According to Christians and the post-Christian world in which many of us live, this is the season of peace and goodwill to all. However, I derived little Christmas cheer from an incredible tweet sent by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the United Nations this week.
I imagine that the newly-liberated Afghans will be none too impressed by her response to a UN Security Council resolution to send much-needed humanitarian aid to war-torn Afghanistan after 20 years of occupation by US and NATO forces. Basking in what she no doubt viewed as US benevolence, Thomas-Greenfield tweeted: "I applaud the #UNSC for unanimously voting for this carveout [sic], which is desperately needed by the humanitarian community in Afghanistan."
But what she — and most of the Western media failed to mention — is that millions of Afghan children are in desperate need and on the brink of starvation because the US government has frozen Afghanistan's assets worth more than $9 billion, a move which is wrecking the already fragile economy. This is America's way of punishing the Afghan people for not rising up against the Taliban when ordered to do so by US President Joe Biden. It's also payback to the regime for the humiliating defeat and retreat suffered by US forces at the hands of the movement.
There seems to be a conspiracy of silence in the Western media about the looming crisis, although one British newspaper exclaimed: "Millions face starvation this winter after the withdrawal of foreign aid after the Islamist group took power." The inference is clear: the Taliban government in Kabul is to blame. Not the West for occupying Afghanistan for 20 years and failing miserably to do what it expects the Taliban to have achieved in a matter of months. And not the US Treasury for freezing those desperately needed assets. It's the Taliban's fault.
However, earlier this week hundreds of angry Afghans poured onto the streets of Kabul to protest against the looming humanitarian crisis, and they knew exactly who to blame. Young men in the capital's Abdul Haq Square had protested earlier over sanctions, the frozen assets of the Afghan Central Bank, and the US-engineered crisis.
Sadly, these demonstrations are largely ignored by most journalists who are clambering over each other to get into children's hospitals to tell the tale about human misery made in the good ol' US of A without once mentioning Uncle Sam's role. It's a bit like telling the Nativity Story without mentioning Herod.
It doesn't matter how much gloss and spin is put on America's involvement in Afghanistan over the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have died as a direct result of the US invasion. Now millions more face an uncertain future involving starvation and worse.
Of course, such hypocrisy is nothing new to Afghans who pass their history down from generation to generation by word of mouth lest they forget. They know, for example, that it was Afghanistan which apparently triggered Winston Churchill's thirst for war in 1897. "All who resist will be killed without quarter," he wrote, because the Pashtuns need to "recognise the superiority of race." Churchill also wrote about how "every tribesman caught was speared or cut down at once." Proud of the terror he helped inflict on the people of Afghanistan, one observer noted, he was well on the road to becoming a genocidal maniac.
Winston Churchill was once credited with saying that history is written by the victors, but in the case of Afghanistan 2021 it seems that the Americans are determined to reinvent their disastrous 20-year venture into the so-called graveyard of empires. The Western media seems to be complicit in this re-working of recent history.
For the record, it should be acknowledged that the US lost the war in Afghanistan; beat a hasty retreat; and revived the awful memories of the Fall of Saigon when American troops fled from Kabul. That should have been the end of the story, but Washington's meddling in Afghan affairs is ongoing. It's an American Tale as yet untold by the Afghans, but they will one day. Rest assured they will.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.