.

Taliban fighters stand outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021. (CNS photo/Reuters)

As I write this, the news is full of reports that Kabul has fallen to the Taliban, that the president of Afghanistan has fled, and that the new government will be named the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, it’s being reported that the U.S. Embassy has been evacuated, but it’s not yet clear if embassy staff have been able to leave the country.

Up until yesterday, many in the Biden administration were saying that none of this would happen, or—if it did happen—it wouldn’t happen for a long time. But it’s happening right now. And the suddenness of the takeover should give us pause.

In the last two years there has been a cascade of sudden events for which few were prepared—violent riots in hundreds of American cities, a surging rise in crime, a worldwide pandemic, the contentious election of a president with a tenuous grasp on reality, a revival of racial tensions, and an invasion of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants across our southern border. Most stunning of all, the reins of the U.S. government are now in the hands of committed leftists.

From a historical perspective, all of this happened in the blink of an eye. And—at least for most Americans—almost all of it was unexpected.

The sudden and unexpected capitulation of the Afghanistan government should serve as a warning that more turbulent and dangerous times lie ahead. That’s not a difficult prediction to make. Our defeat in Afghanistan stems in many ways from the same “woke” illusions that have allowed lawlessness and moral chaos to grow and thrive in America.

Indeed, many of our miscalculations in Afghanistan seem to be based directly on the same kind of magical thinking that now plagues our schools, our city councils and even our military. In times of crisis, we rely on our military to keep a level head when dealing with an enemy like the Taliban. But it now appears that our military was one of the first institutions to succumb to “woke” doctrine—that is, to wishful thinking. Like the radical activists who called for defunding the police. radical generals enthusiastically supported programs which led to a moral disarmament of the troops.

Instead of building morale, unit cohesion and readiness, they undermined these qualities by introducing training in critical race theory, systematic racism, white bias, and LGBT pride. Of course, as common sense would suggest, such programs seemed guaranteed to increase divisions among troops: blacks against whites, straights against gays, Christians and conservatives against liberals and leftists. The Air Force’s big idea for boosting morale was to drag in drag queens to entertain the airmen. The people who sanctioned these bizarre training programs and entertainments were not lower-level staff, but the topmost of the top brass. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin presided at a “pride” event in the Pentagon, and, on another occasion, he announced that fighting climate change was the military’s top priority. On the other hand, General Mark Milley, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former commander of our troops in Afghanistan, seems to think that “white supremacy” is the greatest threat to our nation. Similar oddball positions have been taken by chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q, Brown Jr., and a host of other top-ranking officers.

With all of this social engineering on their minds it’s no wonder that the generals didn’t have much time left over to think about the threat from the Taliban. Moreover, the kind of indoctrination that our troops have been subject to not only undercuts unit cohesion and troop morale (suicides are at an all-time high), it also defeats the whole rationale for defending one’s country in the first place. If your country is presented to you as the most racist and bigoted nation in history, why should you risk your life fighting for it? If America is no better than the Taliban (or ISIS, or Al Qaeda) then what right do we have to intervene?

These “woke” myths have greatly inhibited the military’s effectiveness in Afghanistan and elsewhere. But the most dangerous illusion subscribed to by both the military and successive administrations has to do with Islam itself. It’s the illusion that Islam is a religion of peace. It’s the faith-based notion that Islamic culture and religion is not that different from our own: that devout Muslims want the same things that we want—liberty of conscience, tolerance for differing opinions, democracy, and the equality of men and women.

Anyone who is familiar with the Koran, the Hadith, sharia law, or the history of Islam, knows that the more devout a Muslim is, the less likely that he wants any of these things. Many of our policy makers, however, are not particularly religious people, and so they tend to underestimate the importance of religion in people’s lives. But the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and the like are deeply religious. They are not fighting simply for land, or for natural resources, but for Allah. The wars they fight are religious wars. And one of the main tenets of their religion is that the whole world must be subject to Allah. As Taliban commander Muhammed Arif Mustafa recently put it: “It is our belief that one day…Islamic law will come not just to Afghanistan, but all over the world…Jihad will not end until the last day.” For this reason, most of the carrot and stick incentives offered by America and its NATO allies simply don’t work—least of all Jen Psaki’s warning that the Taliban are in danger of losing favor with the “international community.”

The threat from Islam has been greatly underestimated because very few have really attempted to understand Islam, its warlord founder, and its warrior ethos. Even though generations of Americans have thrilled to James Bond movies featuring evil villains who seek global domination, they seem oblivious to the possibility that real-life ideologues really do seek global conquest. Yet, one of history’s clear lessons is that this is exactly what Islam wants.

One indication of the lack of perspective about Islam and its global ambitions is that the significance of 9/11 is fading from memory. Many of the “woke” generation were only toddlers at the time of the attacks, so they didn’t experience the sense of shock and fear felt by many Americans for years after the event. But, that fear has faded with the passage of time. Recently, many of the families of 9/11 victims have expressed outrage over media claims that the January 6th Capitol riot which resulted in one death was worse than the 9/11 attacks which left nearly 3,000 dead and launched wars.

Will there be another 9/11? Unfortunately, it’s hard to say otherwise. Because of our unwillingness to learn the lessons of that day, we seem destined to receive more harsh reminders. And because of the quick and decisive manner in which the Taliban retook Afghanistan, another attack seems all the more likely.

Indeed, it now seems likely that we will witness a powerful resurgence of Islamic jihad activity all over the world. The humiliating departure of the American forces from Afghanistan will be taken as a sign of Allah’s will by many Muslims throughout the world. Some of America’s allies will take it as a sign that they can no longer count on America, and some will elect to adopt a more neutral stance in the war against Islamic terror. Just as the Afghan army eventually capitulated to the Taliban, we can also expect that other people in other lands who are fighting jihadist will give up the struggle, and accept the harsh rule of sharia rather than take the chance of losing everything.

