Earlier this month, an earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti.
International aid groups began mobilizing to assist with search and rescue and humanitarian aid delivery… only Haiti’s gangs aren’t allowing supplies and aid workers through to the hardest hit areas.
“Multiple gangs have been fighting over territory and resources in the area, making shootouts, raids, and hijackings common occurrences on the highway,” reads one report.
One town’s hospital collapsed and the town’s only ambulance broke down. Hospitals in the greater area have run out of supplies.
This is the kind of collapse that I fear. One where life muddles on, but everything around us is degraded. Grid brown.
Add to this a deteriorating security situation in many areas of the United States, and it wouldn’t take too long for us to become a bona fide Third World country.
This actually has been on my mind over the past week, watching the Biden administration stumble through an embarrassing debacle in Kabul. And it’s not over. It appears that the Biden administration has struck a deal with the Taliban, but things could always go sideways. I have wondered if it might become America’s Suez Canal crisis.
Briefly, the Egyptian government nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, spurring a military invasion by Great Britain, France, and Israel to gain back control. Then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower threatened to sell off the British pounds held by the United States unless Britain ended the incursion.
Faced with economic and monetary ruin, the British backed down and recalled their troops. In fact, they had a monetary crisis, anyway, and that was pretty much the midway point in the final phase of the British empire.
The situation in Kabul isn’t analogous, but I have thought about the risks that would be imposed if the Biden administration did give in to a Taliban ultimatum, fearing a worsening tactical situation and not wanting to recommit more troops to Afghanistan.
Tactical decisions sometimes carry strategic consequences, and when you’re dealing with a high volume of people, a tense situation, and a group prone to carrying out suicide bombings, anything can happen. In short, it could get much worse.
An escalation would mean more dead Americans, no clear “path to victory,” and really an unwinnable situation, not to mention probably the end of Biden’s presidency. The Taliban understand this.
I doubt that Kabul will end up marking the midway point of American empire collapse. That’s a seat that’s so far reserved for Taiwan. But the mere thought that an American Suez is possible is, in itself, a bad sign, and an indicator of things to come. – M.S.