FNC’s Carlson: ‘Why Did the Taliban Win? How Did the 6th Century Triumph over the 21st Century?’

Monday, FNC host Tucker Carlson opened his broadcast with a scathing critique of the Biden administration’s priorities, which he argued, in part, led to the collapse of the Afghani government after nearly two decades of a U.S. presence.

Carlson alluded to the United States’ focus on culture, which was apparently by the Afghanistan people.

Transcript as follows:

CARLSON: Joe Biden went on television today, this afternoon, and talked to the country about Afghanistan. He said, among other things, that we had no choice but to leave, and on that question, he is right. The United States should have left Afghanistan 19 years ago when it became obvious that Osama bin Laden wasn’t there and had fled to Pakistan. There was no reason to stay in the country.

And the longer we remained, the worse it was always going to be. The question is, and the relevant question today, is how exactly do you get out? Just because something is necessary doesn’t mean you get to ignore the details of it. If you learned you needed an emergency appendectomy, would it matter to you who performed the operation? A surgeon with a scalpel or a drunk guy with a pocket knife? Yes, it would matter to you.

But it didn’t matter to Joe Biden, apparently. He barely mentioned the withdrawal today. Biden did the necessary thing in the ugliest possible way. If you’ve been watching television during the day, you’ve probably seen this footage. It’s terrified men in sandals clinging to the side of a C-17 as it attempts to leave Afghanistan.

This is the iconic photo of the moment. It’s the final humiliating scene of the American occupation of Afghanistan. That means that after 20 years and trillions of dollars, our leaders couldn’t manage to pull off an orderly retreat. They couldn’t even secure a single runway, and that’s the main lesson of the fall of Kabul. We are led by buffoons. They have no idea what they’re doing. We know that now. They are imposters.

Everything they touch turns to chaos, not just there but here. These are the people who run the Amtrak station in Midtown Manhattan, the one that’s filled with drug addicts. They are the people in charge of the power grid in the State of California, they have no useful skills, and yet somehow, these same people assured us they were going to turn Stone Age Afghanistan into Modern Belgium. Remembering it now is bitter and hilarious.

At this point, our leaders are so discredited, they are running out of ways to criticize the Taliban. Is the Biden administration really going to attack the new government of Afghanistan for forcing women to cover their faces? Are American diplomats actually going to lecture Taliban leaders about toppling statues? Probably not going to happen. That’s how much credibility our leaders have lost, how much moral authority they have squandered in the past 20 years.

But most of what they’ve lost is their self-awareness. They have none.

Until just this weekend, for example, they had no idea how badly they were failing in Afghanistan. Here is John Kirby of The Pentagon explaining that calm down, America. Everything in Kabul is under control.

Keep in mind, we have not edited this tape, and it’s not from last year. This is three days ago.


REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.) PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Kabul is not right now in an imminent threat environment.


CARLSON: Oh, good job, John Kirby. Do you think he’ll keep his job? Of course, he’ll keep his job. A man who is willing to defend pregnant fighter pilots can work in Washington forever, and so can Mark Milley of the Joint Chiefs and the rest of the woke clowns at The Pentagon, generals who are much more worried about white rage in West Virginia than they are about our enemies abroad.

When was the last time these guys won a war? Seriously? They hate it when you ask that question. Nothing bothers them more, but what’s the answer? When was that?

And while we’re at it, how about the Intel Agencies? Their job is very specific: Give policymakers some rough sense of what’s going to happen in the world, especially on the big questions, so they can make wise decisions. How is the Intel world doing on that? Let’s see.

The collapse of the Soviet Union, 9/11, the fall of Kabul — not small things, major history-changing events. They missed all of those completely. They had no idea. So, why are they still there? Well, because someone has got to read your text messages, got to make sure you’re not making fun of trans-people or anything like that.

And then there’s the Biden administration overseeing all of it, the group led by the senior credit card shill from Delaware and staffed by power-hungry non-entities who believe they are God. Hubris? That doesn’t describe the vibe at the current White House, it’s much more grandiose than that, and there is far less justification for it.

Here is our sitting national security adviser, for example. He is 44 years old. As far as we can tell, he has never had an actual job. Outside of school, he has no accomplishments whatsoever. Watch this highly respected Rhode scholar explain that, in fact, everything you’re seeing on TV from Afghanistan is a victory.


SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, MSNBC HOST: How do you explain getting this so wrong?

JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, first, Savannah, to be fair, the helicopter has been the mode of transport from our embassy to the airport for the last 20 years.

GUTHRIE: But you know the latter point.

SULLIVAN: That is — that is —

GUTHRIE: It’s not the helicopter.

SULLIVAN: That is how we move people back and forth.

GUTHRIE: It’s not the mechanism. No, no, it’s the last-minute scramble. You know that. It’s the last-minute scramble when the assurances from the President himself were this was not what we were going to see.

SULLIVAN: The reason that there are U.S. forces at the airport effectuating a successful drawdown of our embassy, securing the airport to be able to get other people out is because the President pre-positioned those forces, thousands of them in the Gulf so they could be moved in rapidly in the event that there was a rapid collapse.


CARLSON: Oh, so they are effectuating a successful drawdown of our embassy, so that’s what we call it when you burn your files and flee in a helicopter from approaching gunfire. You’re just effectuating another successful drawdown. Woohoo.

