September 5, 2021

ROGER KIMBALL: ‘Adults,’ ‘Progress,’ and Disaster.

Is there anything to add to the avalanche of disparaging commentary on the national humiliation that is the Biden Administration’s handling of our departure from Afghanistan? I’m not sure.

True, the scandals keep coming. As I write, it was only a few days ago that someone leaked and Reuters published the story about Joe Biden’s July call to Ashraf Ghani, then president of Afghanistan, now a multi-multi-millionaire thanks to the $169 million of American taxpayer money which he stuffed into bags before leaving Afghanistan for the United Arab Emirates. During that call, Biden made the president of Afghanistan an offer he couldn’t refuse: military aid in exchange for lies. There is a “perception around the world,” Biden said, that “things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, . . . to project a different picture” (my emphasis).

Opinions differ about whether this conversation constituted an impeachable offense. Were it Donald Trump making the call, you can bet your burqa-wearing seventh wife that Nancy Pelosi would have articles of impeachment drawn up before the cocktail hour. For Biden, not so fast, though it is an occasion for thought that someone—presumably someone in the Pentagon or the State Department—leaked the audio and transcript of the conversation. That’s a felony, but these days only Republicans get charged for that sort of bad behavior. The question is: what does it portend that someone in the deep state apparat excreted that embarrassing tidbit? Was it a warning shot across the bow of Biden’s sinking skiff?

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This was almost as delicious as the brief video making the rounds portraying some preposterous female academic trying to introduce “Fountain,” the urinal that Marcel Duchamp guyed the Western art world with back in 1917, to a room full of Afghan men and women. Watch it. As Rod Dreher noted in The American Conservative, it is a “sign of American decadence and stupidity in Afghanistan that cannot be improved on.”

Read the whole thing; the video of an “educator” trying to explain the Duchamp’s urinal to Afghan women is a masterclass in unintended irony:

While I’m tempted to make another joke about Tom Wolfe’s programming of the Matrix working perfectly (especially since the above clip plays like something out of his 1975 book, The Painted Word), as Brendan O’Neill of Spike wrote last month, “The West’s post-9/11 bluster was continually undermined by the West’s broader descent into moral relativism. How can you assert the civilisational authority of Western values when your entire educational and university system is devoted to questioning and demeaning Western civilisation? You cannot partake in a clash of civilisations if you loathe your own civilisation.” And its culture.

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