Here in the U.S. we must ask ourselves if we are really ready for another 9/11-type attack. For example, are the New York City Police prepared? They’ve been seriously demoralized by the failure of their leftist mayor to back them up. Meanwhile, a great many police have left the force or taken early retirement because of anti-police sentiment, rising crime rates, and the push to defund the police. Will they be on high alert or will they be preoccupied with defending themselves against verbal and physical assaults?

And even if American police stand firm, how about the rest of the world? As Osama bin Laden once observed, men naturally favor a strong horse over a weak one. And, increasingly, radical Islam appears to be the strong horse. Turkey, China, Pakistan and Iran have already indicated that they will recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. And they all stand ready to supply arms and money to the Taliban. Meanwhile, the Taliban has acquired arms of its own—American rifles, artillery, Humvees, drones, and helicopters abandoned by the fleeing Afghan army. In addition, they have released about 5,000 battle-hardened Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners from Bagram Air Base. Inspired by their imams and by the Koran these fighters are unlikely to opt for a quiet retirement in the country.

For many Muslims—especially young Muslims—the victory will provide an inspiration to join the local jihad, and recruitments will likely soar. The fresh blood could possibly tip the balance in many contested areas claimed by Islamists—for example, in parts of Africa, the Philippines, and India.

India, of course, has nuclear weapons—quite a lot of them. And this brings up another frightening possibility. In defeating the Afghan army, the Taliban acquired a considerable number of high-powered weapons. Could other Islamic forces acquire nuclear weapons from capitulating governments in other parts of the world? India is one possibility, but it would put up a hard fight. India has a long memory of past Islamic conquests, and it will not surrender easily.

But much of Europe is another story. There are signs that its people are losing the will to resist. Europe has an aging population, and in recent years it has shown a propensity for appeasing Islam. Meanwhile, the Muslim population of Europe continues to grow and it is a much younger population. In other words, a great many of Europe’s Muslims are of fighting age.

Both France and England have nuclear weapons and advanced delivery systems, but obviously such weapons were never intended for the kind of situation that now faces the French and the British. But it is conceivable that these weapons could fall under Islamic control should either country succumb to Islamization. Both countries have experienced more jihad attacks—some with massive casualties—than America. And some, such as French author Michel Houellebecq, believe that France is ready to submit.

And even if Europe remained steadfast, how about the U.S itself? As I mentioned above, America’s generals have very strange ideas about what it is they are supposed to do. If America’s military leaders are stupid enough to fall for critical race theory, the threat of a white supremacist coup, the merits of neo-Marxism, and the crucial role that drag queens play in boosting morale, they’ll fall for anything.

One indication that this is so, is that the Pentagon recently appointed six Muslim radicals (one third of the total) to the newly established “Countering Extremism Working Group.” The group has been given the task of rooting out extremists (i.e., conservatives, Christians, and patriots) from the ranks of the military. So, extremist Muslims will be employed to purge the Army of its most loyal and patriotic soldiers. It’s a classic case of letting the fox guard the hen house. And it’s happening despite the fact that on several occasions, extremist Muslims have infiltrated U. S. Army bases with deadly effect.

When he was campaigning for President, Joe Biden promised to appoint Muslims to federal government positions “at every level.” But it looks as though Muslims are already serving at every level of federal and state government. Some of them are undoubtedly serving loyally, but some of them may be serving other interests. In his 2015 book, Catastrophic Failure, security analyst Major Stephen Coughlin spoke of significant infiltration of the Pentagon by the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2016, Philip Haney wrote of a similar penetration of the Department of Homeland Security in his book See Something, Say Nothing. In 2020, in the midst of writing a sequel to the book, Haney was found dead of a gun shot wound on the side of a road. It’s not just a phobia that keeps people from saying what they see. In many cases it’s a real fear that what probably happened to Haney could happen to them.

It’s only recently that Americans woke up to the fact that the Chinese communists have for years been exercising considerable influence over universities, corporations, and individuals in high government positions. Will we wake up someday to find out that radical Islamists have been conducting similar influence operations throughout American society?

But the curious thing is that such influence operations are hardly necessary. That’s because a majority in the academic, media, and political establishments long ago sold themselves on the myth that the real Islam is peaceful, tolerant, and essentially moderate. Moreover, they have made every effort to cancel and silence those who won’t go along with the myth—the people they dismiss as “Islamophobes.”

This morning, one of the headlines on the bottom of my TV screen read: “Officials: Taliban took over faster than expected.” A great many things are now happening faster than expected. And it’s likely that the influence of China and Islam over the rest of the world will continue to grow faster than expected.

But you’re not supposed to notice. Sunday’s Taliban victory administered a jolt to complacent Americans. But many such jolts have been administered over the years, and after each one we retreat again into complacency. Most Americas are still less afraid of Islam than they are of offending against the ideology of wokeness—less afraid of Islam than they are of being thought “Islamophobic.”

What we need to fear, however, is not “Islamophobia” but the comeback of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Isis, and the alliance of all three with China, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and numerous other powers that seek our defeat.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About William Kilpatrick 81 Articles
William Kilpatrick is the author of several books on religion and culture including Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West (Ignatius Press) and What Catholics Need to Know About Islam (Sophia Institute Press). For more on his work and writings, visit his Turning Point Project website.


    • Aha. More of America’s chickens coming home to roost, eh, Christopher?


      I’m thinking my comments below may apply to you.

      • There is a quick and a long answer. As it’s late in the evening I’ll go for now with a quick answer. To address the intentions of Islamic Jihadists as a foundational element it is essential to have a realistic appraisal and knowledge of what those Intentions are. It is overly simplistic to view their intentions as a holy war Islam against Christianity. US Catholics also have to make the destination that the US Govt does not represent Christianity. ( Although i acknowledge that Christianity is the foundation of western development )
        There seems not to be a genuine search for truth in many of these articles written and this includes the article by Mr Kilpatrick. The standard of genuine enquiry and analysis based on a breadth of information pertaining the the subject written about is somewhat deficient to put it mildly.
        Then there is the history of US Covert operations in the Middle east. There is a saying “If you poke the hornets nest you are more likely to get stung”
        In his talk given at the Watson Institute for International Affairs, former CIA officer Joseph Wippl stateted it was his view that “the US reaction to the events of 9/11 were way way overdrawn and something like that happens, I think what you’ve got to try and do is hurt them more than you hurt yourself, and I think on a multitude of levels we hurt ourselves more than them. This is at 37:00 into this video:
        [Joseph Wippl is Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University. Wippl is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer. He spent a 30 year career as an operations officer in the National Clandestine Service (NCS).]