We could go on. We could torture you with the failures and the details. We haven’t even mentioned our quote “Secretary of State Tony Blinken,” a man so mediocre you gasp when you hear him speak. Can you really be that dumb and run the Department of State? Yes, you can.

And the last several decades of American foreign policy prove that you can. Afghanistan is not the first country our leaders have left worse than they found it. The list of those countries is long, and sadly, it is growing.

Part of the reason is that for decades, left-wing academics in the U.S. have used the developing world as a laboratory to test their theories about how societies ought to be ordered but aren’t. Over time, they’ve constructed a parallel government of NGOs that work alongside our Pentagon and our State Department as well as with the United Nations to impose radical social engineering projects on the world’s poorest people who have no say in the matter.

Over the past 20 years, for example, Congress has allocated close to a billion dollars to export academic feminism to Afghanistan. Where did that money go? Well, it went to programs like a two years Master’s Degree in Gender and Women’s Studies offered at Kabul University, something Afghans apparently never knew they needed.

Another U.S. government effort meanwhile funded quote, “activities that educate and engage Afghan men and boys to challenge gender stereotypes.” Right? They weren’t doing that enough.

And of course, always and everywhere, our leaders enforced the most American of all cultural exports, affirmative action. American-funded gender advisers demanded that women compromise at least 10 percent of the Afghan National Army and a still larger proportion of that country’s political leadership. Thanks to American imposed gender quotas, dozens of women ultimately were installed as representatives in Afghan’s Parliament. How did that work? Well, the whole thing was a sham, as always. In fact, many of these new female legislators had never been to the provinces they claimed to represent.

Almost nobody in Afghanistan liked any of this, by the way, and why would they? As one USAID official conceded in a classified report quote: “Focusing on gender made things more unstable because it caused revolts.” It caused revolts? But officials kept doing it. They kept pushing radical gender politics anyway because they could because they were in charge of these Stone Age people they were going to educate.

This is the face of the late American empire, gender studies seminars at gunpoint. This is not like other empires. Unlike other empires, ours does not operate for our benefit. America toppled Saddam but took no oil. Remember that? Instead, the entire point of our imperial project is to give meaning to the empty lives of the neo-liberal bureaucrats who administer it and then enrich the contractors who work for them, who are enriched you’ll be happy to know.

What role do the rest of us play in this? None. We just pay for it.

Yesterday, to underscore that point, the Biden administration told us that American citizens would not be given priority in the evacuation from Kabul. So, our government’s official position is that American lives are not more valuable than the lives of foreigners, but you already knew that because you’ve seen our southern border.

The people who made the Afghan occupation possible would like to see a lot more of our southern border, much more unrestrained immigration to the U.S. “Bring in the refugees,” they are screaming tonight. That’s the only lesson they’re taking from this debacle quote: “America must not stand idly by,” Mitt Romney tweeted today. “The President must urgently rush to defend, rescue, and give, and expand asylum. There is no time to spare.”

There is lots of time to spare as Americans die of fentanyl ODs, as millions of foreign nationals whose identities we can’t confirm move here, but when it comes to bringing Afghans to our country, there is no time to spare, and Liz Cheney firmly agrees with that, so does her friend, Bill Kristol and Nancy Pelosi and Victoria Nuland at the State Department, and so many more, so many more just like them.

These are the architects of the disaster we are watching unfold on television. They should be groveling for our forgiveness, but they’re not. Why? Because contrition requires decency. There is no chance.

So, we’re getting it, and if history is any guide, and it’s always a guide, we will see many refugees from Afghanistan resettle in our country in the coming months, probably in your neighborhood. And over the next decade, that number may swell to the millions.

So first, we invade, and then we’re invaded. It is always the same.

We’ll be spending a lot more time on that subject in coming weeks because it matters, but first, since Kabul has just fallen, it might be worth asking the most obvious question of all. Why did the Taliban win? How did the 6th Century triumph over the 21st Century?

There are indications that the single most notorious and reviled government in the world, primitive people famous for their brutality, rigidity, and humorlessness, are more popular in parts of Afghanistan than they were when we expelled the Mullahs from Kandahar 20 years ago. They don’t seem to be less popular, so how did that happen? What’s the answer?

We ought to pause to think about that. Let’s not just blow past it like it was an Act of God. It’s not. What is the answer?

Well, countries are very complicated, all of them, so there are likely many answers, but one of those answers may be that the population of Afghanistan has firmly rejected what our leaders were selling it over 20 years.

It turns out that the people of Afghanistan don’t actually want Gender Studies Symposia. They didn’t actually buy the idea that men can become pregnant. They thought that was ridiculous. They don’t hate their own masculinity. They don’t think it’s toxic. They like the patriarchy. Some of their women like it, too.

So now they’re getting it all back. So maybe it is possible that we failed in Afghanistan because the entire neoliberal program is grotesque. It’s a joke. It’s contrary to human nature. It answers none of our deepest human desires. It is merely a performance staged for the performer. It’s not even supposed to improve your life.

It’s ridiculous, and ideas that ridiculous can only be imposed by force, only with armed men at gunpoint. The moment these ideas are not mandatory, the second the troops withdraw, in fact, people tend to revert to the lives that they prefer to live. That may be the real lesson of Afghanistan. Let’s hope our leaders notice it.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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