All posts by Sean Curnyn

I’m God – I Can Do It

In New York City a few days ago, a deranged and homeless 61-year-old man pushed a 40-year-old woman directly into the path of an arriving subway train, causing her immediate death. It’s far from an unprecedented crime, and the New York news has been filled with disturbing events for some time now, but this was one of those incidents that rises above the stream and engages people’s sense of horror for a little more than the typical 10 minutes. The woman was by all accounts an exceptionally lovely and decent person, and one who actually did voluntary work on behalf of the homeless. The man pushed her in front of the train without warning and for no reason at all. Later he publicly confessed the crime, shouting to reporters, “Yes I did. I’m God, I can do it.”

It’s a haunting statement, even from a lunatic, because we can actually understand his logic. “I’m God”—I possess the power of life and of death. That woman was alive, with friends, family, energies, affections, things to do, a future; he just gave her a quick push and now she no longer exists in the material realm. He delivered death, to be sure. Unlike God, however, he does not have the power to give life. That’s where his logic breaks down. He can neither create life where none is manifested nor resurrect what once was living. Dishing out random death is a cheap and evil imitation of God. But it does get people’s attention. This man should have been receiving compassion and help—in the form of mandatory treatment as needed—as should countless other broken human beings wandering the streets of New York City and similar places. Allowing them the right to horribly degrade and destroy themselves in full public view is not compassionate, as if that should even need to be said; and yet this society is so off the rails that it does need to be said.

Nevertheless, that statement of his—“I’m God, I can do it”—has been lingering in my mind, and it has seemed to me that he is far from alone in that aspect of his derangement. There are a lot of mad things going on in the world. And two particular afflictions which have descended upon us in very recent years can both be seen to be springing from extremely arrogant and ham-handed attempts to take the place of God.

***

The first is the COVID-19 virus, and its associated global dislocations. When it first emerged in Wuhan, the desperate attempts at cover-up undertaken by the Chinese regime were strong evidence that it had escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where it was well known that they were experimenting with coronaviruses. At this point—over two years later—the continued refusal of the Chinese regime to release all of their data, along with the total global failure to identify a natural origin, make it a lead-pipe cinch that it did indeed come from that laboratory. If the Chinese regime could provide strong evidence to the contrary, they would assuredly have done so by now. The conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies (who have unlimited resources!) some months ago that they couldn’t come to a conclusion on the origin of Covid-19—because the Chinese weren’t being open enough!—is laughable to the point of obscenity, and is alone reason to burn those organizations to the ground and build something superior in their place.

Yet for everything that has happened due to COVID—five and half million deaths and counting, the disruption of every aspect of human activity—there remains a stunning lack of interest in identifying the true cause of the disaster and taking action to prevent a repeat of something similar or even worse. We fight amongst ourselves about masks and lockdowns and vaccine mandates, and meanwhile as far as we know there are continuing experiments being done in China (and other places) on dangerous viruses, to enhance their transmissibility and lethality. It is as if we just accept that this is OK. Or, at least, it’s probably OK; it just doesn’t rise to the level of real concern. Time is much better spent yelling at each other about masks. Well, maybe it is OK: maybe that experiment that went wrong has been worth all of the deaths, the suffering, the damage to societies all over the world. After all, the smart people seem to think so. In 2012, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States anticipated such a turn of events and said it would be worth it. Addressing the risks of gain-of-function viral research, he said:

In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic? Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?

Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks. It is more likely that a pandemic would occur in nature, and the need to stay ahead of such a threat is a primary reason for performing an experiment that might appear to be risky.

However, there’s no evidence that this pandemic came from nature, despite the continued attempts to obfuscate by the Chinese regime and others who have an incalculable stake in evading blame. So it seems the wrong bet was placed. The consequences of this kind of experimentation going awry have now been felt, and are continuing to be felt and to multiply. Should we not be asking, and very, very loudly: Was it worth it? And what can we do to prevent it happening again?

