Well, it is clear to Bryan, to me, and others, but not to D.C. or Brussels, because as has been repeated ad nauseam--they are incompetent there. Obviously most Russia "experts" in D.C. are not acquainted with Russian dramaturgy (they prefer mediocrity like Solzhenitsyn or Pasternak's subpar prose), but if they were, they would certainly pay attention to a famous 1868 play by Alexander Ostrovsky "Enough stupidity in Every Wise Man" (На всякого мудреца довольно простоты) in New York the play was performed under the title "The Diary of a Scoundrel". The play could have been as well written and staged today in and around D.C., especially in relation to the cadres of "Russia experts" there--double-dealing manipulators with Brussels and Washington's swamp vanities. A perfect environment for perpetuating utter non-sense and outright lies, which lead to a stupidity of, mostly self-proclaimed, wise-man taking over. It is also perfect for failing to grasp very simple things, like Russia's foreign policy.
Henry Bernard Levy is a Jewish-French neocon, pseudo-academic and, generally, not a very smart man (good demagogue, though), he is also very aggressive, as is often the case with activist people with zero military background but solid globalist pedigree, and now he tries to push for the son of late Ahmad Shah Massoud to take the place of his murdered father and make Panjshir the center of resistance to Taliban. Sure:
Ahmad Massoud, who is now in his early 30s, raised his father’s torch in late 2019, trying to rally supporters and prepare them for a possible Taliban onslaught in the wake of the upcoming NATO pullout. As of May, Western intelligence services were reportedly refraining from formally cooperating with him but did keep in touch. In addition to the loyalty that his name evokes, he has the benefit of the military and political education he received at various prestigious schools in the UK. He also has a vocal ally in French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who was a personal friend of the Lion of Panjshir. In fact, the call for arms in The Washington Post begins with an anecdote of how Levy told Shah Massoud: “When you fight for your freedom, you fight also for our freedom.”
Of course, the main problem here is the fact that war-mongers like Levy, who, at some point of time, need to face International War Crimes Court, are not that good with planning, especially strategic and operational ones. Sergey Lavrov is on record today (in Russian) that Russia is for dialogue of all forces in Afghanistan and formation of government representative of all factions. But in the end, Levy plus other West's wise-men should understand that there is no fighting Taliban (if it comes to it) without Russia supplying weapons and other resources (Northern Alliance, rings the bell?) to said Massoud Jr. As Pepe Escobar writes in his excellent piece:
I met Masoud father – an icon. Afghan insider info on Masoud son is not exactly flattering. Yet he’s already a darling of woke Europeans, complete with a glamour pose for AFP, an impromptu visit in the Panjshir by professional philosopher swindler Bernard-Henri Levy, and the release of a manifesto of sorts published in several European newspapers, exhibiting all the catchphrases: “tyranny”, “slavery”, “vendetta”, “martyred nation”, “Kabul screams”, “nation in chains”, etc. The whole set up smells like a “son of Shah” [of Iran] gambit. Masoud son and his mini-militia are completely surrounded in the Panjshir mountains and can’t be de facto effective even when it comes to regimenting the under 25s, two-thirds of the Afghan population, whose main worry is to find real jobs in a nascent real economy. Woke NATOstan “analyses” of Taliban Afghanistan don’t even qualify as irrelevant, insisting that Afghanistan is not strategic and even lost its tactical importance for NATO. It’s a sorry spectacle illustrating how Europe is hopelessly behind the curve, drenched in trademark neo-colonialism of the White Man’s Burden variety as it dismisses a land dominated by clans and tribes.
So, guess who we all should be betting on to succeed in Afghanistan? Forces "promoted" by wise-men with acute case of stupidity or on Russia and China putting out fires of the war by what they do best, better than anybody--diplomacy supported by military and economic power, traits combined West, especially impotent EU, do not have anymore. But even Stars and Stripes did publish Isachenkov's piece which contains this:
Kabulov, the Kremlin envoy, emphasized that Moscow's recognition of the Taliban will hinge on "whether they will govern the country in a responsible way in the near future, and proceeding from that, the Russian leadership will make the necessary conclusions." He added that Russia would only take the Taliban off its list of terrorist organizations after the U.N. Security Council decides to remove it from its terror list. Russian diplomats argued that the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan helped change Afghan perceptions of the Soviet invasion and made many local leaders willing to accept Moscow's mediation.
The last sentence about Soviet invasion is especially true. "If we knew what would follow after Soviet withdrawal, we wouldn't have resisted." Do you know who said that? Yes, late Ahmad Shah Massoud. Make your own conclusion.
P.S. Check out Andrei Raevsky's (The Saker) Interview with rock-legend Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, totally worth it. Congratulations to Andrei with such a legendary guest.
Having Roger as a guest is a highlight in any journalist's career.