        The ignorance of the American public and often the prejudice displayed is of a concern, using the word prejudice to mean to pre judge without comprehensive understanding. Intellectual rigour is often absent included on these coment sections. So for contributions here on these pages, the situation begs the question, do the influencers here want their readership to remain in ignorance? Is there a genuine search for the truth?

        Like an onion, the situation of American involvement in Afganistan has many layers.

        Let me illustrate with a subject close to my heart, Civilian Casualties and CIA use of paramilitary militias, ongoing from before the US invasion ritht through the 20 years since 9/11.

        A paper from Watson Institute International and Public Affairs Brown University, it goes into some detail of the ongoing CIA operations utilising what is known as the CIA’s army within Afganistan. Armed with the knowledge contained in this report it becomes understandable that US withdrawal of Military involvement is more than likely to be a messy affair.

        • So to add, The USA should have targeted it’s response to those directly responsible for the attack of 9/11, al Qaeda and the Saudi involved. This would be an acceptable and prudent response applying natural and logical consequence displaying a fairness that would maintain a position of moral credibility for the USA. This moral standing would have and should be your greatest asset as a nation and would be more in keeping with the Christian foundations the nation is built upon. However this very asset has been severely eroded. The moral leadership within the USA should be calling the nation to regain its moral standing. THAT WOULD BE LEADERSHIP

          • For those who are not inclined to read the linked document here is an introduction that will inform you of the context of my post:
            The CIA’s “Army”:
            A Threat to Human Rights and an Obstacle to Peace in Afghanistan

            Astri Suhrke1 and Antonio De Lauri2
            Chr. Michelsen Institute
            August 21, 2019

            Afghan paramilitary forces working with the United States Central Intelligence
            Agency (CIA) have long been a staple in the US war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the
            border region with Pakistan. The problems associated with these militias take on new
            significance given the recent momentum in talks between the US government and the
            Taliban about the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. Whose interests do the
            militias represent? How can they be integrated into a peace agreement – if at all? Will
            their use value for the US in future counterterrorist operations outweigh the case for
            closing them down in the service of human rights and a sustainable peace? The militias
            are at least nominally controlled by their CIA paymaster, but to what extent will the
            operations of the CIA be monitored and streamlined with overall US policy towards
            The CIA-supported militias are a particularly troublesome version of the
            regionally based militias in Afghanistan that have developed over the years around local
            strongmen with external support. The present units originate in the 2001 invasion,
            when US military forces and the CIA organized Afghan militias to fight Islamist militants.
            Almost two decades later, the CIA is still running local militias in operations against the
            Taliban and other Islamist militants. Throughout, the militias reportedly have
            committed serious human rights abuses, including numerous extrajudicial killings of
            civilians. CIA sponsorship ensures that their operations are clouded in secrecy. There is
            virtually no public oversight of their activities or accountability for grave human rights
            abuses. End Quote]

            It was noted by Joseph Meynier
            AUGUST 18, 2021 AT 6:52 AM in one of the last comments further down this discussion that and I quote “The fighter on the right in the accompanying photo is clearly carrying a more recent configuration of the M16. It is very likely that this rifle is part of the weaponry supplied by the CIA and the fighter may well have been a member of what is referred to in the article as the CIA’s Army.
            So I would be of the opinion that is a very complicated convoluted situation that the article by Mr Kilpatrick has no real chance of untangling.
            What is the articles purpose?

        • Thanks, Christopher I wasn’t sure how to take your comment to which I initially responded. Comboxes are unfortunately not the space in which to conduct serious, nuanced discussions, as I think you’d agree. I would note, however, that I think the author of this piece is very well-informed about Islam and the jihadist element which drives the Taliban.

          May I offer one bibliographic reference of my own? If you haven’t already, please have a look at Sword and Scimitar, by Raymond Ibrahim, who writes from the vantage point of an Egyptian Arab Christian who grew up in an overwhelmingly Islamic society and culture, and whose native language is Arabic. You might also consider !!!Questions in Islam, by Samir Khalil Samir, SJ. He’s also an Egyptian native and Christian, and a Jesuit priest who knows Islam from the “inside,” so to speak.

          And if you’d like to continue the discussion elsewhere, please feel free to contact me at I’d be happy to hear from you and continue. All the best, and I’ll see you in future comments here at CWR.

          • Thanks Glen, I will look up those books and perhaps get in touch. I do need input that is from the broad spectrum of informed sources. My 2nd language at school and uni was Indonesian and I am aware of that nations previous Hindu / Animist heritage and with the invasion / spread of Islam the remnant defendants of those previous Hindu courts and kingdoms, particularly the Javanese constitute the majority population of Bali. This reality explains a lot about the Island and the artisan population.
            The concern with the decline of Christianity in the West, is a very legitimate concern. The nature of the committed Christian’s response is our challenge at hand. My greatest concern is that the vast numbers of those who reject Jesus and the Christian way of life reject a false impression of who Jesus because of the false witness, that of a Jesus who anoints US war efforts. This false witness is endemic. The character of the Lord is assassinated by the public display Idolatry by various Christian voices who preach a Jesus who is of this world. Paradoxically there is so much good work in the Churches as well and devout witness to the truth and character of Jesus, much of it unseen un heard and not acknowledged. I will back off from these pages soon for some time of reflection. The computer’s keyboard is wearing out!

          • Oops – the title of the second book should read: 111 Questions About Islam. Typing is alas not one of my outstanding skills!

  1. I expect that the United States is in for another 9/11. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another.

    They will keep coming in thick and fast, until Americans heed Osama bin Laden’s invitation: “The first thing we are calling you to is Islam.”