Yet other than a precious few, those in a position of responsibility in our societies don’t seem to be asking these crucial questions at all, and the rest of us in the seething masses seem satisfied enough to continue being consumed with our distractions. The man who made that statement in 2012 about how it would all be worth it is currently the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, and someone we all know very well from listening to his advice these past two years about how to protect ourselves from this escaped gain-of-function experiment.

To summarize: the rationale for doing work that some would simply call evil on its face—fiddling in a lab with viruses to deliberately make them more contagious and more deadly—was that it was scientifically necessary in order to “stay ahead” of a similar virus appearing in nature. But how “ahead” were we, for all this experimentation, when COVID-19 did emerge? Two years into it, the best U.S. and global medical scientists are still utterly failing to come up with a way to end the pandemic and its associated miseries. And since it’s all but certain it didn’t come from nature, we can add that scientists have also failed to come with a way of stopping the very menace that scientists themselves created in a laboratory.

Simply put, this is unacceptable. These gain of function experiments which have cost the world so much constitute a clear example of recklessly and stupidly playing at being God. They create new and lethal pathogens which no one can prove that nature would ever generate on its own. Yet, instead of outrage, it is as if a fog has descended on everyone’s mind. We argue and brawl on the sidelines while the architects of the disaster supply us with brickbats to use against one another. Why are people so far unwilling to rise up and demand a certain end to this horrific research, in China and anywhere else it may occur, and for accountability from those who created and (we can only assume) accidentally released COVID-19?

One reason, I’d suggest, is that science itself is today held up as something to revere, and never to question. Yet science is merely a method of acquiring knowledge through experimentation, and through trial and error. It is a tool: an effective one, but one which has no consciousness of its own. Science as such possesses no inherent rightness or morality or concern. It is up to us to impose and expect those things of those who use the tool, i.e., those who practice science. As with any tool, it can be used for good or for evil. You can worship science if you like—and it seems many do—but you would be just as well off in worshiping a rock. Just like the rock, science as such has no knowledge of you, and has no salvific quality in and of itself. The rock can fall and crush you and it will never know or care. It is exactly the same with science. And scientists who believe themselves to be qualified to operate on a God-like level are deeply wrong and they are among the most dangerous people on Earth today.

This fallen world possesses countless diseases already. Science should not be put to work in devising new, Frankenstein viruses that no one can understand or control. It is appallingly arrogant and plainly evil to do so. How about devoting those brains and resources instead to creating broad spectrum medicines, therapeutics and treatments aimed at making people well? That, God knows, is the proper business of scientists.

***

The second example of an affliction of very recent years that I’d suggest has sprung from a false sense of being God is the amazingly successful movement to abolish the concept of biological sex. The idea that maleness and femaleness are simply social constructs has been around for a long time, of-course, brought up intermittently by lovable kooks. But the lovable kooks have turned into therapists, doctors, teachers, administrators, bureaucrats, lawmakers, judges, and much more. This doesn’t make the abolition of biological sex any more sensible or based upon fact. A denial of reality on that scale, for an individual or a society, can only end in catastrophe. We are already seeing the blowback in terms of an increasing number of those who “transitioned” since the hysteria began on this subject seeking “de-transitioning,” but the abuse inflicted upon their bodies and minds by ready and willing medical professionals will never be completely undone.

There used to be a line you’d hear—I’m sure it’s out of fashion now—that goes something like: “God doesn’t make mistakes.” There are variations. “God don’t make no junk.” But lucky us: we’ve moved on from all that kind of thinking now. Another mantra used to be, “Love yourself.” Also there was the idea of demanding others to “accept me as I am.” All of these concepts can be abused, but they all are getting at a fundamental truth. You are neither born useless nor broken. Everyone is precious and has a purpose and worth in the eyes of his or her Creator, and should likewise be valued by others. When it comes to sex, there have always been girls or women who favored more “masculine” styles or pursuits, just as there have always been boys or men who have inclined towards the “effeminate.” This is not even to talk of sexual behavior, which is, after all, another subject; this is simply about personality and identity. There’s nothing wrong with being a butchy female or a flamboyant guy, or anything along the spectrum. There never has been anything wrong with it. People get made fun of, naturally, especially as schoolchildren, but it’s the people making fun who are in the wrong.

