Disease and famine in Afghanistan are now threatening tens of millions in the war-torn country thanks to Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal a few months ago.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus tweeted the following warning earlier this week:
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“Aid groups have predicted that if current U.S. economic policy toward Afghanistan continues, there could be more civilian deaths this year than there were in 20 years of war.”
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“The Biden administration can, and must, act now.”
The Taliban took complete control of the country last year following the Biden’s disastrous withdrawal of the U.S. military.
Biden then imposed new sanctions on Afghanistan by freezing its assets.
Jacobinmag.com reports: According to recent reporting from the Washington Post, nearly 23 million Afghans (out of a total population of 39 million) don’t have enough to eat, while many lack proper shelter and the means to heat their houses. It’s a datapoint you’re unlikely to see take over the news cycle and, in the event that it does appear, existing precedent suggests you’re even less likely to hear about the direct role of US policy in bringing it about. But behind opaque euphemisms like “a man-made crisis” and “dried-up foreign aid” is the unavoidable truth that US-led sanctions coupled with the Biden administration’s decision to freeze the majority of the Afghan government’s assets have quite literally crippled the country’s economy.
As a result, the United Nations has warned, its banking system is on the brink of collapse and as many as a million children are now at risk of dying from malnutrition. A group of more than forty House Democrats last month urged the administration to unfreeze Afghanistan’s central bank reserves, noting in an open letter the economic ruin that America’s confiscation of the country’s financial assets has caused and adding: “No increase in food and medical aid can compensate for the macroeconomic harm of soaring prices of basic commodities, a banking collapse, a balance-of-payments crisis, a freeze on civil servants’ salaries, and other severe consequences that are rippling throughout Afghan society, harming the most vulnerable.”
With political pressure mounting, it’s at least conceivable that the Biden administration will have to abandon the talking point that it’s somehow aiding the Afghan people by punishing a repressive government. As facts on the ground make all too clear, the greatest victims of Washington’s post-occupation policy have not been the Taliban but ordinary Afghans themselves.
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