    Once the United States has fallen to Islam, then we can expect the US Armed Forces to execute their drag queens and re-masculinize themselves. Then jihad will come to China.

    • On Ed Feser’s blog, in discussion of Francis’ TC Motu, a poster called “The Deuce” said this:

      “The Deuce July 18, 2021 at 9:34 PM
      I think the issue is, while the Catholic Church has had previous bad popes, Francis is the first bad pope she has had with the West being in a post-Christian age. And Francis’ bizarre actions are driven by the fact that he essentially subscribes to the ideology of the West’s post-Christian secular elite (a mix of modern and post-modern secularism), and seeks to attenuate or even stamp out orthodox Catholic belief.

      For a really comprehensive precedent to the current situation, I think you need to go back to before the instantiation of the Papacy to the time of ancient Israel, and specifically to those times when both the Israelite people and the priesthood had fallen into the pagan idolatry of the nations around them, and were persecuting the faithful remnant.

      And if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, it looks to me that God is likely fixing to resolve this situation the same way He resolved it then: By subjecting the West and the Church of the West to societal collapse, conquest, and/or subjugation which only the faithful can withstand.”


  2. I have been readying your articles for years and have no doubt you are right from a human point of view. Obviously, the people of the US voted for this demonically inspired regime, and some kind of divine punishment seems at hand. You can’t murder over 60 million babies, desecrate the sacrament of holy matrimony, celebrate homosexuality and fornication, and think there are no divine consequences. God permits horrible evils, as any historian of the 20th century knows (I have PhD in modern European history.) I see the same kind of totalitarian direction in the radical secularist who rule are nation. As always, care for the salvation of our souls and those around us, must be a primary motivation. And telling it like it is, which you do.

    • Russel;
      You make some very good points, but then I get to the end where you say “the radical secularist who rule are nation” and my (few remaining) teeth grind against each other.

      I am admittedly very finicky and fussy about these things, but – gimme a break.

    • Hi Russell,
      Please see my earlier post, a quote from Ed Feser’s blog, about historical precedent for our current situation. Agree?

      • I read it and I do agree. The analogy with the consequences of Israel embracing idolatry and own situation is apt. The history of 14th century Europe is apt: black black, the little ice age, horrific weather, starvation from poor harvests, and the the consequences of the Avignon Papacy, and the down hill slide to the Protestant Revolution. etc. etc.

  3. THANK YOU, Mr. Kilpatrick!
    The hope would be that there are still those in our world who are able to recognize these problems and will do the right things necessary to counteract them. Mary, seat of wisdom, pray for us!

  4. From my perspective there are many reasons for this. Let’s start with the main stream media which is decidely left wing and essentially not truthful. They push a left wing agenda and sad to say way too many Americans believe it. Next on my list is the Democratic party. It is now owned completely by leftist. Then there is is the entertainment media (TV, Movies etc) that is essentially a left wing cult. Another big culprit is the education system that pushes a left wing agenda. With all the above it is easy to see that this drift in America was bound to happen.

    The Generals and upper echelons of government just follow along. They have no moral anchor, so they just go with the flow.

    Regarding Afghanistan we should have never tried the nation building. It should have been simple kill as many of the bad guys we can and get out. We cannot civilize the people. Muslim is an evil religion that is embedded in Afghanistan to think we could change this is the height of stupidity. By the way, 9/11 was not caused by them. The 9/11 terrorists were Saudi’s, including Ben Laden, something that is rarely mentioned.

    Finally let’s look at the Church’s role in all this. The Church has looked the other way on abortion. Does one really think that God is just going to let the atrocity of abortion go on without punishment, in one way or another. By looking the other way, not making a vigorous stand against it, the result is not just the killing of millions of babies but a very deep moral slide of the country. Who knows where this will end. So we can look at Afghanistan as an American failure caused by a variety of factors, but in my opinion 9/11, Afghanistan and moral decay of America is God’s punishment for the Church and America just not caring about the wholesale killing of babies through abortion. One note, I realize the many in the Church put up a good fight on abortion, but as an institution way too many in the upper echelons do essentially nothing.

    • Suppose the US-backed regime had decriminalized abortion and established abortion for Afghan women.

      The Taliban would have hanged every abortionist from a bridge by his entrails.

      Muslims are opposed to abortion.

  5. The article made a lot of sense. However, it missed something that is obvious because it is so obvious. The Taliban, and Islam in general, represent a masculine, patriarchical society. Such societies are dynamic and grow. Feminized societies must defer to them. That includes the US and Europe, where feminism in all its variations prevails, where even the men are feminized.

  6. Mr. Kilpatrick’s — and others’ — long-standing warnings about the dangers posed by radical Islam are in the process of being borne out.

    Afghanistan is a tipping point, one so momentous that it may place us beyond recovery.

    For decades, electing America-hating Democrats to national offices has been akin to a national suicide attempt. Now, it is safe to say, we can see our nation bleeding out.

  7. Back in 2007 I was intrigued by Pope Benedict’s Regensburg Address, where he critiqued both Islamic fideism and Western rationalism (now gone septic as wokeness). Not much later a prominent Western intellectual, and then head of a respected institute was stunned when I suggested to him that the Secularist-Islamicist confrontation might not be solved for 1,000 years, rather than a few election cycles (look at the relatively minor divide within Christianity dating back to A.D. 1054 and before).

    Ended up, as a non-specialist, writing my own book (published in 2012 by University Press of America). The message is in the subtitle: “A Triangular Inquiry into the Mosque, the Manger & Modernity,” 100 pages of footnotes).

    Here’s the link to a CWR author interview which resonates with Kilpatrick’s analysis:

    • As an afterthought, maybe the whole thing just semantic! After all, on the DOMESTIC side we’ve redefined sodomy as marriage, redefined homocide as physician-assisted suicide, redefined human sexuality as Home-Depot plumbing (choose your aisle!), and redefined late term-abortion/infanticide as just another health-care procedure and Pelosi’s “sacred ground.”