Or at least that’s how decent people used to think. We’ve forgotten all that now. Now, being a somewhat masculine female or a slightly feminine male is something that is all wrong; in fact it’s something that needs to be fixed. You need surgery, hormones: you need to shape up! Chop off the breasts, slice up the genitals, get the silicone, swallow the chemicals: get right, get happy! Now kids are being raised to look in the mirror—even as toddlers!—and question if they’re in the right body or not. (And I thought childhood in the 1970s was hard.) This is all so utterly crazy and cruel that no amount of browbeating and politically correct intimidation should ever force anyone to accept that it is in any way right.

Life is very properly a journey in finding out both who you are and who you want to be, but this is in a holistic and especially a spiritual sense. Allowing your body to be mutilated by unscrupulous quacks in the name of “fixing” some mistake allegedly made by your Creator is not a path to happiness, but rather an exercise in self-hatred. People, and children most of all, should not be encouraged to hate themselves. They need to be encouraged to hold themselves in high regard, despite the inevitable confusions that are part of growing up. And they need—what’s that word?—oh yeah, love.

The other notion in vogue—that people can simply call themselves by any gender or invented gender they like regardless of their biological reality—is obviously even more absurd, although at least bodies aren’t wrecked by it if it goes no further. But compelling others to use patently false pronouns and other deceitful language is an assault on truth that seriously impoverishes and demeans us all.

At the root of these problems, again, is a failure to acknowledge the role of God, and to instead take it upon oneself, or to be taught that one needs to take it upon oneself. But we didn’t create ourselves, and taking knives and chemicals to supposedly make our bodies match our identities is like trying to use a hammer to bang a snowflake into a better shape. It is destruction and not creation. Those who are at the present time successfully selling this hideous lie to helpless children ought to rethink it, or failing that, find themselves some millstones and a sea to swallow them up.

***

In all of the above, and much more besides, things seem so wrong these days. But in the long-term, the terrible conceit inherent in presuming oneself to be God and acting accordingly always brings its punishment upon itself, and a correction occurs. As someone once sang, “There’s a law, there’s an arm, there’s a hand.”

Of-course what one longs for is an ultimate correction, so we can’t make the same mistakes over and over again.

That, I guess, is still somewhere beyond the horizon.

***

Death On Demand (Now with Home Delivery)


“The person will get into the capsule and lie down. It’s very comfortable.” So says Philip Nitschke, he of the organization Exit International, which has developed a device called the Sarco. It is a lovely, blue, pod-shaped machine. You get in, get comfortable, answer a few questions on a computer screen, and then press a button which causes the interior of the device to be flooded with nitrogen gas. Within 30 seconds you’re expected to be even more comfortable—if unconsciousness equates to comfort—and in 5-10 minutes you can look forward to being dead as a doornail. Luxurious indeed!

It has reportedly passed legal review in Switzerland and could go into operation in 2022. You’ll be able to have it delivered to your home, or some idyllic pastoral setting, or even—the better to reduce transportation costs—right beside your pre-dug grave. After all, it seems sensible to make the whole thing as easy as possible. Back to Philip:

Currently [in Switzerland] a doctor or doctors need to be involved to prescribe the sodium pentobarbital and to confirm the person’s mental capacity. We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves.

It’s a wonderful world, and getting more so every day, it seems. Just for fun, I wonder if someone might start up a competing service. In this case, someone would come to your house, but without having to carry the blue Sarco suicide pod with them. They wouldn’t have to bring anything. They come in, sit beside you, and talk to you. And they listen to you, to anything you want to say, about your suffering and your hopelessness. When they do speak, it is to remind you of the immeasurable value of seeing the sun rise on another day, of breathing in the air, and of your own incalculable worth as a human being. They get to know you, and to know the things that encourage you and move you. They return regularly, and help you squeeze every drop of value from the remaining days of your precious life. In so doing, they also reap a rich reward and are themselves immeasurably improved.

But, let’s face it, that’s all quite a bit of effort. Better the blue pod: no muss, no fuss—just the nitrogen, please!

