Guest Post by Jeremy Carl
Two months before our humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul posted a now-widely circulated tweet with a large rainbow flag celebrating Pride Month.
The month of June is recognized as (LGBTI) Pride Month. The United States respects the dignity & equality of LGBTI people & celebrates their contributions to the society. We remain committed to supporting civil rights of minorities, including LGBTI persons. #Pride2021 #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/qgKPQAPaOY
— U.S. Embassy Kabul (@USEmbassyKabul) June 2, 2021
If this was our plan to win hearts and minds in an extremely conservative Islamic country, one in which only 1% of men surveyed think that it is even acceptable for a woman to have her hair uncovered in public, it is no wonder we failed miserably. Yet such costly and unnecessary failures were not random or idiosyncratic, but regular and systemic.
The blatant hubris of the Pride Month tweet is perhaps the apotheosis of what Revolver News founder Darren Beattie has christened, The Globalist American Empire (GAE): a set of interlocking people and elite institutions that has put America and American interests last, globalism and leftism first, and occupied the commanding heights of our media, government and cultural apparatus.
America’s generals are indeed wholly pro-GAE, as they indicated through their twenty-year resistance to leaving Afghanistan over the opposition not only of the American people (opposition running as high as 72% in recent polls), but of the duly elected political leadership they swore an oath to obey. Donald Trump was elected promising to get us out of Afghanistan, and despite the generals continual foot-dragging, he executed an agreement to do so. It is now clear that the GAE generals, agreement or no, had no intention of leaving and made no serious plans to do so, thinking (incorrectly) that they would be able to talk Biden out of withdrawal. The GAE generals’ lack of preparation for an expedient withdrawal is as much to blame as Biden’s fecklessness and incompetence for the Afghan disaster.
While they had no time to obey orders from the President, General Miley and the rest of the GAE generals, of course, had plenty of time to talk about white rage, investigate Trump supporters and other political opponents of the Biden regime, cheer for Black Lives Matter, and not just allow, but celebrate, homosexuality and transgenderism in the military.
The fact that the generals are almost uniformly GAE is well known by the rank and file, and especially by the tip-of-the-spear folks who are among that small minority (about 10%) of our military who are actually charged with waging war valiantly — at great personal danger — on behalf of the United States. A friend of mine who served many years in special forces once said to me, “they throw those stars in a pile of shit, and see who jumps in after them.” Our current GAE military rewards the most ruthless careerists, not the bravest fighters — men who, like my friend, had done a half dozen combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. And our soldiers know it. Little wonder that in one recent poll, those who had served post-9/11 supported leaving Afghanistan by almost 2 to 1, even though leaving would mean endangering the legacy of their own sacrifices.
But it isn’t just the generals that promote GAE pride ideology. We must remove from office those congressmen such as Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy who push GAE-friendly policies. Equally pro-GAE were publications like the Bulwark and organizations like the Lincoln project, which have never met an imperial adventure they didn’t love — though to be fair, the Afghan war, at twenty years of age, was getting a bit too old to hold the Lincoln Project’s interest.
In support of reckless adventures, promiscuous GAEs lied to voters and political leaders for almost twenty years about the progress of our Afghanistan campaign. These lies were exposed in, among other things, the Afghanistan Papers, and a decade before their release, by General Flynn. When the Afghan Government collapsed almost immediately in the wake of U.S. withdrawal, the GAEs’ lies were exposed. Even those of us who love America, revere its history and traditions, and deeply respect the sacrifices of its soldiers, cannot help but feel a bit of schadenfreude that these generals and politicians, who pretend to be America First patriots but were often leading a secret shameless life of GAE love, have now been exposed before a patriotic but GAE-wary public.
But it is not just the GAE-loving generals and politicians that represent a grave danger to America. Equally to blame are the transnational progressives, who are rife throughout our State Department, as well as the rest of the Biden administration. Transnational progressives (hereafter “Trans”) were first identified as a group with a coherent ideology by Hudson Institute scholar John Fonte in a paper written in the wake of the September 11th attacks. He fully developed the theory around Trans politics in his highly influential 2012 book Sovereignty or Submission.