      So, on the INTERNATIONAL stage, after Obama purged the military of all high brass who didn’t think the military was just another social experiment, now we have Biden with another witless experiment. No plan for disengagement. Not a clue. Instead of hope-for-the-best/plan-for-the-worst, we have no hope and no plan. Just leave a power vacuum as under Obama after the successful Surge in Iraq, an abrupt departure which set the table for an Islamic Caliphate (ISIS). Déjà vu is the same thing all over again.

      So, why not simply redefine the Afghanistan catastrophe and betrayal as just another, you know, procedure? Schumer and temple-priestess Pelosi can surely find the right words (I mean the Left words).

      • I believe the “ Guardians of Inclusive Capitalism and Vatican “ are managing our decline via division and demoralization. They have conceded China a pre-eminent role and Islam is but a useful tool ( i.e. slaughter of Uyghur’s ). The real winner is Satan because lies, destruction, slavery, and death are his gifts to mankind.

  8. The “Religion of Peace” strikes again. And once more women and minorities (ethnic and religious) are the biggest victims.

    • I read that China is reaching out to the Taliban. I wonder whether the Taliban will care about what China is doing to the Uyghurs. Probably not, because China has money.

  9. A brilliant article with expounding truth. The moral decay in our country, and the world, is being played out everywhere and everyday. God is punishing us for this. Leaders need the moral strength to stand up, and combat this evilness. But I don’t see that happening. Complacency and acceptance of immorality dominates too often. That allows the Devil to step in and influence many events occurring today.

    • You don’t think we’d have the same sort of outcome if Pres. Trump had withdrawn troops from Afghanistan? I voted for Mr. Trump twice but I don’t think any Western nation was going to come out the winner in Afghanistan. It just doesn’t seem to work out no matter who tries that.

      • Nrscracker, I see your point. But I think there would have been a better rollout with Trump at the helm. This has Biden’s willy-nilly persona written all over it. And the world is watching. Especially China.

        • I too would have hoped for a little better rollout if Pres. Trump had been in charge but I expect we’d still see chaos.
          And we wouldn’t have seen a rainbow flag flying at our embassy in Kabul either. I wonder how that will go down in the future with the Taliban in charge?
          You don’t have to wonder too hard why Afghans turn away from the West when they see that sort of thing as our priority.

  10. I don’t know. I wonder if it less about embracing radical Islam or more about Afghans rejecting the values & interference of the West? If we didn’t mess about in Afghanistan & other regions would we have the same troubles? I just don’t know. Has any Western interest ever succeeded in making lasting change in Afghanistan historically?

    • Considering that the US Embassy in Kabul flew a rainbow flag during “Pride” month, I can quite understand any Afghans being disgusted and offended. But the Taliban are offended by anything and everything, and if some Afghans (like all the women who have been able to get an education and live normal lives) decided to support them because of that disgust, I think they’re foolish, and in for a rough time.

      • I think Afghans are more rejecting Western intervention than embracing radical Islam. And something like half of Afghans are illiterate. 75% are rural. Many are tribes people. I think what we see as radical Islam they just see as tradition. For better or worse.
        I agree they’re going to have a rough time but it’s been rough there in general historically. I wish the best for them.

  11. A loss and waste of 20 years, 2 trillion dollars, 2,500 American lives, for no meaning at all. Time to rethink and stop our American preferred way and ideology of perpetual wars just to keep alive the military-industrial complex or the war industry.

  12. I don’t think for a minute Biden made a mistake. i think those behind the powers wanted this to happen. He just does as he is told. Europe is going to be diluted further. Christianity is their true enemy.

    • I’ve felt the same thing. This is a get-Biden-out-office-plan that global elites are orchestrating. Lord, have mercy on the fools we continue to be.

  13. I hope the author’s followers consider this speech by Ron Paul from 2011.

    Neoconservatives were wrong in 2011, and they are wrong in 2021. They, like the leftists, will always be wrong because they cannot let go of their own (older) woke illusions of nation-building and democracy-making. It seems entirely plausible that morale in ground units has been low due to leftist indoctrination, but the whole operation from big to small decisions has been based on the magical thinking of nation-building and democracy-making. This, of course, excludes any alternative hypothesis that experts aren’t supposed to mention. I wonder, how many recruits to international terrorist organizations have we created inadvertently? Our own nation has been fragmenting for decades, and our democracy has been hijacked. Despite our best efforts, Afghanistan remains the same.

  14. The blood is on the hands of those who voted for Biden and others of his incompetent and polarizing ilk. When innocent people are slaughtered after we leave, when women and young girls are raped and then oppressed into near slavery, when the Russians/ Chinese take over influence in this oil rich area with devastating effect here and with heightened possibilities of another world war, I hope the Biden voter’s eyes will finally be opened. It would have been possible for a REAL effective leader, like Donald Trump, to withdraw our troops without major casualties and without disgrace. Becase a leader like that would have a PLAN. It is true we cannot protect another nation forever if they refuse to fight for themselves. I am dubious that is even our role. But once there we have an obligation, when departing, to the people there who helped us. I dont see this as a realistic possibility now, unless Biden wakes up fast. Islam is not a peaceful religion and I hope the leftists, spineless independents, and brainless white suburban women who put Biden into office will enjoy the eyeful of bloody violence, brutality and death that will be happening shortly. All of this needless death in order for the left to eliminate Trump. Because “mean tweets” are so much worse to have to tolerate than the murder of thousands. It is also past the time for the US to believe we can fight wars by neat rules and hopefully not actually killing anyone. General William Tecumsah Sherman had it right. Burn everything down and kill as many of the enemy that you possibly can. Then leave. Let the enemy spend the next 30 years rebuilding their own roads, schools and waterworks systems on their own dime. Make the enemy fear you. ALWAYS. Those who believe our army is weak because of what they are now viewing is making a huge mistake. It is temporarily lacking a military leadership and a President with guts to direct it. Count on that to chance in the next Presidential election. Failure to do so will be inviting our enemies to feed on our national carcass for the price of our own political pandering to the immoral left.