The practice of euthanasia has for some time been spreading in the Western world. This is at the same time as birth rates (and not only in the Western world) have been shrinking well below replacement level, making the extinction of particular nations and cultures something that is coming down the track with the steadiness of a freight train. As this syndrome seems to affect societies more intensely as they become more affluent, it may well turn out to be the final solution for the whole human race. Imagine!

Activists devoutly fight for the right to die, and the right of others to kill themselves without compassionate interference. And at the other end of things, activists passionately fight for the right to eliminate babies in the womb before they can take a breath for themselves or see the sun rise even once, and all this even as the population is headed for catastrophic aging and decline.

What is the source of this kind of unnatural hopelessness that is afflicting entire societies? Is it only short-term comfort and convenience that matter? Is there no higher purpose? If so, then what’s really the point? Why not just put in an order for the lovely blue pod right now? Skip whatever suffering remains; avoid those repetitive trials and obstacles. All in all, it’s most likely better not to have been born (as in the recent court decision in the UK).

“[G]et into the capsule and lie down. It’s very comfortable.” So goes a civilization. No dramatic climate catastrophes or nuclear conflagrations required. What a relief!

Yet, I just wonder if that last person, right after pushing the button for the nitrogen, will for a fleeting moment recall a flash of—oh, say something along the lines of Deuteronomy 30:19, and experience one nanosecond of terrible regret.

For all the wokeness going around, we truly need to wake up, and with unseemly haste.

Just a Notion: ABBA, Gratitude, Faith and Forgiveness

“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.”
– C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer

The Swedish pop music quartet known as ABBA—Agnetha, Benny, Björn, Ana-Frid—must be known by just about everyone in the world, and everybody likely has an instant take on them; mainly it’s either “I love them” or “I can’t stand them.” During their career together from 1972 to 1982, they became popular in Britain and Europe well before the USA, and have been in general a lot more popular in Europe. Yours Truly first encountered them as a young transplant from America to Ireland in the mid 1970s, and at 8 or 9 years of age became enraptured by Agnetha on the record sleeve but also by the insanely catchy tunes and alluring recordings.

Of-course—excepting the prodigious among us—no one has discerning taste in music at 8 or 9. Still, I maintain in the face of argument that I have ultimately developed decent musical taste, and have journeyed through various phases of taste and discernment to the present day, discarding some affections while acquiring others. Yet, I never discarded ABBA. Their lack of coolness in many circles never bugged me; I’ve liked (and disliked) the cool and the uncool, and watched many artists journey through stages of coolness and uncoolness, but all that had no influence on how I enjoyed the music. (Truth be told, I’ve enjoyed being perverse that way.) And as time went on I came to realize that in the end what I like is just pop music. Even when listening to debatably-different genres like jazz, folk, punk, country, it’s all just pop music to me, and I’m always on the lookout for that special transition to the sublime that happens when a great pop song, in the right hands, produces chills, tears or unfathomable joy.

For the epitome of a great pop record, I could do no better than to point to the example John Lennon liked to reference: “Be My Baby,” the Phil Spector tune and production, performed by the Ronettes.

While great popular music can obviously get considerably more sophisticated and mature than “Be My Baby,” that track possesses all the essential elements—irresistible tune, great sound and performance, a persuasive pathos and terrific pithiness—and it hits you good and hard with all of that stuff, which makes it such an attractive archetype.

Over their career, ABBA hit the heights, occasionally the depths, and everywhere in-between, but all in all delivered an amazing number of superb tunes that have more than proven their worth by virtue of their longevity in the popular consciousness. I’ve always had a soft spot for their simplest pure pop confections, like “Ring Ring,” “Hasta Manana,” and “Honey, Honey.” Sure, there’s a treacly quality to those early sides, but a little a bit of sugar never added to the bitterness in this world.

And a little later in their career, is there a better pop record about a struggling-to-survive marriage than “One Man, One Woman”? Or a more poignant take on watching a child grow up (and grow away) than “Slipping Through My Fingers”?