These Trans men and Trans women of the U.S. bureaucracy are at fundamental war with the concept of U.S. sovereignty. They attempt to use various alleged fuzzy international norms, such as “responsibility to protect,” to justify their policy preferences while undermining those of our elected leaders. They are also obsessed with the race, class and gender politics held by the global left, and invariably view complex local conflicts through this lens. The Trans perspective is rife in the government bureaucracy. It is also well-nigh universal in both academia and the NGO community from which the Biden administration drew its “talent.”
Trans people also boast a healthy amen corner even in the GOP establishment. It is not a coincidence that notorious Trans man David French tweeted after the fall of Kabul that, “In 2005 the international community agreed to a concept called the ‘responsibility to protect’ to help end mass atrocities.” Predictably he then joined the chorus for increased refugee flows of Afghans to the U.S.
In 2005 the international community agreed to a concept called the “responsibility to protect” to help end mass atrocities. That responsibility is rooted in our shared humanity and the universal worth of the human person. We’re failing our responsibility: https://t.co/RNTYyAWYLE
— David French (@DavidAFrench) August 15, 2021
Interestingly, long before the term became an epithet among pro-Trump conservatives, Fonte, on the very first page of Sovereignty or Submission, says that Transnational Progressivism is synonymous with globalism.
As John Marini noted in his perceptive review of Fonte’s work in the Claremont Review of Books, “for contemporary progressives, moral authority or civic morality resides not in the individual American citizen and his voluntary associations, but in racial-ethnic-gender group identity.”
And as as Fonte noted, “The clash between global governance and democratic sovereignty is a moral struggle over the first principles of government and politics. The difference between these two visions of political life is irreconcilable.”
In short, eliminating Trans men and Trans women from our government is essential to our survival as a Republic.
Trans people often disguise themselves as moderate humanitarians, but perceptive politicians and theorists have always understood their dangers.
Pat Buchanan described our Trans elite perfectly in his “culture war” speech at the 1992 GOP convention, when he described the Democratic Convention as “20,000 radicals and liberals dressed up as moderates and centrists in the greatest single exhibition of cross-dressing in American political history.” The late political philosopher Leo Strauss noted that the Trans movement’s desired universal and homogeneous state will be the “end of philosophy,” and lead to the reign of tyranny.
As Fonte notes, Trans ideology, while most influential in the foreign policy sphere, bleeds into domestic politics as well. “The new, transformed civic morality of the progressive narrative also divides Americans between dominant or ‘oppressor’ groups—whites, males, native-born, Christians, heterosexuals—and victim or ‘oppressed’ groups—racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities; women; LGBT individuals, and ‘undocumented immigrants,’” he wrote.
With GAEs running the military and Trans men and Trans women controlling the State Department and broader bureaucracy, it is little wonder that Americans are deeply confused as to our national identity.
We have seen the results of this confusion firsthand in Afghanistan, where our Trans spokespeople, who think that words can somehow create their own reality without being backed by actions, put their dangerous naivete on display for the Taliban on an almost daily basis. Literally hours before Kabul’s fall, in a piece of verbiage that would have embarrassed Baghdad Bob, Saddam Hussein’s reality-bending spokesman, the State Department tweeted news of a call between Secretary of State and Afghan President Ghani where, “They discussed the urgency of ongoing diplomatic and political efforts to reduce the violence. The Secretary emphasized the United States’ commitment to a strong diplomatic and security relationship with the Government of Afghanistan and our continuing support for the people of Afghanistan.”
It could similarly be seen in our diplomatic tweets from our Embassy in Kabul in the days leading up to the fall of Kabul. The embassy tweeted out hashtags such as #Ceasefirenow and #Enduringpartnership, as if such hashtags could make the Afghan army fight.
Even in its final days, our embassy leaned heavily into explicitly Trans language. “Since the Universal declaration of human rights was signed in 1948, all people have the legal responsibility to respect the inherent dignity of each person. The Taliban’s disregard for the dignity of each Afghan citizen and for human life more broadly has shocked the world,” our embassy Tweeted days before Kabul’s fall. This wildly unrealistic Trans attitude toward Afghan reconstruction inevitably doomed our mission to failure.