  15. My son worked as a military intelligence officer directly under Gen. Miller at Bagram Air Base. He described the entire click of senior military officers in Afghanistan as West Point indoctrinated, woke liberal fools. When I retired from the military in 2010, we were already seeing a rising tide of mediocrity in the senior ranks. It is now a deluge. And don’t think the Chinese are not taking careful notes. They have already bribed half our politicians, and they are doing the same with our military. Tragically, the Taiwanese will soon pay the price.

    • I don’t think we have warriors in command of the armed forces anymore, just obsequious careerist administrators who, to paraphrase HMS Pinafore, “stay close to their desks and never go to sea.” And if the Commander-in-Chief is a woke fool, well, so are they.

      • Hello Mrs. Cracker–spot on. Taiwan hasn’t a chance. Frankly, none of us do here in this world. I pray we take what comes with wisdom, fortitude, temperance, and perseverance. Good to ‘see’ you again.

    • Hello Prof Williams. I concur on all your points. Have missed the conversations at Crisis. I’m finding a few familiar names here.

  16. We can hope and pray that the events could be seen as the mercy in The Divine Will – on the Feast Day of Assumption too , from the desire of the ‘brotherhood ‘ to be free from enmity as fratricides , that the years of efforts from U . S. , in the noble intent to help the country to be a place of the awareness of that brotherhood of humanity as a whole , in His Holy Will has not been wasted , that the hardships of the military involvement is no longer needed , that the country can use the resources for better uses at home ..

    Islam ‘s often misguided focus on desiring to live in God’s Will – that can be marvelously fulfilled ( only ) in the Divine Will revelations thus become the persons who can even be the missionaries to the adjacent lands that also suffer from the effects of the rebellion in the self will ..

    Nothing is impossible for God – our Mother as Queen of Peace and of the Divine Will as well as Angel Gabriel would want us to recall same often enough , as the Breath of the Holy Spirit , in this year that is dedicated to much that is good in The Church .

    • JPG, So the USA is Gods Army? ….following a divine mission in the noble intent to help Afghanistan to come to the awareness of brotherhood of humanity as a whole , in His Holy Will? And you think loaded guns, rockets fired from drones that often mistake their targets etc etc will achieve Gods will in this respect? How thoroughly deceived you must have become and by who’s words of wisdom you follow.
      This point of view in the numerous layers of expression that it is enunciated is one of the major reasons the Taliban and other radical Muslims would harbour hate towards the USA. This to my way of thinking, is an expression of the antithesis of the Gospel message of Jesus. Would that they hated USA because you followed the teaching of Jesus, to know that he turned the world of man upside down in revealing the true power of God, the true power of undeserved grace, forgiveness and reconciliation. As did St Francis of Assisi in his approach to Malek al-Kamil, some measure of respect you might earn. Foolish is the man or woman who trusts in the gun to do the work of the Lord Jesus Christ! Where is the voice of your Bishops and Cardinals calling you to heed the message of Jesus? Where are those who are calling for a renewal of your mind? A transformation of your thinking that supersedes the ways of this world? When I was a child I thought like a child. Now that I’m a man I strive to think like Jesus.

      • JPG, I owe you an explanation and an apology. In my response above;AUGUST 17, 2021 AT 5:01 PM, I have used your comment as a springboard for my own thoughts on the subject. I feel the need to not direct my comment to you personally but rather to a broad non personalised application.
        We are complicated creatures of God’s Creation and all labour under the weight the human condition and the Grace of our Lord Jesus has taken that weight upon himself.
        It will often be the case that I will find in others the sin hidden in myself
        It may have a different form of outward expression and work it’s way in a different expression
        But it will be there in me.
        I am sorry for my sin acknowledging also that of which I am not even aware of that I’m sure is there
        In repentance I look to The Holy Spirit for conviction and to Jesus in thought Word and prayer.
        And I look to the other who sees the world from a differing perspective than I
        This is sacred territory often of a confidential nature, to be shared only with those who have earned trust.
        Your Brother in the Body of Christ

          • Thank you , apologies from my side too , for the inexactness in the sentence structuring and the related misunderstandings .
            May His Grace be ever the refuge for us all , as you too point out .
            God bless !

      • Bless you for the zeal and ( ? righteous ) fire , in wanting to see perfection in our actions and intents , including from the Govts and armies ..
        agree, in an ideal world , power of prayer and all the holiness that comes with same would have been more than enough … in the Fallen world , armies under power of imperfect men , the greed mixed in there in arms running – as the Holy Father reminds us with an aching heart – all such areas too the realities – yet , there is the Military Chaplaincy , thus the good such as the Holy Mass offered in a land that otherwise would have had very few places for same ; the intent too AFIK , of the U.S . Govt .as well as of those who served would have been to a great extent , to help bring deeper trust in ways of peaceful coexistence , thus to also help remove the incentives , from long standing
        ? generational spirits as well , for violence alone as the means … such an intent , a fruit of the Christian heritage of this land .. and we can thank The Lord for same , along with those men in service and their families who chose to do what they were told to do ..

        Our perseverance in efforts to help bring the peace , in hope and trust in The Lord – to bless the land and families here as well ..
        Shalom ! 🙂

        • The generosity of your response is deeply appreciated JPG. You have mentioned with respect to generational spirits and the principalities and powers that there is prayer available to us as believers in the authority of Jesus who is our covering. There is prayer that I have been taught that is and has been of great assistance on a personal level. I know from your written response above that you are aware and equipped for this type of prayer and thank you for your example and encouragement to engage in prayer of this kind.
          The authority is Jesus. This is with respect to St Pauls Letter to the Ephesians Ch 6:12

          “For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens.”
          [Bíblia Católica Online]
          Thank you again

  17. Often It’s in how we read
    The Word
    that we find what WE seek
    be it the Gospel of the rich
    or that of the meek
    that we will choose to follow
    in the company we keep
    in how we earn our riches
    and in the sort of bed we sleep
    and how we rule the world
    while other nations weep
    at all the damage wrought
    by the military machines
    that they have brought
    paid for by our taxes
    to pave a foreign shore
    in the blood of the innocent
    women men and children
    who will breathe no more
    because we saw it as our duty
    to save them from themselves
    and democracy restore
    all the while our hidden agenda
    was that we simply wanted more
    and more and more and more

    C hallam.

