This article appears in the September 3, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
From Blair to Farage: British ‘Imperial’ Hysteria at Biden’s Afghanistan Policy
Aug. 27—On the weekend of August 21-22, the British Establishment exploded in indignation in reaction to President Joe Biden’s determination to end the U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban a week earlier. The British press was in a complete state of hysteria, as evidenced by the headlines reported in the BBC’s own blog on August 22. “Blair attacks Biden’s ‘imbecilic’ retreat as Kabul chaos deepens,” screamed the headline in the Sunday Times. The London Telegraph also noted former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s attack on President Joe Biden.
Blair was the British imperialist who launched the 21st-Century “endless wars” policy, for “democracy” and regime-change, with a 1999 speech to the Chicago World Affairs Council. Now, he set the panic and anti-U.S. fury into motion August 21 with a 2,700-word essay denouncing Biden’s decision, first published on the website of his Institute for Global Change:
“Today we are in a mood that seems to regard the bringing of democracy as a utopian delusion, and intervention—virtually of any sort—as a fool’s errand. The world is now uncertain of where the west stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in this way was driven, not by grand strategy, but by politics.
“We didn’t need to do it. We chose to do it. We did it in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars,’ as if our engagement in 2021 was remotely comparable to our commitment 20 or even 10 years ago, in circumstances in which troop numbers had declined to a minimum and no allied soldier had lost their life in combat for 18 months.”
But the British hysteria is really driven by the discrediting of the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “Global Britain” policy, announced last March, followed by the April 16 release of the “Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.” That essentially depends on leveraging Britain’s “special relationship” with American muscle to spread British influence across the globe. “Our influence will be amplified by stronger alliances and wider partnerships—none more valuable to British citizens than our relationship with the United States,” the Integrated Review declared.
Blair complained bitterly: “For Britain, out of Europe and suffering the end of the Afghanistan mission by our greatest ally with little or no consultation ... we are at risk of relegation to the second division of global powers.”
In an August 18 debate in the House of Commons, The Sunday Times of London reported, “Ministers have warned that Britain will have to tear up its foreign policy after the debacle in Afghanistan, amid flaring tempers about America’s decision to cut and run.” The Sunday Times cited an unnamed minister that the government would have to “revisit” the Integrated Review, and extended the furious attack on the United States’ unfaithfulness to the Empire, to all of the past 100 years:
“America has just signaled to the world that they are not that keen on playing a global role,” the minister said. “The implications of that are absolutely huge. We need to get the Integrated Review out and reread it. We are going to have to do a hard-nosed revisit on all our assumptions and policies. The U.S. had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the First World War. They turned up late for the Second World War and now they are cutting and running in Afghanistan.”
British Officer Demands Biden Court-Martial
The British elite, which led the charge to expel Donald Trump from office, now joins calls in Washington for Joe Biden’s removal. Col. Richard Kemp, CBE, who once commanded British troops in Afghanistan, said in an August 22 TV interview that Biden should be court-martialed. Kemp may or may not understand that this would require a military coup in the United States.
“I don’t say this lightly and I’ve never said it about anybody else—any other leader in this position. People have been talking about impeaching President Biden,” Kemp told Fox News host Mark Levin. “I don’t believe President Biden should be impeached. He’s the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces who’s just essentially surrendered to the Taliban: He shouldn’t be impeached. He should be court-martialed for betraying the United States of America and the United States armed forces.”
China is also poised to use Afghanistan’s wealth of minerals and natural resources as a way to “hit against the West,” Kemp claimed. “So, the whole world just became vastly more dangerous. The U.S. government—President Biden humiliated the United States. He humiliated the United States Army,” Kemp argued. “I think the consequences of what’s just happened and what’s still happening are absolutely devastating for the whole of the Western world.”
Nick Allen, The Telegraph’s U.S. editor, declared the Biden Administration over. “Joe Biden is flailing. Following his parade of stumbles—verbal and physical—the fall of Kabul has proved not so much the straw, but the sledgehammer, that broke the camel’s back,” he wrote in a commentary posted on August 25.