I’m deliberately avoiding mentioning the biggest hits of all, because everyone knows them so well anyway. Again, the longevity of these songs is amazing, and—by their own account—shocking to the members of ABBA themselves. Something’s going on when so many thousands of contemporaneous hits are all but forgotten, while these continue to be played and discovered anew by millions of listeners. The use of the songs in movies and musicals has been part of that, of-course, but the fact of their usage in those new forms itself attests to their durability. (Personally, I never dug any of that stuff: I continue to just like the original records, though there are one or two cover versions I’ve enjoyed.)

I’d suggest that for a pop artist or group to generate the continuing public affection that ABBA demonstrably have done, there needs to be some inspirational quality in what they do. There needs to be an evocation of something higher, whatever one calls it; there needs to be a stretch towards the sublime. Cynical music (which unfortunately there’s plenty of) doesn’t last, certainly not in the popular consciousness.

In the case of ABBA, I think this inspirational element is their implicit joy in and gratitude for music itself. It’s audible in the records, and it is contagious, and it infects and uplifts the willing listener. It comes across both in the craft of the songwriting and the obvious care and pleasure the artists take in their performances and recordings.

And, conveniently enough, they actually have a song that expresses it directly. That would be “Thank You for the Music.”

Gratitude itself is kind of a holy thing. (From way back.) And expressing gratitude for music is inescapably a “thank you” to the Creator of music. Now, the song has those cute lines wondering who originally “found out that nothing can capture a heart like a melody can,” and then asserting, “well, whoever it was, I’m a fan.” However, although Mr. Gore invented the internet, everyone knows that no politician, industrialist or even any noble peasant invented music. Music is built in to the universe: the music of the spheres, generated from the form and harmony of reality itself. Humans were not needed to create it, but only, perhaps, to hear it. (And make hit records with it.)

I should say that I don’t mean to tread on the religious beliefs or lack thereof of the members of ABBA here. I have no idea what they are, and I’m happy to assume for the sake of argument that all four are securely secular Swedes. That doesn’t matter: a great song is a song which both emerges from somewhere mysterious and continues off to somewhere mysterious. It is not a manifesto of the songwriter’s opinions, because by definition then it would not be a great song. (Not all songwriters know this, to their detriment, but as attested to by their work, Benny and Björn most certainly do.)

When the first new songs to be heard from ABBA in almost forty years were premiered, there were people assembled in various places to enjoy and share the moment. On hearing “I Still Have Faith in You,” and “Don’t Shut Me Down,” many cried, and some compared it to a sacred experience. It might be easy to deride such reactions, but I think what many fans were experiencing did indeed have a sacred element, in that the tears were ones of gratitude. There was a sense of overwhelming gratitude that something extraordinarily unlikely—and quite beautiful—was actually coming to pass.

After all, ABBA were not supposed to get back together and create new music. For decades, it was never seriously contemplated that they would. They’d been there, done that, couldn’t top it, and obviously preferred to leave it as it was. Their breakup was also not merely the run-of-the-mill ending of a musical partnership, but also involved two broken marriages. Reuniting and trusting one another sufficiently to record an album of new songs (some quite personal) cannot but have required an inestimable level of forgiveness.

And one must also consider the unlikeliness of it purely as a matter of physics and biology, if you will. All four are now in their seventies. What are the chances—not merely that all four would still be living—but that all four would be in sufficiently good physical and mental health to make music like they did forty years ago? That part was completely out of their control, and out of everyone’s. There’s a line in “I Still Have Faith in You” about being “humble and grateful to have survived,” and, honestly, no kidding! The tears of gratitude that listeners shed on hearing that song were unavoidably (even if unconsciously) aimed at that Source of things way beyond human power to fashion: things like the very fact of music itself, and of life. When one is crying tears of gratitude for such things, one is not imagining oneself crying into a void, after all. Where there is gratitude, there is a recipient.

The song celebrates faith in one another, and that is surely a wonderful thing, but of-course our faith in one another is not infinite. We are human. We betray, we fight, we divorce; we get sick and we die. Like gratitude, faith also demands a worthy object, and though unnamed and almost surely unintended, that idea envelopes this song.