  18. I don’t think we have warriors in command of the armed forces anymore, just obsequious careerist administrators who, to paraphrase HMS Pinafore, “stay close to their desks and never go to sea.” And if the Commander-in-Chief is a woke fool, well, so are they.

  19. An excellent analysis, Mr. Kilpatrick.

    And I suspect, Cardinals Cupich, Tobin and Gregory along with many US bishops are still proud that they shilled for Biden. Have any of them condemned the Biden administration for this humanitarian nightmare? They sure were outraged whenever Trump posted an untoward tweet. No, for them Biden is “the man of character,” a “devout Catholic,” someone they “can speak with.” Are they going to celebrate a Mass at the border of Afghanistan to protest, like they did at the Mexican border to protest Trump? Where are the publicity stunts now, bishops, as you fold to the insanity of wokeness and democrat progressivism? Behold, the fruit of your labors.

    • Masterful comment, John.

      Afghanistan is destined to become *yet another* holocaust visited upon the world by the Democratic Party. In this case, due to the Demmies’ habit of sympathizing with and appeasing the enemies of America.

      Never forget that it was Democratic President Smilin’ Jimmy Carter who in 1979 ignored the warnings of the Shah of Iran and allowed the bloody Ayatollah Khomeini to return from his exile in Paris to take over Iran, thus unleashing the present tide of jihadist slaughters on the world.

      Democratic presidencies: The gifts that keep on giving (to America’s enemies, that is.)

  20. What exactly are we supposed to do other than pray and trust in the Holy Spirit? Man may be in charge of politics but God is in charge of history. If the days of Noah are now upon us – isn’t that a good thing?

  21. Fr. Longenecker tweet – “Underlying the Afghanistan debacle is the inability of secular Western powers to understand that anyone might take their religion seriously”. Aug. 17
    Gavin Ashendon – If you don’t choose Jesus, you will get Mohammed”, i.e.wishy washy (nice, if you wish) secularism is not an option.

  22. The author is totally wrong about wokeness being the cause of the Afghan meltdown. He is simply taking this bad development to pin the blame on the military. But wokeness was not the cause. The military is just starting to get woke, and if Kirkpatrick thinks it is already very woke, then he must believe that Donald Trump allowed the military to be hollowed out on his watch, and did nothing to stop it.
    No, the cause is Joe Biden, who in recent weeks, refused to replenish needed stores for the Afghan Army. Biden wanted to bug out, hastily, and he has done it. He doesn’t care if we are embarassed or if people die. Biden is totally happy with that outcome.
    Wokeness poses a very strong threat to the military, if it is allowed to infect the ranks. There always was a problem ever since women became prominent. Women were encouraged to cry ‘rape” etc against the males, and Democrats created a force structure where women were to be protected from the evil men, and war fighting became secondary. A lot of the women who joined the military, lets face it, were lesbians, and so LGBT became a big thing. So protecting the homosexuals became a top priority. Next was transgenderism in the military, and they had to be protected. Democrats wanted to degrade the military and have done so over the years. But Afghanistan was not lost to wokeness. But any future war might be.

    • “When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
      And the women come out to cut up what remains,
      Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
      An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier”
      -Kipling, The Young British Soldier

      Correct. Leftism did not doom the Afghan war. Neoconservatism, which is arrogant enough to think that a foreign power could succeed in the “graveyard of empires,” did. Reading this article and the comments, it’s clear most don’t grasp this, so they end up in the same boat with “W,” Tommy Franks, Thoroughly Modern Milley, and the LGBTQ commissars when it comes to foreign policy. It’s too bad nobody with any authority read Kipling beyond the classroom.

    • Here we go again:

      Kilpatrick is excellent in many ways, but one area where he consistently drops the ball like many others do is in the misguided belief that there is a “radical Islam” and “radical Muslims,” which means that in opposition to such are a “moderate Islam” and “moderate Muslims.” This is demonstrably false. There is simply Islam, and the practitioners of Islam are Muslims. What people confuse with “moderate Islam” are those Muslims who do not practice the fullness of their faith like terrorists do, but they do not represent a legitimate/different form of Islam known as “moderate Islam.” They are just a bit lax in fulfilling all of their obligations, and thank God they are. Nevertheless, the terrorists are those Muslims who live up to the teachings and requirements of Islam better than others do. They are not radical; they are simply fervent believers and practitioners of Islam, and they carry out the commands of Islam.

      Now, there are various sub-groups within Islam that emphasize various practices, but all sub-groups or sections of Islam maintain the same basic beliefs about Islam in an of itself. This includes believing that an individual named Muhammad was the ultimate prophet of Allah, and that he received a revelation from an angel that eventually became the Qur’an. Also, all Muslims of all groups must believe that Muhammad was the ideal human being, and his way of life is to be emulated. Of course, his way of life was barbaric and violent and malevolent in many ways. He was not a man of peace, and Islam is not a religion of peace. Also, all Muslims are to work for a worldwide Caliphate wherein everybody throughout the world is under the rule of Islam.

      I urge all people of good will to stop falling for and/or promoting the false dichotomy of “radical Islam” and “moderate Islam,” and recognize that Islam is a major heresy and teaches evil that must be resisted and fought against at all times regardless of how many “nice Muslims” there are. The ideology that stimulates terrorists is the teachings of Islam; not “radical Islam.”

      So in reality there was no resurgence of a radical Islam in the fall of Afghanistan. What we simply witnessed was a resurgence of the more complete and fervent Islam back in charge once again.

