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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Vaccine Mandate, The West abandons Afghanistan

Vaccine Mandate

Across the world in many rich countries, the majority of the population has now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is a great struggle to get the significant minority of sceptics and anti-vaxers on board.

To protect their businesses and their workforces some very significant companies are now mandating that anyone who comes in to work must be vaccinated. This complements the requirements in an increasing number of countries for all healthcare workers to be vaccinated or lose their jobs.

In the United States a number of large organisations including Disney, the US Army, Walmart, Google and The New York Times have already issued a vaccine mandate to all or part of their workforces. CNN, the news corporation, fired three employees for turning up for work unvaccinated. Delta airlines will be charging non vaccinated staff $200 per month to cover the extra healthcare costs and won't be paying them sick pay if they fall ill with COVID-19.

In France vaccination rates shot up after President Macron announced that anyone without a vaccine certificate would not be allowed entry to public places, bars, caf├ęs, restaurants, cinemas, etc. unless they paid for a test. It has been so successful that on some measures vaccination rates in France have overtaken the UK, despite the very slow start.

The West abandons Afghanistan

After 20 years, the US army and its allies pulled out of Afghanistan, abandoning the Afghan population to the Taliban, a ruthless bunch of islamic extremists, who took over the entire country in just a few days.

Let's recall why we were there in the first place. Following the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks in Washington and New York, in which thousands were killed, President Bush vowed to destroy those responsible and prevent it from happening again. Al Qaeda and other extreme islamist groups were operating out of Afghanistan with the full blessing of the ruling Taliban.

The US and their allies sent in their armies who quickly defeated the Taliban and installed a somewhat democratic regime. In the years that followed, the country was purged of the terrorists that the West feared, including the attack on and death of Osama Bin Laden under President Obama. During this period, thousands of US soldiers and over 4,000 British soldiers lost their lives and many more were injured in their fights with the Taliban. In more recent years, all appeared to be calmer, with a democratic Afghan government and well equipped army in place.

On the 20th anniversary of the arrival of western troops in August 2021, Joe Biden fulfilled Donald Trump's order to withdraw. Biden said confidently on July the 8th that the Afghan government and army had been trained and equipped to take full control. In mid August, the allies left, almost overnight. Within just a few days, the Taliban took the entire country in a bloodless coup that met with no resistance.

640 Afghans squeeze into a US Military plane. The Lucky Ones.

As the last remaining flights leave Kabul at the end of August, islamic terrorist attacks in the area have killed dozens, including 13 US military personnel and several British citizens. After years of calm, all it takes is a withdrawal and within days we are back to where we were?

How can the West get it so wrong? 

How bad will it get? 

Does this mark the end of Western action on the ground outside of home territory?

Quote for the month

As the Taliban say, "You have the watches, we have the time".

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