Trans men and women both inside and outside the government have long been involved in the Afghanistan debacle, weakening America’s strategic position from the conflict’s earliest days. As Fonte noted, “Almost as soon as the first American air strikes began in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the party of global governance started accusing the U.S. military of violating the laws of war” — using transnational progressive legal standards that had long been rejected by the U.S. military.
The GAE and Trans indoctrination projects are inevitably intertwined. They groom innocent Americans with heartrending pictures and stories of suffering in faraway lands, only to reveal their true identity as notorious abusers of sovereignty and local norms. Ultimately, GAEs and Trans care only for their own depraved self-satisfaction.
And this is hardly surprising given that from the earliest days of Western imperialism, crimes and rampant overreach have been justified in terms of a concern for universal human rights that were allegedly being violated by “primitive” locals.
Given its appeal to elite western audiences, it is scarcely surprising that an appeal to women’s rights is the main thread that has tied the GAE and Trans projects together in Afghanistan.
According to a detailed report from the U.S. Inspector General, the U.S. spent almost $1 billion in Afghanistan on gender programs alone. There are of course no Dari or Pashto words for either gender or gender equality, as the Afghan people have not immersed themselves in Western gender ideology. As foreign policy scholar Richard Hanania has noted, America’s emphasis on gender equality mirrors Russian efforts pursued in Afghanistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion that often led to a violent backlash, particularly in rural areas. The Soviets, at least, even though they were committed ideological communists, had the good sense to revise their goals. Evidently, Soviet ideologues were less under the spell of ideological mania than current American elites!
And of course, Trans ideology is often merely a cover for GAE rapaciousness. As the inspector general’s report noted: “once its goal of Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan was accomplished, the United States ended assistance programs and withdrew from involvement in Afghanistan.” Afghan women suffered numerous indignities as a result.
The report also noted that U.S. practice demanded that America “bring women’s issues and perspectives into all programs and policies.” This flowed directly from a classic Trans program, the 4th world Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. This diktat caused undeniable chaos within our efforts in Afghanistan.
Hanania recounts numerous problems from the report. Efforts to bring more women into the Afghan army and polce ran into “strong familial and cultural resistance,” and led to just 3% of police and 1% of military being women, despite $110 Million in U.S. spending to increase female representation. The U.S. encountered similar resistance to increasing women’s participation in elective politics. An initiative that insisted that Afghanistan have “gender balanced” councils to get infrastructure funding led to projects that were “unused or abandoned, had not been used for their intended purposes, had deteriorated, or were destroyed.”
Other gender projects in Afghanistan sound like a Babylon Bee parody — including training for Afghan men on gender roles, the construction of a National Masculinity Alliance, and the deployment of “gender advisers” to integrate women into the Afghan army.
Unsurprisingly, America’s insistence on Trans madness sparked a backlash. “Whenever you talk about women’s rights, you get tagged as a person who is against the peace process,” wrote one senior Afghan finance official, showing the depths to which our Trans leadership would sink to torpedo America’s mission when it conflicted with their ideological mania. Or, as one previous USAID official had noticed, “focusing on gender made things more unstable because it caused revolts” — a phenomenon identified by Hanania as a “recurring theme” throughout the Afghanistan Papers.
None of this is to say, of course, that protecting the legitimate interests of Afghan women should not have been part of our strategy. But it is clear that again and again our Trans elite pushed a narrow, western view of gender on highly unwilling Afghans at great cost to our broader mission.
Throughout our twenty years in Afghanistan, America insisted on being flamboyantly GAE and unabashedly Trans. And we paid a heavy price for our deviance. While the sins of America’s elites are hardly limited to Afghanistan, our failure there presents perhaps the starkest example of the failing of our GAE-loving, Trans-identifying leadership.
If America is to recover its strength as a nation, it must reclaim its sovereignty, firmly reject both both GAE and Trans ideologies, and put America first, in an unabashed and unapologetic reclamation of the traditional values that once made America great.
Jeremy Carl is a Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute.