The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group on Tuesday called the conduct of the United States during the Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan “the moral downfall of America.”
In a televised speech carried by official Hezbollah media, Hassan Nasrallah said the US pullout should cause people to rethink the potential future of US support for Israel.
“Those watching most closely and drawing conclusions from this are the Israelis,” he said.
“In order not to have Americans fighting for other [nations], [President Joe] Biden was able to accept a historic failure. When it comes to Lebanon and those around it, what will be the case there?” Nasrallah asked rhetorically.
The Taliban retook power on Sunday after the US-backed government collapsed when Islamist militants entered the capital Kabul following a lightning conquest of Afghanistan.
“Everybody must consider it and meditate upon it,” Nasrallah said, referring to the Taliban’s victory. “Those who most need to draw conclusions and wisdom from this are the peoples of this region.”
Nasrallah scathingly remarked that the US did not extract many Afghans who had collaborated with them from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
“They evacuated the dogs who worked in the security forces, but not those who aided them. They took out their equipment, but left the human beings behind… these are the Americans,” Nasrallah said.
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani tweeted a similar message Wednesday, claiming that “the fate of the US in Vietnam and Afghanistan will be the unchangeable fate of the occupying Zionist regime too.”
“The end of any occupation is a humiliating expulsion,” he added in a post that was also published in Hebrew, albeit with several translation errors.
Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook earlier Wednesday that US secretary of state John Kerry had sought to bring him to Afghanistan in 2013 in order to show him how the US could build an army of locals that could fight terror.
“The message was clear — the ‘Afghani model’ was the model that the US wanted to implement with the Palestinians,” he wrote.
“We would get the same results [as Afghanistan] if we gave parts of our homeland to the Palestinians,” he claimed.
On Sunday, a senior official in Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, also linked the Taliban’s fight against the American-backed Afghani government and Hamas’s fight against Israel.
“The Taliban are victorious today after being accused of backwardness and terrorism. They emerge today as a smarter and more realistic movement. They confronted America and its agents and refused to compromise with them. They were not deceived by bright headlines about ‘democracy’ and ‘elections,’” Moussa Abu Marzouk tweeted Monday.
Along with Hamas, Islamic Jihad congratulated the Taliban on their conquest of Afghanistan, which the Palestinian terror group called “the liberation of [Afghani] land from the Western and American occupation.”
Analysts have warned the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan risks emboldening jihadists worldwide.
“The Taliban’s victory will give jihadist groups worldwide a major boost. It makes them believe that they can expel foreign powers, even major military powers like the United States,” Colin Clarke, director of research at the New York-based Soufan Center think tank, told AFP.
“I expect to see a major propaganda blitz culminating on the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This will improve morale for jihadis from North Africa to Southeast Asia,” he added.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, said that the example of the Taliban’s patience would convince jihadists around the world to keep fighting, despite the existing hostility between the Afghan fundamentalists and Islamic State.
“The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is something that actually emboldens jihadists everywhere although the IS is not necessarily happy about it.”
“When groups see the Taliban celebrating victory, I think it convinces them that if they just keep fighting, eventually those they are fighting will collapse, whether it’s in Somalia or West Africa.
“Eventually they just hope the powers backing these governments they fight will withdraw.”
Al-Qaeda’s propaganda arm Al-Thabat has already welcomed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, saying that “Muslims and Mujahideen in Pakistan, Kashmir, Yemen, Syria, Gaza, Somalia and Mali are celebrating the liberation of Afghanistan and the implementation of Sharia within it.”