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.
‘We’ll shift heaven and earth to get them out’ says man who has just ended the operation to do so.
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) August 27, 2021
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?
Thanks to those reminding me that Johnson promised as Foreign Secretary promised to move ‘heaven and earth’ to secure the release of Nazarin Zaghari-Ratcliffe …
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) August 27, 2021
That’ll be a “yes”, then. As for his vow…
So who believes in phase 2 of the Afghanistan refugees Johnson "will move heaven and earth" to go back to bring back the people that have been left behind. Yeah me neither.
— Anne Laird 💙💜 (@AnneLai31821380) August 28, 2021
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.
Round 1K Afghans who worked for UK still in Kabul. Johnson expressed regret (again) & Ben Wallace reckons they'll be airlifted out today with the last of our troops. No fan of Macron, but this fiasco could have been avoided if our govt had acted in as timely a fashion as France.
— Ann Johns, Grumpy Geordie Gran. I SUPPORT OUR NHS! (@AnnJohn30914404) August 28, 2021
"We cannot give up on the Afghan people"
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey says despite evacuating more than 14,000 people, there are 1,000 Afghans who will be left behind despite the "promise to protect", calling on the PM to implement 'Phase Two'.https://t.co/224MdwlBB3 pic.twitter.com/sb6A4hz6OT
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 28, 2021
There is no “Phase Two”.
‘The british evacuated 200 dogs and cats from Afghanistan and then apologised for leaving people behind’ has the potential to become one of those facts that people remember for literally hundreds of years https://t.co/uavuC0D9aX
— Jon Stone (@joncstone) August 28, 2021
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:
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) August 29, 2021
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:
New Dominic Raab scandal emerging as its confirmed that senior FCO management took no action & had no strategy as it became clear UK Govt documents including contact information of Afghan workers for UK govt were about to be uncovered by the Taliban.
— Nick🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@nicktolhurst) August 27, 2021
And how about this, in response to a tweet I sent about Johnson’s domestic disasters:
He's full of japes his latest is his ineptitude in Kabul, handing our friends over to the Taliban, he even left them a list in our embassy
— Dave Pritchard 3.5% # Tory sleaze (@Esscrew) August 28, 2021
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:
The DWP are experts at destroying documents—they should have been hired to staff UK's Afghan embassy.
— Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7) August 28, 2021
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.
The Home Secretary patiently took every Afghan aside individually and explained they're not welcome https://t.co/ONNs2n4hx8
— Reginald D Hunter (@reginalddhunter) August 27, 2021
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?
Priti Patel: refugees must travel to the UK through legal routes
Everyone: there are no legal routes
Priti Patel: 🤷🏽♀️
— Ruth Stokes 🧡 (@ruthstokes) August 27, 2021
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:
Priti Patel is personally greeting every Afghan refugee arriving at Heathrow to explain that after bombing their country for 20 years, we are going to pay them the lowest refugee allowance in Europe at £36.93 a week!
— Boris Johnson MP (parody) (@GetBrexit_Done) August 28, 2021
And Patel has apparently told other countries that they must do more to help refugees – because she has absolutely no sense of shame:
More gall than a complete set of Asterix books. pic.twitter.com/80FFRIc1Wi
— Mic Wright (@brokenbottleboy) August 29, 2021
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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