And it’s a great song: classic ABBA. As is the album as a whole. In addition to being moving, it was really quite funny hearing these new tracks, because it actually sounds as if they’d just gone back into the studio the week after recording their last album and got started again. In their time, their sound was their own but also quite cognizant of contemporary trends. But on this new record they completely ignore the last 40 years of whatever has gone down in the pop music world and are just right back where they left off. (If anything, maybe more 1978 than 1982.)

One of my favorite songs on the album is in fact an outtake from those years that they pulled out and refashioned. That is “Just a Notion,” and hearing it was the impetus for writing this piece in the first place. I felt something strange and remarkable in it and just had to try and put my finger on it. I have no doubt others have heard it too, although I don’t bump into too many ABBA fans round these parts. But, speaking frankly, it was Bob Dylan who helped me hear it. When he recorded his five LPs worth of Great American Songbook/Sinatra tunes, he uncovered (to my ears and mind and those of others) how so many of these great songs of extravagant romantic love can be heard as part of a heavenly dialogue; as a kind of loving conversation with our Maker. I have no idea how Dylan did this, because he didn’t change a single thing about the songs. (He even copied most of the arrangements from Frank’s records.) But do it he did, and quite resoundingly, and in every way those recordings stand as some of the greatest work he has done in his rather otherworldly career. And in doing so, he highlighted how, when even pop songwriters are doing their best work, they cannot but intersect with that higher order of things, and pull down notes from an ineffable melody being played by the most masterful musician of all.

“Just a Notion” is, as Benny has said, a ridiculously happy song. Musically, the recording evokes the aforementioned Phil Spector just a bit for me, as it delivers a pretty decent wall of sound. (I guess the background brass riffs also evoke Spector for me.) It also defies the usual dynamics of a pop record, in that it doesn’t start low and go up, then go back down and go up again, but instead it builds and explodes, then builds more and explodes more, and then builds MORE and explodes MORE. It’s a lot of fun, if you like that kind of thing.

In the song, the singer is apparently possessed by an inexplicable certainty that she is about to meet her dream lover and they are about to embark on their happily-ever-after life. She is exhilarated by this thought and by her sureness about it, and that’s the whole song—just emphasizing over and over again how much faith she has that this encounter will imminently occur.

Just a notion
That you’ll be walking up to me
In a while and you’ll smile and say hello
And we’ll be dancing through the night
Knowing everything from thereon must be right

In real life there’s a thin line between this kind of thinking and terrible tragedy, of-course, but the song brooks none of that. It is 3 1/2 minutes of perfect joy; indeed, it is ecstatic.

And, recalling the lessons from Bob, the thought of ecstasy might suggest another kind of encounter. On that level, I can’t escape the notion that this song expresses the very kind of intense joy that a true believer—someone gifted with a rare and profound faith—might feel when meditating upon the love of God. Think of “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” if you will, or other hymns on the theme. It is the confidence of being secure in the Master’s hand. Even, most blessedly of all, at the very moment of death.

Some may think that a rather macabre idea, but death is the one thing that comes for everybody—much more reliably than a new ABBA album—and wouldn’t it be a consolation if one were able to greet that departure (and arrival) with such a song?

Just so, it would also be wonderful to be able to greet every day of life on earth with such a spirit of hope, faith and joy. Gratitude is due, after all.

Thanks, ABBA.

A Prayer for U.S. Soldiers in Kabul

In part simply to try and retain my own tenuous grasp on reality in this ever more deranged world, I’m offering the following review of the situation in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, this August 20th of 2021.

  • For the first time in 20 years, the Taliban are operating at will, without fear of bombardment by the U.S. or anyone else. They are free to organize, bring in reinforcements, prepare and plan future actions.
  • The Taliban surround the airport in Kabul, in which are currently penned something like 6000 American troops.
  • The Taliban are free to operate because Joe Biden has invested everything in the hope of getting out of this situation without a fight. In any other circumstance looking anything like this over the last 20 years, all holy hell would have been rained down on the Taliban long ago in order to prevent them from building up strength to attack a U.S. position.
  • The American troops in this situation are at a strong additional disadvantage because they were inserted on an emergency basis, with limited numbers and equipment and assigned an uncertain mission in an impossibly volatile environment. Over the past 20 years, nothing like this ever happened. Troops were only deployed intentionally, with ample preparation and planning. No massacre of U.S. troops was ever going to happen under those circumstances. But now it is different.
  • This is not a situation that all the smart and highly-paid people should have allowed to develop, in case that’s not obvious.

