by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 8, Safar, 1443)
The moribund US empire suffered a major setback on August 15, 2021, when the Taliban entered Kabul and ex-puppet-president Ashraf Ghani fled with millions of dollars in pilfered cash. The Taliban’s lighting victory shocked the ex-occupiers—and the world.
On April 24, top US officials had deemed the war lost and decided to pull their remaining 3500 troops out of Bagram Air Force Base, leaving 650 soldiers stationed at the US embassy to protect its 1400 personnel. The plan for a slow, orderly evacuation was based on intelligence assessments claiming it would take the Taliban at least a year, possibly two years, to defeat the US-supported puppet regime.
On July 2, the Americans slipped out of Bagram in the dead of night without even notifying their puppet “allies.” By early August, the Americans acknowledged the Taliban might win in months or even weeks. Washington’s humiliating and chaotic August 15 defeat came more swiftly than the Pentagon had imagined.
The American collapse in Kabul signaled defeat not only in Afghanistan, but in the larger series of conflicts known as the 9/11 wars. Framed by US-Zionist propagandists as a defensive response to the demolition of the World Trade Center in September 2001, these wars were actually planned months ahead of the false flag atrocity that served as their public relations launch.
The neocons who seized power in the 9/11 coup intended to “take out seven countries in five years,” as General Wesley Clark revealed. They hoped to make Afghanistan a permanent US base in the heart of the Eurasian “grand chessboard,” while enforcing pro-US regime change on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, and finally Iran.
But US imperial interests weren’t the only story. The pro-Israel neocons surreptitiously hijacked the US military to remake the region so that Israel could not merely defeat its enemies, but “transcend” them to become the dominant power in the region, as outlined in the 1996 “Clean Break” document commissioned by Benjamin Netanyahu and written by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and likeminded Zionist fanatics—essentially the same group that published the September 2000 PNAC document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” calling for a “new Pearl Harbor” to unleash US power against the Muslim East.
By hijacking the US military and sending it on a series of fools’ errands for Israel, the neocons set the stage for China’s rise and America’s demise. But the Americans are not yet ready to concede the loss of their status as self-appointed unipolar hegemon. By admitting defeat in the 9/11 wars, the US is regrouping its forces and pivoting toward China. As The New York Times reported on August 22: “The American pullout (from Afghanistan) will also allow the United States to refocus its attention on Beijing. President Biden made it clear that the war in Afghanistan — however chaotic its denouement — had for too long distracted the country from larger geopolitical priorities. ‘Our true strategic competitors — China and Russia — would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely’ Mr. Biden said at the White House on Monday.”
The coming US struggle against China and Russia will amount to a Cold War 2.0. But unlike in the first Cold War pitting US capitalist liberalism against Sino-Soviet Communism, the new Cold War casts the Americans as the ideology-driven fanatics and the Chinese and Russians as the pragmatists. As in the original Cold War, the New Cold War will showcase the weaknesses of totalizing ideologies based on materialistic philosophies. Just as Communism collapsed in 1991, we may expect American-style liberal capitalism, with its pretensions of founding a New World Order, to collapse some time in the 2020s or early 2030s.
American liberal capitalism brings together a cultural component centered on the notion of freedom, and an economic order based on the freedom of private billionaires to dominate institutions of governance and impose their will on society. That order is rapidly imploding. The commitment to freedom in the West is eroding by the day, replaced by draconian censorship and total surveillance. Meanwhile Western “liberal” (billionaire-owned) economies stagnate relative to China’s public-banking-driven planned economy. Russia, too, has discovered that a planned economy overseen by a strong state looking out for national and popular interests works better than the Yeltsin-era liberalism of billionaire oligarchs.
The demise of liberalism as a trans-national political philosophy, and its replacement by petty pragmatisms and tribalisms, leaves a spiritual void that Islam is poised to fill. The human heart yearns to live for something bigger than economic progress and national self-assertion. Ultimately it yearns to live out a surrender to God and commitment to walk in the path of God. And in an era when the world is tied ever-closer-together by modern communications, the human heart increasingly seeks unity under God.
Islam—which has demonstrated an ability to bring together people from widely-separated lands and cultures under a shared commitment to God, and a shared socio-political dispensation based on that commitment—will increasingly be viewed as the most obvious alternative.
The likelihood of Islam arising to re-assert itself as the central pillar of human civilization terrifies people like Tony Blair. The former UK Prime Minister and noted war criminal responded to the US defeat in Afghanistan by penning a hysterical 2700-word essay calling Joe Biden’s pullout “imbecilic.” Blair fulminates that the Anglo-Zionist Afghan defeat “had every jihadist group around the world cheering.” He worries that “radical Islam” is rising.
Blair knows full well that the World Trade Center was demolished with explosives, and that 9/11 was a self-inflicted pretext for the West to go to war against the Islamic Awakening, which he loathes: “I will call it ‘Radical Islam’ for want of a better term. As a research paper shortly to be published by my Institute shows this ideology in different forms and with varying degrees of extremism has been almost 100 years in gestation. Its essence is the belief that Muslim people are disrespected and disadvantaged because they are oppressed by outside powers and their own corrupt leadership and that the answer lies in Islam returning to its roots creating a state based not on nations but on religion...”
Blair gets that much right. But then he goes on to mischaracterize the Islamic Awakening: “It is the turning of the religion of Islam into a political ideology and of necessity an exclusionary and extreme one because in a multi-faith and multicultural world it holds there is only one true faith and we should all conform to it.” In fact, Islamic political practice throughout the centuries has always embraced the God-given fact that we live in a multi-faith and multicultural world. From the drafting of the Constitution of Madinah, through the crafting of the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World, to the practice in most of today’s Muslim-majority nations including the most authentically Islamically-governed of them like Islamic Iran, Muslims have insisted that “there is no compulsion in religion” and overseen societies full of thriving religious diversity. Blair is projecting his own Catholicism, which historically sought to convert everyone on earth to its tenets, on Muslims.
In reality, Islam is poised to once again become the world’s fulcrum faith precisely because it, unlike its competitors, has the traditions and tools to create a powerful Godly order on earth while simultaneously protecting religious diversity. As the hollowness of liberalism and petty tribalisms becomes increasingly obvious in the coming post-American era, even Islamophobic war criminals like Tony Blair may come to see the inevitability of the Islamic alternative.