Kyle Shideler, the Director/Senior Analyst for Homeland Security & Counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy, said it best: “They may have a 7th-century law code, but they grift with the best of the 21st century.” The Taliban does indeed appear to have caught on to one of the most lucrative gravy trains of the first part of the 21st century and are eager to get in on the loot; the jihad terror group has issued a call for aid from international organizations to help it fight the scourge of climate change.
Apparently, the Taliban would have us believe that in between executing allies of the United States, confiscating guns, setting women on fire and making sure they don’t work or go to school, and persecuting Shi’ite Hazaras, their jihadis just really want to spend some time working on clean energy programs and making Afghanistan green.
Showing a fine grasp of how the game is played, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen explained: “Afghanistan has a fragile climate. There is need for tremendous work.” Accordingly, “some climate change projects which have already been approved and were funded by Green Climate Fund, UNDP, Afghan Aid, should fully resume work.”
Would environmentalists be safe working in Afghanistan? Why, sure! The Taliban, said Shaheen, would make sure of that: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is committed to providing security and a safe environment for the work of NGOs and charity organizations.”
Of course. This is the group, mind you, that abducted and murdered five aid workers from Save the Children in April 2015. In May 2019, Taliban jihadis murdered five aid workers from the American organization Counterpart International because, they said, Counterpart was promoting women being in the proximity of men in public. Then in June 2020, the UN accused the Taliban of “deliberate attacks” against health care workers.
But now, of course, we have the kinder, gentler Taliban, the one that told the international media that it would be more moderate than it was before and was actually believed. These new claims will likely be believed as well. After all, climate change is an existential crisis, no? Someone was telling Joe Biden that on Monday as he dozed off. The UK’s Daily Mail reported Sunday that “relief agencies have warned that a drought in Afghanistan, which UN scientists say has been worsened by climate change, could force 22 million into ‘acute food insecurity.’”
Western humanitarian aid groups, always so very eager to be fooled, will likely fall for this preposterous notion hook, line, and sinker, and the money will flow to the Taliban in even greater quantities than it is already. The Voice of America reported Thursday that American taxpayers will now be “providing nearly $144 million in new humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, where millions of people could face acute hunger this winter unless aid arrives soon.”
According to National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne, “the U.S. assistance will be directed through independent organizations that provide support directly to more than 18.4 million vulnerable Afghans, including Afghan refugees in neighboring countries.” Horne explained: “Our partners provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihoods support, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by health care shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the impending winter.”
Nor is that $144 million even close to all that we’re forking over for Afghanistan this year: “She noted that the additional funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $474 million in 2021, the largest amount of assistance from any nation.”
As Daniel Greenfield has noted, Biden’s handlers insist that this money will not go to the Taliban. Secretary of State Antony Blinken robotically echoed the same talking points that Horne was using, making it clear that all these responses are well-rehearsed. He claimed that “it will enable our partners to provide lifesaving protection, food security support, essential healthcare, winterization assistance, logistics, and emergency food aid in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by healthcare shortages, COVID-19, drought, malnutrition, and the impending winter.” Yes, we heard that before. And all this will be done while Taliban jihadis stand by impotently, unable to stop the beneficient Americans from aiding those whom General John Allen once memorably dubbed “the noble people of Afghanistan.” Blinken continued: “To be clear, this humanitarian assistance will benefit the people of Afghanistan and not the Taliban, whom we will continue to hold accountable for the commitments they have made.”
Sure. And how exactly will the U.S. ensure that Taliban jihadis don’t seize this aid? How will the U.S. hold the Taliban “accountable”? What will Biden’s handlers do if Taliban jihadis intercept the delivery of this assistance, or overpower those who do receive it and simply seize it all? This American money is going to the Taliban, and it would be naïve to assume otherwise.
But it isn’t enough. And so now the Taliban, knowing from twenty years of observing the Americans in Afghanistan how to tug on Western heartstrings and open Western checkbooks, is now pledging to fight climate change. It will almost certainly work. The capitals of North America and Western Europe are filled with fatuous philanthropists eager to bestow their largesse on the needy. And the Taliban knows just how to play this game.