“Mr. Biden will stagger on following this utter disaster but the prospect of a second term, which he very much wants, now seems remote. Many want his presidency over sooner, wary of other unforeseen catastrophes awaiting America, and the world, over the next three years. The Republican drumbeat to use the 25th Amendment has begun.”
‘Global Britain’ Left ‘Impotent and Friendless’
Andrew Rawnsley, Chief Political Commentator of the Sunday Observer, wrote in a commentary posted August 22 that Boris Johnson’s “Global Britain” has been exposed as “impotent and friendless” by Biden’s decision making on Afghanistan. “When it came to the calls that mattered over Afghanistan, Mr. Johnson’s capacity to influence Mr. Biden was less than that of the president’s dog,” Rawnsley lamented.
“The withdrawal of what remained of the NATO presence in Afghanistan was dictated by abrupt and unilateral decisions made in Washington. Ministers privately admit that not only did they fail to see a resurgent Taliban coming, they have been reduced to second-guessing what the United States will do next.”
“Where is Global Britain on the streets of Kabul?” angrily demanded Theresa May, Boris Johnson’s predecessor as Prime Minister, of Johnson during the August 18 debate in the House of Commons. “I have never heard so much fury so ferociously expressed by Conservative MPs about the behavior of the U.S.,” Rawnsley wrote. “Behind their hot anger was a cold fear: the foreboding sense of an impotent Britain friendless in a frightening world.”
Lord Peter Ricketts, who among other things led the Joint Intelligence Committee under Tony Blair, called Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan “a wake-up call to allies who had nourished hopes of a return to U.S. internationalism…. But the lack of communication is something the Brits feel most: we are most needy about wanting to be seen as Washington’s closest counterparts.”
Lord Kim Darroch, the former UK ambassador to the United States who was expelled from Washington for working to undermine Trump’s Presidency, warned that the “foreign policy disaster that is the Afghan withdrawal” risks undermining Boris Johnson’s Global Britain project. “There should have been more planning for an orderly exit,” the peer told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on August 23. He told The Telegraph:
“Global Britain was an interesting and potentially lucrative, sensible path for the UK to go on. We have reduced foreign aid; we have done a defence review which does a number of good things but which reduces the size of the British Army; we have done trade deals which, with one exception, duplicate [existing] EU deals and we have rather passively acquiesced in the foreign policy disaster that is the Afghan withdrawal.
“It is going to take quite a long time for the West as a whole—because it is a Western failure, a Western disaster, this is not just the UK and the U.S.—to recover from all this, to recover our reputation.”
Philip Collins, the political columnist for the Evening Standard, wrote in an August 23 commentary:
“This week, the withdrawal of the residual NATO presence in Afghanistan took place without any British minister even being on the calls that were all routed through Washington. Worse than that, Afghanistan is the final collapse of the hope that the Western liberal democracies are prepared to act in concert to defend the ideals to which they claim to be committed.”
And finally, Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit campaign and who also was a sometime Leader of the UK Independence Party, spat out sour grapes at the United States for having let down the imperialist side, telling Fox News August 26:
“We’ve not seen major terrorist atrocities in the West [recently], but if they start to happen again and we start to think, well, how do we go out again and try and stop these cells that are spreading international terror? How can we do it with the Americans? How can we do it with an ally that is treating us with contempt and betrayed us and into the bargain, many of our own citizens?
“Certainly, if it’s a Biden or Harris administration, honestly, there is no way—there is no way a British parliament right now would vote for military cooperation with America led by this administration.
“And that’s a very sad thing to say, because since 1917, the U.K. and America have been side by side in virtually every major conflict. We’ve been the closest allies in terms of military action, in terms of intelligence sharing, in terms of culture, in terms of business. You couldn’t have a better ally in the world. And right at the moment, I’m sorry, but there’s no way we could enter into another operation with you.”