The lucky ones: a packed plane leaves Kabul – no thanks to Boris Johnson and his gang of UK government ditherers.
What a mess. This was not a retreat; it was a rout.
It seems clear that Boris Johnson’s withdrawal of the UK presence from Afghanistan was unplanned, unco-ordinated, and left behind much information of interest to the Taliban who have taken over.
The decision to move the military and leave civilians behind means more than 1,000 of our people are still in Kabul – and Johnson’s promise to do something about it rings as hollow as all his other promises.
Isn’t that what he said about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who remains imprisoned in Iran, years after he involved himself in her case as the UK’s Foreign Secretary?
That’ll be a “yes”, then. As for his vow…
The UK evacuation is over and many have been left behind
As I said above, Kabul is Boris Johnson’s Dunkirk.
But whereas Dunkirk was carried out in comparative efficiency, with everybody working to help everybody else get out of France before the Germans arrive, it seems Kabul represented Boris Johnson’s “everyone for themselves” philosophy.
There is no “Phase Two”.
This refers to former marine and animal charity founder Pen Farthing, who has escaped Kabul with around 200 rescued dogs – but whose staff were not allowed to leave.
The fact that dogs were allowed to leave may seem like a huge victory for animal-loving Brits – but the fact that the UK allowed human beings to be left behind will almost certainly make a mockery of us in Taliban propaganda.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had claimed he would prioritise people over pets but it seems the huge amount of publicity Farthing had received via media and social media had forced him to change his mind. We’ll find out in the future if that was a wise decision.
Meanwhile, it seems communications sent to the government email address that was supposed to be used to work out which Afghan nationals needed to be taken out of Kabul have gone unread – including cases flagged up by ministers:
According to the article,
An official email address used to collate potential Afghan cases from MPs and others regularly contained 5,000 unread emails throughout the week.
In many cases, emails detailing the cases of Afghans who fear for their families’ lives appear to have been unopened for days. An email from the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, sent on Monday was still unread on Thursday. There also appeared to be unread messages from the offices of Victoria Atkins, the newly appointed minister for Afghan resettlement, the home secretary, Priti Patel, and the Tory chair of the defence select committee, Tobias Ellwood.
The revelation calls into question the suggestion from ministers that the number of Afghans left behind would be up to 1,100 in total.
So it seems the 1,100 figure for personnel left behind may be a huge underestimate.
Documents were left behind that could be hugely harmful for unevacuated personnel
British Embassy workers who did a runner from their compound to the relative safety of Kabul’s airport around two weeks ago failed to destroy documents identifying local workers and job applicants, according to reports.
Who knows what other sensitive documents were left lying around? And why did it happen? Normally, one of the key protocols in a sensitive diplomatic withdrawal is the shredding of sensitive and classified information, but this seems not to have happened.
Have I already put my finger on the problem – that Boris Johnson and his dimwit Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab dithered so long about taking a decision that Embassy staff ended up having to scramble to save their own skins and weren’t able to do the necessary?
If so, then the Taliban may now have access to any amount of information that they could find extremely useful in the future. Depending on how they use it, we could be in for a lot of trouble – and ultimate blame will rest with our terminal b*ttf**k of a prime minister.
Look at this:
And how about this, in response to a tweet I sent about Johnson’s domestic disasters:
It reached the point where some people have satirised the situation, finding humour in the fact that the Johnson government employs people who are very good at losing documents – but didn’t put them in the right place:
Samuel Miller ought to know – he has been campaigning to raise awareness of the unfair, persecutory mistreatment of benefit claimants, particularly those who are sick and/or disabled – for longer than I have.
Hypocrite Priti Patel has been greeting refugees on arrival in the UK and talking down other countries who she says should do more
Even here in the UK, government ministers are doing everything they can to humiliate us as a nation.
So Priti Patel, the home secretary who has locked refugees in squalid concentration camps to catch Covid-19, and who wants to make it illegal to save refugees from drowning if they are trying to cross the Channel into the UK, has been greeting Afghan refugees at Heathrow Airport.
Apparently the woman who has been trying to seal up all legal routes for refugees to come here has now claimed that refugees must only travel to the UK through legal routes.
Do you think she is wondering why she received responses like this?
Possibly the worst news available for these refugees is the fact that, by throwing their lot in with the UK, they have now ended up in a poverty trap:
And Patel has apparently told other countries that they must do more to help refugees – because she has absolutely no sense of shame:
In a sane country, every government body involved in this monumental fiasco would be out of a job and possibly facing charges in the International Criminal Court – but the United Kingdom is now so riddled with corruption that Johnson and his gang are most likely to shrug it off.
They’ll go looking for the next crisis they can turn into a calamity. After all, their lives aren’t on the line.
If Winston Churchill had presided over such a fatal mess, This Writer feels sure that he would have done the decent thing and swallowed a high-speed bullet.
But Churchill, for all the faults that he did have, was not an indecisive incompetent. He would not have made Johnson’s (and Raab’s, and Patel’s) mistakes.
And, sadly, Johnson does not have Churchill’s quality of character – so we can’t expect him to do what Britain Expects of him. He’s too much of a coward.
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