    • Very little if anything of any substance is definitively known about that encounter, and certainly nothing from either the sultan or Francis. Most of what is said of it today is pure speculation, often driven by ideology. Wishful thinking and fantasy. It’s a nice story that lends itself to fanciful conclusions. What we do know is that Franciscans continued to assist in the Crusades after Francis’s meeting with the Sultan. Francis never stopped friars from that. And, as we also know, Muslims continued to kill Christians. There were no discernible political changes as a result of that meeting. You and others read way too much into that story.

      • Thanks John for your clarification of the limits of what is known about this meeting. I’m not sure of much about this meeting except that it happened and was a significant attempt at dialogue. I remember some story about a test of faith the sultan employed by laying crosses on the floor to see if St Francis walked over or around, or something to that effect.

        • Yes, it happened. As or the “significant attempt at dialogue,” it wasn’t. Francis set out to convert the sultan. It failed. After that he meeting he never tried it again. That’s all we know.

    • Gilberta: There really can’t be a debate regarding the so-called dichotomy between “radical” and “moderate” Islam once the history and development of authentic Islam is objectively studied and honestly recognized. The notion of “moderate Islam” is just wishful thinking combined with willful ignorance. Dr. Stephen Kirby refers to these bogus notions of Islam as “Fantasy Islam,” and he has a good book about this (“The Lure of Fantasy Islam”) that exposes many of the sources and their propaganda that help promote the myth about Islam being a religion of peace. Check it out.

    • Gilberta: There really can’t be a debate regarding the so-called dichotomy between “radical” and “moderate” Islam once the history and development of authentic Islam is objectively studied and honestly recognized. The notion of “moderate Islam” is just wishful thinking combined with willful ignorance. Dr. Stephen Kirby refers to these bogus notions of Islam as “Fantasy Islam,” and he has a good book about this (“The Lure of Fantasy Islam”) that exposes many of the sources and their propaganda that help promote the myth about Islam being a religion of peace. Check it out.

  23. “The military is just starting to get woke.” That comment alone reveals how little you know about the U.S. military.

  24. The fighter on the right in the accompanying photo is clearly carrying a more recent configuration of the M16. I imagine that the previous owner didn’t need it any longer.

  25. Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled with $169 MILLION in his cash-stuffed helicopter and has been given asylum in Dubai on ‘humanitarian grounds’

    ( I wonder who counted the cash? )

  26. In the light of these considerations, it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience. Pope Benedict to the Bishops of the United States.

  27. I will make this prediction right now: In less than four years, we will be back in Afghanistan, at the head of a large, international military intervention to destroy the Taliban once and for all. The atrocities that are about to unfold will shock the world (if that is possible) but it will be the destabilizing effect on the entire region and a dramatic increase in global terrorism that will finally prompt an international response. Unless we are completely stupid in Washington, it will be a concrete opportunity for the U.S. and the Russian Federation to cooperate diplomatically and militarily to the benefit of each.

    • Timothy!

      You wrote, “Unless we are completely stupid in Washington…”

      Huh? Unless? Unless?


      I suggest you look again. Would a nation with anything *other* than “completely stupid” leadership in Washington author such a horrific fiasco as is unfolding in Afghanistan?

    • I only wish I could share your optimism. With my head stuck in Revelations, I think we’ve heard only the first of many trumpets. Lightning struck the Washington Monument just the other day.

    • The West has already collapsed I am afraid. That is a long discussion, but for this topic it is because we (who are interested a moral world order and what is left of Christendom and classical Liberalism perhaps) have no power, no access to true information, and live under the thumb of a class of wicked oligarchs with global reach and coordination. These gangsters hold or can easily influence virtually all the world’s capital and key policies of states. They have subverted almost all aspects of our civilization and simply will not allow sufficient true information to reach the public. We have cover stories and ideologies instead to pull the wool over our eyes. If this sounds far fetched, just think about what has happened since last March.

      Here is some reporting and an opinion on the war that is not in the mainstream. It centers on the opium trade and now the lithium trade, which will be needed if we are to be forced off fossil fuels. “It is a big idea,” as a former Republican president told us where we can have “a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind.”
      Now Bide

  28. “Seeking Global Recognition, Taliban Take a New Approach: Making Nice” the NYT headlines its article.

    Right. If anyone (other than the Taliban) consider the Taliban capable of perceiving or telling truth, I’m a saint or even more great, and I’ve got goods for sale that you simply cannot live without. Give me a call at 555-GETGOODS.

  29. I always get a good laugh when I read Mr. Kilpatrick’s columns. If only we weren’t woke, we could have been able to continue destabilizing and occupying the Middle East! If only those latte-sipping communist white-hating transexuals didn’t get in the way of cool-headed, righteous murder! Where will we get our fix now?

    The current tragedy of Afghanistan has nothing to do with with Kilpatrick’s fixation on black people and gays, and everything to do with the government and military deciding which countries should be allowed to exist. Some of these decisions were made decades ago back in the Cold War, where I assume men similar to Kilpatrick’s line of thought wanted to make sure the commies didn’t get a foothold in Asia or South America.

    It turns out that the USA has a horrific track record with creating colonies, and their failure leads to widespread death, reprisals, and repression of human rights. Does immorality somehow produce morality, or does it merely build on itself? These questions are never asked.

    This article, as the comments show, is nonetheless good comfort food for people are as obsessed with brown people and gays as much as William is!

    • Joe K:
      I have my own disagreement with some of what Kilpatrick writes, but you are engaged in false projection and race-baiting nonsense along with a virtual accusation of homophobia or homo-hatred on the part of Kilpatrick. The only person obsessed with brown people and gays is the one who stares at you from the other side of the mirror.

      As for your other claims regarding Afghanistan, etc., they also fit a preconceived false narrative and lack of understanding while pretending to be “in the know” about what has “really taken place.” Thanks for the disinformation and chuckle.

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. The fall of Afghanistan and the resurgence of radical Islam – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman
  2. Our “woke” defeating Afghanistan - JP2 Catholic Radio
  3. Afghanistan defeat arose from magical thinking - California Catholic Daily
  4. Return of the Taliban « Catholic Insight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.