The fiasco in Afghanistan is a grave blow to America’s standing
A thing that is a complete failure, especially in a ludicrous or humiliating way.
And much of the blame lies squarely with Joe Biden
Directly, without deviating to one side.
If the propagandists of the Taliban had scripted the collapse of America’s 20-year mission to reshape Afghanistan, they could not have come up with more harrowing images.
An implement consisting of a heavy frame set with teeth or tines which is dragged over plowed land to break up clods, remove weeds, and cover seed.
As insurgents swept into Kabul, desperate Afghans, terrified about what the victorious zealots might do, chased departing American cargo planes down the runway, trying to clamber into the landing gear and inevitably falling to their deaths.
A rebel or revolutionary.
Afghans were left in such a horrifying bind that clinging to the wheels of a hurtling aircraft seemed their best option.
(of a garment) fitting closely to the body and showing its shape.
and they have now won the ultimate affirmation: defeating a superpower.
State as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.
The insurgents have made a show of magnanimity, pledging that they will not take revenge on those who worked for the toppled government and insisting that they will respect women’s rights, within their interpretation of Islamic law.
The fact or condition of being magnanimous; generosity.
America has spent 20 years in a place of only modest strategic importance about which most American voters have long since ceased to care.
Unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities or achievements.
The claim that America is showing itself to be a fickle ally by allowing the Afghan government to fall is also overblown, given the duration, scale and expense of the American deployment.
Changing frequently, especially as regards one's loyalties, interests, or affection.
The defunct regime in Kabul was not an ally in the way that Germany or Japan is.
No longer existing or functioning.
Mr Biden failed to show even a modicum of care for the welfare of ordinary Afghans.
a small amount of something good such as truth or honesty:
Apologists for Mr Biden argue that his predecessor, Donald Trump, had already scuppered this plan by trying to rush it to a conclusion before last year’s presidential election in America.
A hole in a ship's side to carry water overboard from the deck.
It is true that Mr Trump was so desperate to strike a quick deal that he accepted preposterous terms, agreeing to end America’s deployment without even securing a ceasefire, let alone a clear plan to end the civil war.
Contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous.
Yet Mr Biden was working to an arbitrary and flippant deadline of his own
Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
Not showing a serious or respectful attitude.
Although the speed of the Afghan government’s implosion surprised most observers, including this newspaper, America’s soldiers and politicians were among the most naively optimistic, insisting that a total collapse was a vanishingly remote prospect.
An instance of something collapsing violently inward.
And when it became clear that the Afghan army was melting away, Mr Biden pressed on intransigently, despite the likely consequences.
in a way that shows that you refuse to change your opinions or behaviour:
As a result, America’s power to deter its enemies and reassure its friends has diminished.
Discourage (someone) from doing something by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences.
Its intelligence was flawed, its planning rigid, its leaders capricious and its concern for allies minimal.
Unable to bend or be forced out of shape; not flexible.
Given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.
That is likely to embolden jihadists everywhere, who will take the Taliban’s victory as evidence that God is on their side.
Give (someone) the courage or confidence to do something or to behave in a certain way.
The shambolic withdrawal does not reduce the obligation of America and its allies to ordinary Afghans, but increases it.
Chaotic, disorganized, or mismanaged.
An act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.