At this point, there are simply no positive resolutions possible, unless the Taliban are actually changed men, and desire to allow the U.S. troops (who have spent the last 20 years blowing thousands of Taliban soldiers to pieces) to complete their mission and leave peacefully and proudly. I would suggest (albeit that I would prefer to YELL it from the roof) that this potential positive scenario is simply not going to transpire. The Taliban have a golden opportunity — and they surely see it as handed directly to them by Allah — to do to the Americans what has been done to all other invaders over the course of Afghanistan’s history; that is, to deliver them such a brutal parting blow that they will never, ever consider returning.

And please add the following to the mix, in case the Taliban might have any hesitation on their own (which I seriously doubt):

  • The Iranian regime dearly wants to repay the U.S. for Soleimani (and just on general principles for being the Great Satan). They look on Kabul airport today and they see fish in a barrel. They will not attack directly, but they must be scrambling to find any and every way they might aid and encourage the Taliban to turn this into a massacre of U.S. troops.
  • The Chinese regime is already delighted beyond expression with the way in which the U.S. has made itself appear impotent and untrustworthy in this turn of events, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like it to get much, much worse. What are the odds that they are informing the Taliban that if they should see it clear to doing whatever they can to massacre the U.S. troops at Kabul airport, that they will be taken care of, with future military supplies, trade, outright bribes? — you name it.
  • The Russians would also be delighted to see the U.S. deeply damaged by a catastrophe in Kabul, but whether Putin really has the money to spend to underwrite it is another question. (If he does, he’s spending it.)

Bottom line: This is a much deeper and difficult-to-solve predicament for the U.S. military than anyone seems to be acknowledging (least of all the ones who have the most solemn obligation: Joe Biden, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff). The advantages the U.S. had over the Taliban for the last 20 years have all evaporated. We should all be praying intensely for the lives of the American soldiers in Kabul. And for the rest of the Americans still in Afghanistan, likewise: God please help them, and in the same way all of those Afghans who have sincerely if vainly tried to serve the cause of freedom in their nation.

In terms of Joe Biden himself: We have been living the story of the Emperor Who Had No Clothes, and we are quickly approaching the final page. That’s all.

The others — Joint Chiefs’ Chairman Milley, Defense Secretary Austin, Secretary of State Blinken — ought already to have resigned, because the situation they allowed to develop is already inherently a catastrophe. In truth, they ought to have resigned in advance rather than attempt to implement Joe Biden’s rambling senile goal of removing all U.S. troops before September 11th, in the middle of the long-established Afghanistan fighting season, and regardless of the success that the Taliban were having on the battlefield.

A final reiteration of the current reality: If the Taliban choose, at their own discretion and on their own timing (and with all of these days to prepare) to initiate a battle to the death for Kabul airport, there is no big red button that Joe Biden can press to somehow instantly defeat them and rescue the U.S. troops. The Bagram airbase was surrendered on July 1st. There is no way to bring in U.S. reinforcements to the airport in Kabul under intense fire. There is nowhere to go at that point except a return to all out war in Afghanistan, albeit beginning from a considerably greater disadvantage than the U.S. faced in the autumn of 2001, when there was a strong organized opposition to the Taliban in the form of the Northern Alliance.

And yet Joe Biden’s intention here was to end the war in Afghanistan?! The bind that he now finds himself in is far beyond his mental capacity to comprehend and deal with in practical fashion. For him, however, we need have no care or regard. It is — as far as this writer is concerned — a criminal matter that a clearly cognitively impaired individual occupies the office of the presidency of the United States.

But for the soldiers at the airport in Kabul, dropped there to clean up this inconceivable and insoluble catastrophe, we ought to be praying. Let us truly pray.